Not all achievements and accolades in college football are actually earned on the field. The Wuerffel Trophy is presented annually by the All Sports Association of Fort Walton Beach to the top college football players having an impact in the community. On Tuesday, the list of semifinalists for the award was announced.
- Spencer Drango, Baylor University, senior, offensive line
- Ross Martin, Duke University, senior, kicker
- Nate Sudfeld, Indiana University, senior, quarterback
- Landon Foster, University of Kentucky, senior, punter
- Garrett Adcock, University of New Mexico, junior, offensive line
- Corey Robinson, University of Notre Dame, junior, wide receiver
- Ty Darlington, University of Oklahoma, senior, offensive line
- Alex Zmolik, University of Toledo, senior, tight end
The award was first presented in 2005, with LSU center Rudy Niswanger receiving the new trophy. Other past winners include Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, Texas defensive end Sam Acho, Alabama offensive tackle Barrett Jones and USC quarterback Matt Barkley. Last year’s recipient was Ole Miss linebacker Deterrian Shackelford.
Three finalists for this year’s award will be named on November 24 and a winner will be announced on December 8 at the National Football Foundation’s press conference in New York City. The winner will then be interviewed during ESPN’s college football awards show two days later on December 10 in Atlanta.
The SEC West may be the best division in college football, but the most confusing may be the ACC Coastal. Duke (5-1, 1-1 ACC) avoided falling behind the pack with a dominating victory in Atlanta against No. 22 Georgia Tech, winning by a final score of 31-25.
Duke held a 14-12 advantage at halftime, but the Blue Devils pulled away in the second half and had to hold on at the end. Josh Snead had a short touchdown run in the first five minutes of the second half and that was followed a few minutes later by a field goal by Ross Martin from 34 yards out. Anthony Boone completed 15 passes to six different players in the game. Anthony Boone completed 15 passes to six different players in the game. Duke’s defense also forced three turnovers, giving Duke a +3 turnover margin for the game. The Yellow Jackets somehow put up a late 89-yard touchdown drive ending with a touchdown run by Tim Byerly, his second in four minutes, but Georgia Tech was unable to recover the onside kick attempt.
With the result of the game, Virginia actually slides into first place in the ACC Coastal Division. Virginia is off this week but travels to Duke next weekend with first place on the line. Duke still has Virgina Tech and North Carolina to play later in the season as well. As far as the Coastal is concerned, we will step aside and let the rest of this month play out before focusing on potential tie breakers and schedules, but given everything that has been put on display to this point it just feels like this division is still waiting for one team to grab it by the horns and run away with it to face Florida State in the ACC Championship Game.
Georgia Tech will play on the road for its next two games. First up is a trip to Duke’s neighbor and rival, North Carolina. That will be followed by a trip to Pittsburgh before returning home to host Virginia on November 1.
Duke’s (10-2, 6-2 ACC) defensive MVP DeVon Edwards intercepted a pass by North Carolina (6-6, 4-4 ACC) quarterback Marquise Williams to lock up the ACC Coastal Division and a trip to the ACC Championship Game. The interception by Edwards sealed a hard-fought 27-25 victory by the Blue Devils, setting a school record with 10 wins in a single season in the process.
The two Tobacco Road rivals went back and forth all game long, and the fourth quarter was no exception. Leading 24-22, Duke saw their lead slip away midway through the fourth quarter when Thomas Moore kicked a 37-yard field goal to give the home Tar Heels a narrow 25-24 lead. Duke answered with Ross Martin capping a 11-play drive with a 27-yard field goal for the 27-25 lead with 2:22 to play. North Carolina made it interesting by moving the ball just across midfield but Edwards came up with the big defensive play at the Duke 29-yard line with 13 seconds to play. Both of North Carolina’s turnovers came in the second half of the game, with the first coming in the first 30 seconds of the half.
Duke will play in next weekend’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, where they will face Florida State, who could be one step away from playing for a BCS Championship. Florida State won last year’s ACC Championship Game against Georgia Tech.
North Carolina’s season is not over yet though. The Tar Heels ended the regular season with a 6-6 record which makes them eligible for a postseason bowl game.