By Scott Levy
Week 4 saw no shortage of clutch and big-time performances throughout the ACC. For the first time this season, it was completely acceptable to leave Louisville’s Lamar Jackson and Clemson’s Deshaun Watson off this list. It’s not that the two had off games, which they absolutely did not. The five players listed had special weeks and delivered for their teams in huge ways. Of course the Duke and North Carolina quarterbacks led their teams to huge wins, because when aren’t these schools listed together?
Dalvin Cook – RB, Florida State
The junior running back finally exploded for 267 rushing yards and two touchdowns against South Florida. Cook’s 267-yard rushing performance is the highest of his Florida State career and is a higher total than his first three games combined. The Seminoles desperately needed a confidence booster after their embarrassing loss to Louisville, and Dalvin Cook and the offensive line were able to provide one.
Mitch Trubisky – QB, North Carolina
Trubisky broke his career single-game passing record two weeks in a row, throwing for 453 yards on 35 of 46 passing with five touchdowns and no interceptions against Pittsburgh. Trubisky continues his impressive streak of not throwing an interception since his redshirt freshman season. Trubisky and the Tar Heels can make a national statement if they travel to Tallahassee and beat the Seminoles.
Daniel Jones – QB, Duke
With both teams’ seasons on the ropes, Daniel Jones and the Duke Blue Devils landed the final knockout punch against Notre Dame. Down 35-28 in the fourth quarter, Jones hit Anthony Nash with a 64-yard catch and run to tie the game with less than seven minutes remaining. Jones then got the ball back with just over four minutes left and led a 10-play, 44-yard drive to set up the game-winning field goal. The freshman quarterback finished the day with 290 yards and three touchdowns on 75% passing as the Blue Devils pulled off the huge upset.
Jarod Evans – QB, Virginia Tech
The junior quarterback put together his second straight strong performance, throwing for 282 yards and three touchdowns on 65% passing along with 97 rushing yards and a touchdown. With the tremendous play from Lamar Jackson, Deshaun Watson, and Mitch Trubisky this season, Evans has snuck under the radar. Evans owns the ACC’s best passer efficiency rating at 185.3, good for fourth best in the country. Evans and the Hokies will enjoy a bye week and come back to a road game against North Carolina.
Ryan Switzer – WR, North Carolina
No one has benefited more from Trubisky’s elevated play than Switzer. Pittsburgh could not stop the senior receiver as he recorded his best career game, posting highs with 16 receptions and 208 yards to go with a touchdown catch. Over his last two games, Switzer has 21 catches, 309 yards, and two touchdowns. Switzer will have to come up big once again in the Tar Heels matchup against Florida State.