ACC superlatives

October, 27, 2010
10/27/10
10:30
AM ET
Just a reminder this is a fluid list that will fluctuate based on the past week’s performances and overall performances to date. UNC quarterback T.J. Yates dropped off the list after two interceptions in the loss to Miami, as did Georgia Tech quarterback Joshua Nesbitt, who was shut down by Clemson. Can they get back on? Sure. Just not this week.

Here’s a look at the frontrunners for three of the top conference awards:

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Virginia Tech quarterback Tyrod Taylor: He threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns in Virginia Tech’s 44-7 romp of Duke last weekend. He’s second in the ACC in total offense with 266.1 yards per game, and he is still leading the ACC in pass efficiency with a 171.1 rating.

Clemson running back Andre Ellington: He had a career-high 166 yards rushing in 20 attempts for two touchdowns, along with one scoring reception, to lead Clemson to a 27-13 win over Georgia Tech. He also had 79 yards on kickoff returns to finish with 257 all-purpose running yards, also a career best. He’s averaging 6.3 yards per carry and has 10 rushing touchdowns this season. He leads the ACC in scoring and all-purpose yards.

Miami receiver Leonard Hankerson: He extended his streak of consecutive games with a catch to 20 when he caught a 13-yard pass against UNC. Hankerson scored his eighth touchdown of the season with a 19-yard reception in the third quarter. He’s second in the ACC in receptions per game (5.43) and receiving yards per game (84.4), and has a league-high eight receiving touchdowns.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Clemson defensive end Da’Quan Bowers: He remains the frontrunner after extending his season sack total to 10 with one against Georgia Tech. He leads the ACC and the country in sacks and tackles for loss (17.5).

FSU defensive end Brandon Jenkins: His status didn’t change during the bye week, as 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).

Miami defensive end Allen Bailey: His stock is rising after producing 4.5 sacks in the past two games, including 3.5 in the win over North Carolina. He’s being used at both end and tackle, and the success of his teammates has freed him a bit in blocking schemes. He leads the Canes’ defensive linemen with 27 tackles.

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 an Oklahoma team that was ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings last week. He’ll have a chance to further make a case on Thursday night against NC State.

Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer: The Hokies extended their winning streak to six games with the win over Duke and remain undefeated in conference play despite their 0-2 start.

NC State coach Tom O’Brien: The loss to East Carolina didn’t affect NC State’s standings in the ACC race, and O’Brien has a chance to make a push for this title with a win over Fisher on Thursday night.

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