Week 2 of the 2017 college football season produced several big performances and memorable moments from the ACC. Thanks to a dominant effort on defense, Clemson defeated Auburn 14-6 in Death Valley on Saturday night. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson had another huge performance in a victory against North Carolina. Elsewhere around the ACC, Duke picked up a key non-conference win against Northwestern, NC State beat Marshall and Wake Forest knocked off Boston College 34-10.
With the second weekend of 2017 in the books, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor some of the top performances from the ACC. Here’s a look at Athlon Sports’ picks for the offensive, defensive, coordinator, team, freshman and unsung hero from Week 2:
ACC Week 2 College Football Awards
Offensive Player of the Week: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Jackson continued his torrid start to the 2017 season by torching North Carolina for 525 total yards and six touchdowns on Saturday afternoon. The junior’s play helped the Cardinals secure a 47-35 victory and move to 2-0 with a key showdown against Clemson up next.
Defensive Player of the Week: Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
A couple of Clemson defenders could earn this honor following Saturday night’s dominant effort against Auburn. Bryant gets the nod for defensive player of the week honors after recording seven tackles (four for a loss), four sacks and one quarterback hurry.
Coordinator of the Week (Offense): Zac Roper, Duke
Duke improved to 2-0 with an impressive 41-17 victory over Northwestern on Saturday afternoon. Roper had the right gameplan in place for the Blue Devils, as this offense attacked a thin Wildcats’ secondary for 305 through the air and also added 233 on the ground. Duke averaged 5.2 yards per play, converted 15 of 22 third-down attempts and scored on four out of its final five drives to put this game away in the second half.
Coordinator of the Week (Defense): Brent Venables, Clemson
Dominant. That’s simply the best way to describe Clemson’s defense on Saturday night. The Tigers limited Auburn to just 117 yards on 66 plays – an average of just 1.8 yards per play. Additionally, Venables’ group recorded 11 sacks, 14 tackles for a loss, allowed only 38 rushing yards and only one of Auburn’s 12 drives went longer than 25 yards. From the trenches to the secondary, Clemson completely suffocated Auburn’s offense on Saturday night.
Freshman of the Week (Offense): Dez Fitzpatrick, WR, Louisville
Fitzpatrick had a breakout spring and has carried that momentum into the 2017 season. The freshman was one of quarterback Lamar Jackson’s favorite targets in the win over North Carolina, catching four passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns. Fitzpatrick has eight receptions through the first two games of 2017.
Freshman of the Week (Defense): T.D. Roof, LB, Georgia Tech
Georgia Tech had a short turnaround from its Week 1 matchup against Tennessee to take on Jacksonville State, but coach Paul Johnson’s team closed out an easy 37-10 victory. Roof was a bright spot for the defense, as he recorded two tackles (both for a loss) and two sacks.
Team of the Week: Clemson
The reigning national champions showed why are they are a threat to win it all once again in 2017. After an easy win over Kent State in Week 1, Clemson faced a tougher test against Auburn in Week 2. Auburn jumped out to a 6-0 lead, but Clemson dominated over the game’s final three quarters. Brent Venables’ defense limited Auburn to just 117 total yards and collected 11 sacks. Replacing Deshaun Watson was no easy assignment for Kelly Bryant, and the junior continues to settle in to the starting job. Against a tough Auburn defense, Bryant completed 19 of 29 passes for 181 yards and added 59 yards and two scores on 19 carries on the ground. With Florida State missing Deondre Francois for the rest of the year, the path to the ACC title and a CFB Playoff berth goes through Death Valley once again.
Unsung Hero of the Week: Daniel Jones, QB, Duke
After a solid freshman season, most expected Jones would take a step forward in his development and contend for All-ACC honors. After two games, it certainly seems Jones is well on his way to earning a place among the ACC’s top quarterbacks. In a 41-17 blowout win over Northwestern, Jones torched the Wildcats for 305 yards and two touchdowns through the air and led the offense with 108 yards and two scores on the ground.