Two Duke players received ACC Player of the Week honors following the team's 38-31 victory against Troy Saturday at Wallace Wade Stadium.
Junior receiver Jamison Crowder was named the conference's Receiver of the Week after reeling in seven catches for 149 yards, including a 60-yard touchdown catch from quarterback Brandon Connette. Redshirt sophomore safety Jeremy Cash earned ACC Defensive Back of the Week honors by registering 14 tackles—including 2.5 tackles for a loss—and the first interception of his collegiate career.
The award marks Crowder's third ACC Player of the Week honor in his last five games. He was previously named ACC Specialist of the Week twice this season following victories against N.C. Central and Pittsburgh.
"Whenever I get the ball I’m looking for big things," Crowder said. "Whether it’s to score or set us up in good position where we can be better effective as an offense."
Since starting quarterback Anthony Boone went out with a broken collarbone against Memphis, Crowder has adjusted to playing with Connette under center, averaging 109 receiving yards per game in each of his three starts.
Crowder has proved to be one of the most dangerous offensive threats in the NCAA this season. The Monroe, N.C. native currently leads the nation in total punt return yards and ranks sixth in both receiving yards and average yards per punt return.
"The kicking game is something we take pride in," Crowder said. "Most definitely this year, because we’ve returned two [punts for touchdowns]"
The junior receiver registered his school-record seventh touchdown reception of 50 yards or more when he sped behind the Trojan defense, hauled in a throw from Connette and outran the Troy defense for a 60-yard touchdown to put the Blue Devils ahead 21-7.
"Jamison is always a deep threat just because of the special talent that he is…. We’ve got so many threats deep, that defenses don’t know who it’s going to," Connette said.
On the other side of the ball, Cash leads a Duke defense that, struggling at times this season, came up big for the Blue Devils in the second half Saturday.
The Plantation, Fla., native earned his first ACC weekly honor and currently leads the league in tackles and tackles per game, with 51 and 10.2, respectively.
"It's been a while since [Cash has] played. He's a young guy," Cutcliffe said. "He is a tough guy. I told him, I said, 'Where you're playing right now, that's like playing shortstop. Everything's going through there.' He's going to be a tired, sore youngster tomorrow, but he's a pretty tough guy."
For a defense that let up an average of 49.2 points through its final five games last season, Cash’s arrival via transfer from Ohio State was welcomed, as he took his place in the backfield place alongside fellow standout Ross Cockrell.
On the final play of Saturday’s game, Cash managed to pull down Corey Robinson’s desperateion heave to seal the game for Duke. The pick capped an impressive second half defensive performance by the Blue Devils, who held the Trojans to 10 points.