2021 ACC Football Players of the Week: Week 1

Greensboro, NC – The Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week have been recognized following their standout performances in last weekend’s games.

The selections are determined by a vote of a select media panel. The following are this week’s honorees:

CO-QUARTERBACK – Phil Jurkovec, Boston College, Jr., QB, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Finished with his fifth career 300-yard passing game in Saturday’s 51-0 win over Colgate • Moved into fifth place in Boston College career history in 300-yard games in just his 11th career game as an Eagle • Marked the second straight season opener Jurkovec went over the 300-yard mark • Finished 16-for-24 for 303 yards with three touchdown passes • Also rushed for 61 yards on five carries (12.2 yards per carry).

CO-QUARTERBACK – Brennan Armstrong, Virginia, Jr., QB, Shelby, Ohio
Keyed the Cavaliers’ offense in their 43-0 victory to open the season against William & Mary • Finished the game completing 21 of 31 pass attempts for 339 yards – a school record for a season opener • Had scoring throws of 5 and 65 yards and ran for a pair of scores from 2 and 3 yards • The 24 points for which he was responsible tied for fourth in the nation • Second time in his career he has thrown for more than 300 yards in a game • Completed 11 of 13 passes for 257 yards in the second half (an average of 23.4 yards per completion) • Ranks No. 18 in the nation in passing efficiency (180.89).

Duke running back Mataeo Durant
Duke running back Mataeo Durant (photo by Gene Galin)

RUNNING BACK – Mataeo Durant, Duke, Sr., RB, Plum Branch, S.C.
Rushed 29 times for a Duke single-game record 255 yards and three touchdowns versus Charlotte • Caught two passes for 37 yards • Touchdown runs covered 5, 59 and 53 yards • Matched the Duke single-game record for TD runs of 50+ yards (two) • Single-game rushing yardage total ranks 25th in ACC history • Averaged 8.79 yards per rushing attempt, marking the 10th-highest single-game average in Duke history • Rushing yardage total eclipsed the previous school record of 245 yards set by Shaun Wilson in 2014 versus Kansas • All-purpose yardage total (292 yards) marks the fifth-highest single-game total in Duke history.

RECEIVER – Zay Flowers, Boston College, Jr., WR, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Finished with his fourth career 100-yard receiving game with seven receptions for 135 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s season-opening win over Colgate • Now tied for eighth in BC history with four career 100-yard receiving games • Saturday’s effort helped the Eagles finish with 525 yards of total offense in the win.

NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwono #79
NC State offensive lineman Ikem Ekwono #79 (photo by Gene Galin)

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Ikem Ekwonu, NC State, So., LT, Charlotte, N.C.
Top performer on an offensive line that paved the way for 525 yards of total offense – including 293 rushing yards – in the Wolfpack’s 45-0 win over USF • Played all but one of the Pack’s offensive snaps (68) and led the team in pancake and knockdown blocks • Had the highest grade on the offensive line (90%).

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN – Jermaine Johnson II, Florida State, Sr., DE, Eden Prairie, Minn.
Set career highs with seven tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks, against No. 9 Notre Dame •  Helped FSU hold the Irish to 65 rushing yards • First Seminoles in four years to compile those numbers against a ranked opponent • Playing his first game as a Seminole, keyed an FSU defense that allowed 288 fewer rushing yards against the Irish than in 2020.

LINEBACKER – James Skalski, Clemson, Sr., LB, Sharpsburg, Ga.
Recorded a game-high 14 tackles in the No. 3 Tigers 10-7 loss to No. 5 Georgia • Led a Clemson defense that limited the Bulldogs to 256 total yards and three points (seven Georgia points came on a Tiger turnover) • It marked the eighth time in history that Clemson has held an AP Top 5 opponent to 10 or fewer points.

DEFENSIVE BACK – Chamarri Conner, Virginia Tech, Jr., CB, Jacksonville, Fla.
Led the Hokies’ defense with eight tackles in Friday night’s 17-10 victory over No. 10 North Carolina • Of his eight stops, six were solo efforts • Wore legendary coach Frank Beamer’s No. 25 jersey and recorded an interception in the fourth quarter to seal the game • Interception was the fourth of his career.

SPECIALIST – Ja’Sir Taylor, Wake Forest, Sr., DB, Asbury Park, N.J.
Became the first Wake Forest player to have a touchdown in his first career kickoff return, taking his only kick return of the Old Dominion game 99 yards for the score to set the tone for a 42-10 Demon Deacon win • Only FBS player thus far to have a kickoff return for a touchdown during the 2021 season • Friday night’s return tied for the third-longest play in Wake Forest history • Also grabbed the fifth interception of his career in the second quarter against the Monarchs, becoming the first player in Wake Forest history to have a kick return touchdown and an interception in the same game.

CO-ROOKIE – Duce Chestnut, Syracuse, Fr., CB, Camden, N.J.
Became just the third Syracuse true freshman defensive back to start the season opener for the Orange in more than 35 years in Saturday’s 29-9 road win at Ohio • Came away with his first collegiate interception, a pass breakup and 0.5 TFLs • Ranked second on the team with eight total tackles, including a team-leading five solo stops • Keyed an Orange defense that held Ohio to just nine (three field goals) and forced a Bobcat safety.

CO-ROOKIE – Jasheen Davis, Wake Forest, Fr., DE, Snellville, Ga.
Led the Demon Deacons in tackles (nine), tackles for loss (2.5) and sacks (1.5) in Friday night’s 4 42-10 win over Old Dominion  • First freshman in the Dave Clawson era with 1.5 or more sacks in a single game • According to Pro Football Focus, Davis had the highest rating (76.2) for an ACC defensive end in week one.

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