Spiller, Parker, McDaniel named ACC players of the week
Ricky Sapp and DeAndre McDaniel stop the University of Miami Hurricanes Graig Cooper. (Photos: Gary Rothstein/Icon SMI)
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State’s Christian Ponder (Colleyville, Tex), who threw for a career-high 395 yards in last Thursday’s win over North Carolina and Clemson’s C.J. Spiller (Lake Butler, Fla.), the ACC’s career leader in all-purpose yardage and kick returns for touchdowns, headline this week’s list of Atlantic Coast Conference players of the week.
Ponder and Spiller are joined on the honors list by Florida State offensive tackle Andrew Datko (Weston, Fla.) (offensive lineman), Duke linebacker Vincent Rey (Far Rockaway, N.Y.), Virginia nose tackle Nate Collins (Port Chester, N.Y.) (co-defensive linemen), Clemson safety DeAndre McDaniel (Tallahassee, Fla.) (defensive back) and quarterback Kyle Parker (Jacksonville, Fla.) (rookie).
OFFENSIVE BACK – Christian Ponder, Florida State, QB, Jr., 6-2, 219, Colleyville, Tex.
Ponder completed 33 of 40 passes for a career-high 395 yards and three second-half touchdowns as the Seminoles erased an 18-point second half deficit en route to a 30-27 victory at North Carolina last Thursday night. The Colleyville, Tex., junior completed an ACC record-tying 98-yard touchdown pass to Rod Owens late in the third quarter and his game-winning toss, an 18-yard scoring strike to tight end Beau Reliford with 6:20 remaining, came during a game-ending stretch of 16 consecutive completions. Ponder, ranked 4th nationally this week in total offense, has now attempted 237 passes without an interception and, over his last three games, has completed 88-of-118 passes (74.6) for 1,094 yards and eight touchdowns.
OFFENSIVE LINE – Andrew Datko, Florida State, OT, So., 6-6, 291, Weston, Fla.
A second-year starter, Datko was honored for the first time this season for his play in last Thursday’s 30-27 win at North Carolina. In the win, which snapped a three-game Seminole losing streak, the Weston, Fla., native earned an overall grade of 83 percent. Datko had one knockdown block, did not allow a pressure or sack and had just one missed assignment in 69 plays as the Seminoles rolled up 438 total yards against the nation’s third-ranked defense.
Vincent Rey, Duke, MLB, Sr., 6-0, 245, Far Rockaway, N.Y.
Rey had eight tackles and came up with a fourth quarter interception as Duke defeated visiting Maryland Saturday 17-13 for its third win in four games. The Far Rockaway, N.Y., senior keyed a Blue Devil defense that limited the Terrapins to 249 total yards - 87.6 yards under the Terps' season average.
Nate Collins, Virginia, NT, Sr., 6-2, 280, Port Chester, N.Y.
In Saturday’s game against Georgia Tech, Collins, normally a defensive end, started at nose tackle and recorded a career-high 16 tackles in a 34-9 loss to the 11th-ranked Yellow Jackets. The Port Chester, N.Y., senior had 10 solo stops and recorded two tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE BACK – DeAndre McDaniel, Clemson, S, Jr., 6-1, 210, Tallahassee, Fla.
In earning ACC Defensive Back honors for the second week in a row, McDaniel had seven tackles and came up with two interceptions, including one returned 23 yards for a touchdown, in the Tigers’ 40-37 overtime win at eighth-ranked Miami Saturday. With three interceptions in his last two games, the Tallahassee, Fla., junior is now tied with UCLA’s Rahim Moore for the nation’s lead with seven interceptions in seven games (1.00 per game).
ROOKIE – Kyle Parker, Clemson, QB, Fr., 6-0, 210, Jacksonville, Fla.
In becoming the first Clemson freshman quarterback to defeat a top 10 team, Parker completed 25-of-37 passes for 326 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday’s 40-37 overtime win over No. 8 Miami. The 326 yards were the most ever by a Tiger freshman quarterback. The Jacksonville, Fla., product teamed with Jacoby Ford on a 26-yard game-winning touchdown pass in the first overtime as Clemson improved to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in league play with its second straight conference victory.
SPECIALIST – C.J. Spiller, Clemson, RB, Sr., 5-11, 195, Lake Butler, Fla.
In earning ACC Specialist honors for the second time this season for his performance in Saturday’s overtime win at eighth-ranked Miami, Spiller set a Clemson single game record for all-purpose yardage with 310 yards as he returned three kickoffs for 125 yards against the Hurricanes, including a 90-yard return for a touchdown in the second quarter that gave the Tigers a 14-10 lead at the intermission. Spiller also topped the 100-yard mark in pass receiving, carrying six receptions for 104 yards and he also rushed for 81 yards on 14 carries. In addition to being the ACC’s all-time all-purpose yardage leader with 6,363 yards, Spiller now holds the ACC career records for career kickoff returns for touchdowns (6) and total kick returns for a touchdown (7).