Duke S Jeremy Cash (Miami, Fla.) is one of 15 semifinalists for the Thorpe Award, an honor presented to the nation’s top defensive back.
A second team All-America pick last year, Cash has compiled 63 tackles, 5.0 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, two INTs, three caused fumbles, four PBUs, four QB pressures and one fumble recovery.
In the ACC, Cash ranks first in caused fumbles per game (0.43), tied for fourth in interceptions per game (0.29) and fifth in tackles per game (9.0).
The Blue Devils take on Pittsburgh Saturday. “We have a huge challenge in Pittsburgh, who I think is as physical a team as anybody we’ll see,” Duke coach David Cutcliffe said. “An extremely well-coached football team. They don’t make mistakes very often. I know they had a unique circumstance last week. Sometimes that happens to us all.
“But this is a Pitt team that is, as I said, well-coached, strong, physical, good on both sides of the ball, and the kicking game. So a huge November challenge for us.”
North Carolina QB Marquise Williams (Charlotte) is one of five players in the country leading his team in both passing yards and rushing yards. He ranks second in the ACC and 15th in the country in total offense, averaging 316.5 total yards per game.
Williams is tied for fifth at UNC in career touchdown passes with 33 and he owns the school record for most career rushing TDs (14) by a quarterback at UNC.
The weekly news conference turned humorous as UNC coach Larry Fedora talked about playing at Miami.
Media Question: I know a lot of fans are talking about how Miami is favored by 16, 17 points. Is that something you use in the locker room to motivate your players, use the underdog notion coming into the game?
COACH FEDORA: How much are they favored by?
Q. 17, last time I saw it.
COACH FEDORA: I haven’t used that, but I got plenty of things to use. We got plenty of things going against us in a lot of different areas. So, yeah, I’ll just throw that in the hat, too. That will be good. I appreciate that.
Q. Glad I could help.
COACH FEDORA: Any time (smiling).
Seven different true freshmen have earned starts for NC State in 2014–the fourth-highest total in the FBS. A total of four newcomers earned starting nods last time out in the game at Louisville, including three on defense.
True freshman WR Bo Hines (Charlotte) has started five contests for the Pack, offensive guard Tony Adams (Charlotte) has started four and LB Airius Moore (Beavercreek, Ohio), S Germaine Pratt (High Point), DT B.J. Hill (Oakboro), TE Cole Cook (Carrollton, Ga.) and WR Stephen Louis (West Palm Beach,Fla.) have each started once. Only Tulane (12), Tennessee (8) and Southern California (8) have had more freshmen starters.
The Wolfpack takes on Syracuse Saturday. “Excited to be back in a game week. Definitely had a good bye,” NCSU coach Dave Doeren. “Got a lot of guys some rest that needed it. Were able to focus on some fundamentals, really get down to
some needed self-scout on all three phases of our team, and also focus on some recruiting things that we needed to do. So it was a good week I think mentally and physically for the staff and the players.”