The skinny Archive

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Duke women capture another national golf title

dukewomenDuke is back on top of the NCAA women’s golfing world.

The Blue Devils came from behind to hold off top-ranked Southern Cal and win by two strokes at the Tulsa Country Club in Tulsa, Okla for the program’s sixth national championship Friday evening. Duke also won the program’s first national title in Tulsa in 1999.

Duke shot a six-under, 274 to beat the Trojans, who finished the day with a round of 10-under par, 270. The Blue Devils completed the competition with a four-day team score of 1,130 – good for ten over par.

Seniors Alejandra Cangrejo and Laetitia Beck led Duke on Friday with matching 2-under par efforts in their final competitive rounds as college golfers.

Sophomore Celine Boutier, the runner-up in the individual event, finished her final round at 1-under, as did Freshman Sandy Choi.

Yu Li, the ACC Rookie of the Year, registered a two-over-par 72 to end her impressive inaugural campaign.

Duke found itself tied for third after the first day of competition, five shots back of the Oklahoma Sooners, two back of UCLA and even with Southern Cal and Arizona State. After the second round, the Blue Devils found themselves in sole possession of second place, three shots back of Oklahoma.

On day three, Duke made its move, carding a two-under, 278 that gave the Devils a six-shot lead heading into the championship’s final round.

Duke also won the team national championship in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2006, and 2007.

- Duke Sports Information

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Duke’s Parker unleashes on Carolina for 30 points

Jabari Parker.

Jabari Parker.

With North Carolina’s James Michael McAdoo saddled with foul trouble, Duke’s freshman Jabari Parker unleashed on the Heels with a season-high 30 points to lead the Blue Devils to a 93-81 victory at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

The loss dropped the Tar Heels to the fourth seed in the ACC Tournament while Duke moved to the third seed. Both teams, however, get first-round byes.

Duke also got 24 points from another underclassman, sophomore Rodney Hood, on the Blue Devils’ senior night.

Coach Mike Krzyzewski said it was the first time this year that both Parker and Hood have been “sensational” in the same game.

The Blue Devils, who led by 13 in the first half but by only three at the half, came out hot in the second half, hitting six threes and led 74-55, the largest lead of the game, with just 8:26 to go.

But the Tar Heels scratched back with Marcus Paige leading the way. Down 12 with 2:49 left, Paige double pumped a three from the top of the key and was fouled. He converted the four-point play to pull the Heels within eight.

Following a Duke turnover under pressure, Paige put up another three but when it bounced up, UNC’s Brice Johnson dunked it while it was still in the cylinder for an offensive interference. Had the three not gone down, Johnson was right there for a stick back so the lead could have been cut to six or five.

Instead, Duke hit free throw after free throw to come away with the 12-point victory. The Blue Devils outscored the Heels by 13 from the free throw line as they hit an amazing 27 of 31 including 12 in the last 2:18.

But both coaches agreed that rebounding was the biggest key. “Going into the game I thought rebounding was an area where we could have an advantage but they killed us,” UNC coach Roy Williams said, referring to the 32-18 rebounding edge for the Devils.

It was the lowest number of rebounds the Tar Heels have pulled down in a game this season. It didn’t help that McAdoo was limited by foul trouble and big-man Kennedy Meeks was sidelined most of the game with a stomach illness.

In addition to leading all scorers, Duke’s Parker led all rebounders with 11 boards. “Whatever ‘it’ is, Jabari had it,” Coach Williams said making reference to Coach K’s statement after the first game between the two teams that his team just didn’t have it. “He was possessed.”

Paige, who had three second-half three-pointers, led four Tar Heels in double figures with 24 points.

For more on the game, please click here.

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Tar Heels come out strong to pop rival Pack

uncstateNorth Carolina came out strong, running out to an 18-4 lead, and wound up winning by that same 14-point margin at 84-70 over rival N.C. State in Chapel Hill.

The Tar Heels, who missed a lot of shots around the rim, were still able to take a 17-point lead into the half at 40-23 in part due to the Wolfpack’s poor shooting.

Carolina played tough defense but not so tough as to account for the Pack’s 25 percent field goal rate in the opening half. While the Tar Heels were able to work the lead up to 22 in the second half, the Pack turned their shooting woes around – hitting 65 percent of their shots in the second half.

During a one-minute run starting with just over five minutes to play, the Pack scored nine straight to draw a 21-point deficit down to just 12. But it never got closer than 10 the rest of the way.

“We dug ourselves too big of a hole,” said State coach Mark Gottfried. “We got off to a really slow start. We missed foul shots. We got a couple of good looks and missed those.”

He said the Tar Heels then defended well the rest of the half and it kind of steamrolled.

For more on the game, please click here.

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UNC fights back, questions claims in CNN report

uncsystemlogo(NOTE: The University of North Carolina sent out the following release Thursday questioning claims of CNN with an analysis of its own.)

97% of UNC student-athletes meet CNN reading skills threshold:
8-year admissions analysis questions claims in network news story

Last week, CNN reported on reading skills of student-athletes at U.S. public universities including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The story used a CNN-defined threshold for student-athletes being “college-literate” based on results from SAT and ACT college entrance exam scores (400 on SAT Critical Reading or Writing; 16 on ACT). The network said it consulted with experts in different fields to develop the threshold.

CNN did not ask the University for SAT or ACT data, instead relying on observations provided by a UNC employee who did not represent the campus in its report.

An analysis conducted by the University’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions found that all 154 special-talent student-athletes – 100 percent – who enrolled in fall 2013 met CNN’s reading skills threshold. That first-year class included 35 student-athletes recruited for football and men’s and women’s basketball. (CNN did not examine 2013 information.)

The Office of Undergraduate Admissions used CNN’s definition to analyze UNC’s own SAT and ACT data for special-talent student-athletes enrolled as first-year students through policies and procedures established by the UNC Board of Trustees, faculty and the admissions office.

That analysis found:

Between 2004 and 2012, the same time period examined by CNN, UNC-Chapel Hill enrolled 1,377 first-year student-athletes through the special-talent policies and procedures. More than 97 percent (1,338) of those students met the CNN threshold. Thirty-nine students (2.83 percent) did not meet the threshold.

Twenty-three of the 39 students (59 percent) who did not meet the CNN threshold have graduated from the University or remain enrolled and in good academic standing. Another 11 students (28 percent) left the University academically eligible to return. The other five students left the University and would have to restore their academic eligibility in order to return.
In summary, 34 of the 39 students (87 percent) who did not meet the CNN threshold either graduated from the University, remain enrolled and in good academic standing, or left the University academically eligible to return.

Of the student-athletes who enrolled between 2004 and 2012 under the special-talent policies, 341 were recruited for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball. More than 90 percent (307) of these students met the CNN threshold. Thirty-four of these student-athletes (9.97 percent) did not meet the threshold.

Of the 34 students recruited for football, men’s basketball and women’s basketball who did not meet the threshold, 20 students (59 percent) either have graduated from the University or remain enrolled and in good academic standing. Another 10 students (29 percent) left the University academically eligible to return. The other four students left the University and would have to restore their academic eligibility in order to return.

In summary, 30 of these 34 students (88 percent) either graduated from the University, remain enrolled and in good academic standing, or left the University academically eligible to return.

“We evaluate every student as carefully as we know how,” said Stephen Farmer, vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions. “The primary criterion for admission for all students, including student-athletes, is the student’s capacity to succeed academically at the University. We only admit students who we believe have the capacity to succeed.”

In keeping with University Board of Trustees policy, and guidance from the Faculty Advisory Committee on Undergraduate Admissions, Farmer said the Office of Undergraduate Admissions evaluates every candidate individually, comprehensively and holistically. These evaluations rely on quantitative and qualitative data and information. The quantitative measures include results from standardized tests (SAT or ACT with Writing).

“We pay careful attention to test results,” Farmer said. “But we do not make final admissions decisions based on test scores alone – not for any student, and not for any student-athlete.”

- News release

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CNN features UNC in analysis that claims athletes “read like 5th-graders”

cnnlogoA CNN investigation published Tuesday, Jan. 7 found that public university student basketball and football players could read only up to an eight-grade level. A former learning specialist at UNC-Chapel Hill claims a Tar Heel basketball player she worked with couldn’t read or write.

Mary Willingham researched the reading levels of 183 UNC athletes who played football or basketball from 2004 to 2012 and found that 60 percent read between fourth- and eighth-grade levels.

CNN Headline: Some college athletes play like adults, read like 5th-graders

To read the article, please click here.

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Nine sports figures to be inducted into the NC Sports Hall of Fame

halloffamelogoThe North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, established in 1963, have announced its 2014 inductees.

The nine new members are Eddie Biedenbach, A. J. Carr, Bob Colvin, Randy Denton, Lee Gliarmis, Marshall Happer, Rodney Rogers, Bob Waters and Frank Weedon.

Eddie Biedenbach: Recruited by the legendary Everett Case to N.C. State University, Bidenbach was a star on Wolfpack teams loaded with stars. As a three-year starter (freshmen were ineligible then), he was a two-time All-ACC selection. Biedenbach averaged 12 points a game his sophomore year and 16.7 points a game as a junior, when he led N.C. State to the ACC Tournament title with a 21.3 average. He was his team’s MVP his senior year. A masterful dribbler and defensive player, Biedenbach was known for stealing the ball from opposing guards. He was drafted in two sports — the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA and the New Jersey Nets in the ABA, as well as the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL — and played one year in the NBA before being lured into coaching. He was a key assistant on N.C. State’s 1974 national championship and held head coaching jobs at Davidson College and UNC-Asheville. At Asheville, he led the program for 17 seasons, amassing 256 wins and taking the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament three times. A four-time Big South Coach of the Year and the winningest coach in the league’s history, he has joined the staff at UNC-Wilmington as an assistant coach.
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A.J. Carr: Soft-spoken Carr is one of the most respected men in North Carolina sports. Although known as a veteran sportswriter (42 years at the Raleigh News & Observer, plus stops at his hometown Wallace Enterprise and the Greensboro Daily News), he also had a rewarding career as an athlete.

Carr was an all-conference basketball player three years at Wallace-Rose Hill High and team MVP in 1960, the same year he was all-conference in football. He was a four-year starter in baseball and team MVP in 1959. Teams on which he performed won or shared 14 regular season or tournament titles.

He holds nine state titles in Senior Games age-group basketball shooting and 12 Wake County championships. He also set or shared two state records. A member of the Guilford College Sports Hall Sports of Fame, Carr was named North Carolina Sportswriter of the Year in 1978 and 2008, won three national awards for college baseball writing, and was honored by the Triangle Chapter National Football Foundation, North Carolina Tennis Association, and Raleigh Hot Stove League.

Bob Colvin: Of all the eras of dominance among North Carolina’s high school football teams through the decades, perhaps no one was more dominant than Colvin’s teams at 1-A Robbinsville High School in western North Carolina. In a head-coaching career that spanned 18 years (1966-84), he led the Black Knights to 11 state championships in a 15-year period beginning in 1969. In only one of those 11 victories did the opponent manage to lose by less than a touchdown. For his career, Colvin posted a record of 177-57-2.

Randy Denton: A Raleigh native and North Carolina resident for more than 50 years, Denton starred at Enloe High School, where his jersey was retired in 1967. As a center at Duke University, he earned All-ACC honors in all three of his varsity seasons (1969-71), when he led the Blue Devils in scoring and rebounding in each, and he was named All-American as a senior. He held career averages at Duke of 19.7 points and 12.7 rebounds per game. Four times he scored more than 20 points and had more than 20 rebounds in a single game. Denton played eight seasons professionally (ABA, NBA and in Italy). He was inducted into the Duke University Sports Hall of Fame in 1991 and the Duke University Hall of Honor in 2001.

Lee Gliarmis: An outstanding high school athlete in Wilson, Gliarmis was invited to join both the basketball and soccer teams at UNC-Chapel Hill. Yet it was back in Wilson, beginning in the early 1950s, that Gliarmis began to make an indelible mark on young athletes in his youth-coaching career that spanned multiple decades. When Fike High School had its glorious run of football success in the late 1960s, it did so with a high percentage of players who had honed their skills on Gliarmis’ youth league teams. His contributions extended to other sports that include baseball, where he led the efforts to build the North Carolina Baseball Museum at historic Fleming Stadium in Wilson. Visitors from 50 states and 14 counties have enjoyed its memorabilia.

Marshall Happer: Happer is a Raleigh attorney who served as chief operating officer and as commissioner of the Men’s Tennis Council, the governing body for the international tour. He also served the Council as its in-house attorney. As a junior player in Kinston, he was a two-time state champion who went on to play collegiately at UNC-Chapel Hill. Happer has made a major impact on the tennis scene in the state, and he has brought several pro tennis tournaments to the area.

Rodney Rogers: Rogers, a Durham native, averaged 19.3 points and almost eight rebounds per game in his career as a basketball star at Wake Forest University. He was named ACC Rookie of the Year, edging Duke University’s Grant Hill for that honor, and became the ACC’s Player of the Year in 1993. Drafted ninth in the first round of the 1993 NBA draft by the Denver Nuggets, Rogers went on to have a productive 12-year professional career appearing with the Nuggets, Clippers, New Orleans Hornets, Celtics, Nets, Sixers, Spurs and Suns. He became known as the perfect sixth man in the pro league and was named the NBA’s Sixth Man of the Year in 2000.

Bob Waters: (deceased) Considered the NFL’s first ever “shotgun” quarterback in his No. 2 role with the San Francisco 49ers, Waters’ pro career prematurely gave way to coaching because of a series of injuries. He became an assistant coach at his alma mater, Presbyterian College, and then coached wide receivers at Stanford University. Just three years into his coaching career, Waters accepted an offer to become head coach at Western Carolina University. His first team at Cullowhee went 9-1 in 1969, and his 1972 and 1974 teams were the school’s first to appear in post-season competition. His 1983 team played in the national championship game. Waters coached at Western Carolina for 20 seasons and was the school’s athletic director for 15 of those years. The football field at Western Carolina bears his name. He is a member of the South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.

Frank Weedon: (deceased) No one has been more closely identified with N.C. State University for a half century than Weedon, who served the institution as the longtime sports information director and assistant athletic director. Born in Washington, D.C., he was a graduate of the University of Maryland. However, he cannot be identified without references to N.C. State.

“It’s sort of like Frank was born at N.C. State,” former Wolfpack coach Lou Holtz once said. “There wasn’t any past. He didn’t play golf. He loved N.C. State and he loved his mother.”

Weedon is famous for his critique of game officials, especially along the sidelines at N.C. State basketball games. But perhaps that notoriety disguised that he was also one of the classic sports information directors in the business. It has been written the he almost single-handedly successfully promoted Roman Gabriel into first-team All-American status in 1960. Weedon also sold the national media on the myth that Tommy Burleson was the tallest basketball player (at 7-feet, 4 inches) in the nation. Actually, Burleson was 7-feet, 2 ¼ inches. Weedon also created the first-ever, university-affiliated regional radio network, and the idea spread to other campuses around the state and then across the country. Weedon worked for seven athletic directors and the press box at Doak Field. N.C. State’s baseball stadium bears his name.

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Wake Forest made more of an effort in win over Tar Heels

Jeff Bzdelik.

Jeff Bzdelik.

UNC didn’t really deserve to win the game at Wake Forest… but they could have. The Tar Heels fell 73-67 in the ACC season opener for both teams.

You’d think that outrebounding an ACC foe by 19 would do the trick. And it would have if the Heels could have made a few shots. You aren’t going to win many games hitting 39 percent.

A lot of those shots were relatively easy follow shots, tips and short jumpers. Several were open threes.

As Coach Williams said, the Tar Heels couldn’t finish. But Wake could. They scored 19 points off Carolina’s 17 turnovers.

“We just made effort plays,” said Wake Forest coach Jeff Bzdelik.

Ouch. They kinda says that the Tar Heels didn’t make as much effort because the favored Heels certainly have the talent to beat the Deacs.

Even the UNC trapping defense was only successful a couple of times and the Tar Heels didn’t convert on the opportunities.

“We knew they would trap us and we handled the trap really well,” Bzdelik said.

I had thought the trap might be Carolina’s calling card this year but it takes more effort, more aggression to work.

For more on the game, please click here.

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NC State’s Rodon, Turner make preseason All-America first team

Carlos Rodon.

Carlos Rodon.

Thirteen Atlantic Coast Conference baseball players have been named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American Teams, selected by Collegiate Baseball newspaper.

The 13 preseason All-Americans from the ACC tied for the most in the nation with the Pac-12.

The ACC contingent is led by three players on the first team: NC State’s Carlos Rodon and Trea Turner, and Florida State’s D.J. Stewart. Rodon was also selected as the projected national player of the year.

Six league players garnered second team accolades: Florida State’s Luke Weaver, Miami’s Bryan Radziewski, North Carolina’s Trent Thornton and Skye Bolt, Virginia’s Mike Papi, and Virginia Tech’s Mark Zagunis. Clemson’s Daniel Gossett, NC State’s Brett Austin, and Virginia’s Brandon Downes and Derek Fisher were selected to the third team.

Led by No. 5 Florida State, six ACC squads earned rankings in the Collegiate Baseball preseason poll announced last week. No. 10 NC State, No. 11 North Carolina, No. 12 Virginia, No. 13 Miami, and No. 21 Clemson also claimed spots in poll, while Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, and Notre Dame received votes.

The 2014 season begins for all 14 Atlantic Coast Conference teams on Friday, Feb. 14, and conference action gets under way on Friday, March 7.

ACC on the Louisville Slugger Preseason All-America Teams

First Team
Carlos Rodon*, LHP, NC State
Trea Turner, SS, NC State
D.J. Stewart, OF, Florida State
* Projected National Player of the Year

Second Team
Trent Thornton, RHP, North Carolina
Bryan Radziewski, LHP, Miami
Luke Weaver, RHP, Florida State
Mark Zagunis, C, Virginia Tech
Skye Bolt, OF, North Carolina
Mike Papi, OF/1B, Virginia

Third Team
Daniel Gossett, RHP, Clemson
Brett Austin, C, NC State
Brandon Downes, OF, Virginia
Derek Fisher, OF, Virginia

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Duke volleyballer named third-team All-America

Emily Sklar.

Emily Sklar.

Duke sophomore outside hitter Emily Sklar has earned third-team All-America honors as announced by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).

Sklar, who was named the Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Year, guided Duke (28-5, 18-2 ACC) to the 2013 conference crown, totaling 405 kills, 222 digs, 24 service aces and 43 blocks. The only sophomore in Duke history to garner conference player of the year recognition, Sklar knocked down 3.89 kills per set to rank second in the ACC.

In addition to Sklar, eleven other conference student-athletes received honorable mention, including three additional Blue Devils. Also placing student-athletes on the honorable mention list were Florida State (3), North Carolina (2), Virginia Tech (2) and Notre Dame (1).

ACC on 2013 AVCA Division I Third-Team All-America

Emily Sklar Duke

ACC on 2013 AVCA Division I Honorable Mention All-America

Jovana Bjelica North Carolina

Kathryn Caine Virginia Tech

Maggie Deichmeister Duke

Victoria Hamsher Virginia Tech

Jeni Houser Notre Dame

Ali McCurdy Duke
Ashley Neff Florida State

Paige Neuenfeldt North Carolina

Jeme Obeime Duke

Elise Walch Florida State

Nicole Walch Florida State

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Duke’s Crowder, UNC’s Logan honored with weekly ACC honors

Jamison Crowder.

Jamison Crowder.

Boston College running back Andre Williams and Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald lead a group of nine Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week announced on Monday.

The Eagles’ Williams was named the ACC Offensive Back of the Week after he rushed for 263 yards to become the first player in ACC history to surpass the 2,000-yard mark for the season in Saturday’s ACC road win at Maryland. The Panthers’ Donald, who was also named the Walter Camp Foundation National Defensive Player of the Week, picked up ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week honors after playing a decisive role in Pitt’s one-point ACC win at Syracuse.

Williams is one of three Boston College student-athletes to be recognized. Other ACC honorees this week include the Eagles’ Matt Patchan as Offensive Lineman of the Week, Duke’s Jamison Crowder as Receiver of the Week and Syracuse’s Cam Lynch as Linebacker of the Week. Miami’s Tracy Howard and Syracuse’s Durell Eskridge were recognized as Co-Defensive Backs of the Week, Boston College’s Nate Freese as Specialist of the Week and North Carolina’s T.J. Logan as Rookie of the Week.

The ACC Offensive Back of the Week honor is Williams’ second straight and third of the season. Duke’s Crowder was recognized for the fourth time overall (twice as ACC Receiver of the Week, twice as Specialist of the Week). Boston College’s Patchan was honored for the second straight week and second time overall. Pitt’s Donald and Syracuse’s Eskridge were also cited for the second time this season.

OFFENSIVE BACK – Andre Williams, Boston College, Sr., RB, 6-0, 227, Schnecksville, Pa

Williams carried 32 times for 263 yards and two touchdowns in Boston College’s 29-26 ACC win at Maryland, marking the senior’s fifth 200-plus yard rushing effort of the season. Williams brought the visiting Eagles within four points on a 72-yard touchdown run with 10:33 left in the fourth quarter. Later, with the score tied at 26 with less than one minute remaining, he rushed 36 yards to the Maryland 37 yard-line to set up Nate Freese’s game-winning field goal. Williams lifted his 11-game season total to 320 carries for 2,073 yards and 16 touchdowns to become the 16th running back in FBS history – and first since Connecticut’s Donald Brown in 2008 (2,083) – to record 2,000 rushing yards in a season.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Matt Patchan, Boston College, Sr., LT, 6-7, 300, Tampa, Fla.

Patchan graded out at 86 percent with two knockdown blocks to lead Boston College’s offensive line that paved the way for Andre Williams to run for 263 yards and two touchdowns and earn a 29-26 victory at Maryland. The Eagles produced more than 250 yards on the ground for the third straight game and are averaging 220 rushing yards per game this season, a mark good for second in the ACC and 21st among all FBS teams.

RECEIVER – Jamison Crowder, Duke, Jr., WR, 5-9, 175, Monroe, N.C.

Crowder caught 10 passes for 121 yards and two touchdowns in Duke’s 28-21 win at Wake Forest on Saturday. He added one rushing attempt for nine yards to finish with 130 all-purpose yards. Crowder caught touchdown passes of 10 and 58 yards from quarterback Anthony Boone in pushing his season receiving yardage total to 1,077. Crowder joined former Blue Devil great Clarkston Hines as just the second player in Duke history to post multiple 1,000-yard receiving campaigns. Crowder now has 83 catches on the season, two catches shy of the school record of 85 set last year by Conner Vernon.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Aaron Donald, Pitt, Sr., DT, 6-0, 285, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Donald made the decisive play in Pitt’s 17-16 win at Syracuse on Saturday by blocking an extra point. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy totaled nine tackles (eight solo), 3.5 tackles for loss (minus 17 yards) and two quarterback hurries. More than half of Donald’s total tackles this season (51) have come behind the line of scrimmage (26.0).

LINEBACKER – Cam Lynch, Syracuse, Jr, LB, 5-11, 230, Lawrenceville, Ga.

Lynch had 11 total tackles, including three for lost yardage and two sacks, plus a quarterback hurry in Saturday’s one-point loss to Pitt. Lynch recorded a sack for a loss of 11 yards with Pitt on the Syracuse 3-yard line, and then recorded another sack three plays later on third-and-goal to force the Panthers to settle for a field goal. Lynch’s quarterback hurry came on a third-and-7 play to force a punt that started a Syracuse scoring drive.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK –Durell Eskridge, Syracuse, So., FS, 6-3, 207, Miami, Fla.

Eskridge led all tacklers with 12 stops in Saturday’s game against Pitt, including a career-high nine solo tackles. He stopped the Pitt receiver for short gains on the first two plays of the game, which ultimately led to the Panthers punting two plays later. Eskridge also recorded a key tackle on a Pitt ball-carrier for a loss of six yards on the opening play of a drive that would end in a punt on the first set of downs.

CO-DEFENSIVE BACK –Tracy Howard, Miami, So., CB, 5-11, 184, Miramar, Fla.

Despite recording only one tackle in Miami’s 45-26 win over Virginia, Howard made the biggest play of the game – on the game’s first snap. Howard picked off a Virginia pass on a bubble screen and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. It was Howard’s team-leading fourth interception of the season and the first of three Miami’s defensive unit registered against the Cavaliers on Saturday

SPECIALIST– Nate Freese, Boston College, Sr., PK, 5-11, 192, Strongsville, Ohio

Freese converted a 52-yard field goal – his third field goal of the game – as time expired to lift Boston College to a 29-26 win at Maryland. His 52-yard field goal matched his career long against Wake Forest in October 2011, and he improved to 3-for-4 in career field-goal attempts of 50 yards or more. Freese, who is now 17-for-17 in field goal attempts on the season, also converted a 35-yard PAT following a penalty in the fourth quarter, and averaged 43.4 yards per punt in the win over the Terps.

ROOKIE – T.J. Logan, North Carolina, Fr., RB/KR, 5-10, 180, Greensboro, N.C.

Logan rushed 14 times for 137 yards and three touchdowns in North Carolina’s 80-20 win over Old Dominion. He became the first North Carolina tailback to run for more than 100 yards in a game this season. Logan scored on a pair of 1-yard runs and a 63-yard run. Logan’s three rushing touchdowns were the most by a Tar Heel since Shaun Draughn versus East Carolina in 2010. Logan also scored on a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the third-longest in UNC history and the longest by a Tar Heel in Kenan Stadium. Logan’s four touchdowns were the most by a Tar Heel player since Hakeem Nicks had four (all receiving) versus Boston College in 2008.