ACC superlative tracker: Week 8

October, 20, 2010
10/20/10
10:30
AM ET
This is a reminder that this is a fluid list that will fluctuate based on the past week’s performances and overall performances to date. Here’s a look at the front-runners for three of the top conference awards:

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor He leads the ACC in passing efficiency, he’s third in total offense (257.4 yards per game), and he’s coming off a 52-21 win over Wake Forest in which he threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score.

North Carolina quarterback T.J. Yates -- He threw for three touchdowns in the 44-10 win at Virginia, helping the Tar Heels snap a losing streak in Charlottesville that dated back to 1981. He still has thrown only one interception this year.

[+] EnlargeJoshua Nesbitt
Dannie Walls / Icon SMIJoshua Nesbitt needs just 45 more yards to set the ACC record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback.
Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt -- He ran for 106 yards and one touchdown in the 42-14 win over Middle Tennessee and needs just 45 more yards this weekend against Clemson to set the ACC record for most career rushing yards by a quarterback.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers -- He has to be considered the front-runner after his three sacks in the 31-7 win against Maryland gave him nine for the season. All three of those sacks were in third-down situations. Bowers now has nine sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss for the season, best in the nation in each category. He already has more sacks than any Tiger has had for a season since 2006 when the late Gaines Adams had 12.5 in a first-team All-America season.

FSU defensive end Brandon Jenkins -- He had two sacks in the 24-19 win over Boston College and now has seven this season -- second in the ACC only to Bowers. He’s also third in the ACC in tackles for loss (11.5), and considering the improvement FSU’s defense has made this year, somebody for the Noles should be getting some consideration.

Boston College linebacker Luke Kuechly: He leads the nation and the ACC with 13.7 tackles per game and is third in the country in solo tackles with 7.6 per game.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher -- He’s off to an undefeated start in conference play in his first season as a head coach, and his lone overall loss came on the road to a top-10 Oklahoma team.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer -- This is a tough call because of the loss to James Madison, but if voters can look past it, they’ll see a five-game winning streak and a team that’s playing as good as if not better than anyone else in the conference. It’s a credit to the coaching staff the season didn’t fall apart after the 0-2 start.

NC State coach Tom O’Brien -- Despite the loss to East Carolina, the Wolfpack are a much better team than they were a year ago and will be playing for the Atlantic Division title on Oct. 28 against FSU.

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