NCF Nation: Kevin Patterson
Posted by ESPN.com's Heather Dinich
It was another week of impressive defensive performances in the ACC. These guys are making the race for defensive player of the year very, very difficult. Even NC State got a boost from its defense and the return of linebacker Nate Irving. Sorry, NC State fans, but there are only five helmet stickers to give, and a win against Duke in a game that meant little more than Pack pride just doesn't cut it when so much was on the line for everyone else.
Here are this week's top performers:
Florida State's defensive ends. Everette Brown recorded half of his team's six sacks, junior Markus White sacked Cullen Harper for a 7-yard loss in the second quarter and forced a fumble on the play, senior Neefy Moffett picked off Harper in the first quarter and returned the interception 18 yards for a touchdown, tying Saturday's game at 10-10. It was the Seminoles' first interception returned for a touchdown.
Wake Forest defense. It's tough to single one person out when three different players had interceptions, and linebacker Aaron Curry forced and recovered a fumble and had two-and-a-half tackles for loss. The Deacs scored 14 points off of the turnovers, including Kevin Patterson's 53-yard interception return for a touchdown, Wake's first defensive touchdown of the season.
Boston College safety Paul Anderson. He accounted for half of Jimmy Clausen's four interceptions, including one he returned 76 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. The Eagles handed Notre Dame the first shutout in the series and held the Fighting Irish to just 66 yards rushing. The BC defense created five turnovers and blocked one punt.
North Carolina's offensive line. They held their own against Georgia Tech's front four and paved the way for a strong running game led by sophomore tailbacks Shaun Draughn and Ryan Houston. The Tar Heels rushed for a season-best 186 yards and 4.4 yards per carry. Houston had a career-best 74 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries, and Draughn had 90 yards on 17 carries.
Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans. He rushed for a school-record 253 yards and scored a touchdown, surpassing the previous record of 243 set by Mike Imoh against UNC in 2004. It was the first time this season a Virginia Tech running back surpassed 100 yards, and it was exactly what the Hokies' offense needed.