**After every week, Terrapin Station will review ACC games and decide which players have positioned themselves in the front seat of earning yearly awards at their respective position. This is subject to change, but not subject to error since A.) I am infallible and B.) it’s opinion.
Offensive Player of the Year:
1.) Chase Rettig – Jr., Boston College
Chase Rettig stands atop the offensive list because of his Herculean offensive performance in a 41-32 season opener against Miami. In that game, Rettig threw the ball an astounding 51 times, good for 441 yards through the air and two touchdowns. I mean, think about how obvious that offense must have been around halftime for the Miami defense, and yet, Rettig still managed to complete 32 of those passes. At 8.6 yards per completion, it’s hard not to be thoroughly impressed with Rettig’s performance. Unfortunately, if they keep this up, his arm is going to fall off and they will be forced to use that “run game” they have…
2.) Andre Ellington – Sr., Clemson
Andre Ellington was an absolute machine for Clemson during their 26-19 victory over SEC opponent Auburn, rushing for 228 yards on the ground. Quarterback Taj Boyd may have thrown their touchdowns, but Ellington was the guy who really made the offense versatile. At 9.1 yards per carry, Ellington was almost picking up a first down every time he touched the ball. Yes, I know he picked up 68 of those yards on one carry, but his numbers don’t get any less staggering. Auburn isn’t known for their defense, but if Ellington can keep this up, he is going to position himself for discussion as a Heisman candidate.
Defensive Player of the Year:
1.) Jack Tyler – LB – Jr., Virginia Tech
Jack Tyler went up against a pretty tough offensive team in Georgia Tech, and proceeded to play a crucial role in shutting them down consistently. Tyler registered 17 total tackles against Georgia Tech, with 7 of those being solo shots. He was all over the field, and looks ready to be a leader this year in his first go-round as an every day starter for the Hokies. For future reference, if he keeps this pace up, Tyler will have registered 221 tackles over the entire season (that’s assuming Tech goes to a bowl game).
2.) Demetrius Hartsfield – LB – Sr., Maryland
I’m featuring one of our own guys because Hartsfield looked that good against William & Mary, where he picked up 13 total tackles and a fumble recovery. Hartsfield has such great athleticism and speed for a linebacker, that even though he went up against an FCS opponent, his style of play translates at almost any level. Watching him go out there and become involved in so many plays is encouraging for a defense that is going to really need to be tough this year. If Hartsfield can be the anchor on this squad, then the sky is the limit for them.
Coach of the Year:
1.) David Cutcliffe – Duke
I’m putting Cutcliffe here because his team may have actually turned a corner when they routed Florida International University last week, 46-26. As much as it pains me to say it, the Blue Devils may actually be solid this season with Sean Renfree leading the offense heading into his senior season. A tough test awaits them in a Luck-less #25 Stanford squad that barely put away San Jose State last week. A win there would not only put Duke on other team’s radars (seriously, when is the last time Duke beat a ranked opponent?), but it would help the ACC re-legitimize itself as a solid conference.
2.) Mike London – Virginia
London has a team that lost a whole lot of players last year from a defense that overachieved, yet he is still chugging along. They were expected to struggle this year after losing to Auburn in a bowl game to Auburn, but after week one they look as strong as ever. Michael Rocco and the offense is clicking, and the defense only allowed 19 points against a surprisingly good Richmond Spiders team. If he can coach this team to two consecutive bowl games, then he deserves to win this award.