Duke Football: Three Blue Devils earn ACC Players of the Week honors

Duke football standout Chris Rumph II. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Duke football standout Chris Rumph II. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

Not only do the stars appear to be aligning for the 5-1 Duke football team, but several players are on their way to achieving a status as bonafide stars.

On both sides of the ball, the Duke football team handled its business during a 28-14 win at Georgia Tech on Saturday; as a result, two Blue Devils from the defense and one from the offense ended up on the list of ACC Players of the Week announced on Monday.

Joe Giles-Harris took the honor as the conference’s top linebacker. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound redshirt junior from Nyack, N.Y., showed his innate ability to defend a triple-option offense by notching five solo tackles and assisting on 10 more.

And the now-three-time conference linebacker of the week led a unit that held the Yellow Jackets, who had the nation’s top rushing attack entering the game, to 229 yards — 144 yards less than their season average.

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The defense’s effort also included holding Georgia Tech to less than four yards per rushing attempt — entering the game, the team’s per-carry average was 6.6 yards. That had plenty to do with the eye-opening play of redshirt freshman Chris Rumph II, who was making his first start and earned the honor as the conference’s top rookie of the week.

The 6-foot-3, 225-pound defensive end from Gainesville, Fla., had seven total tackles, including four for a loss and one sack. He also had a fumble recovery late in the third quarter that led to a touchdown reception by the third Duke player who received conference honors this week.

Senior wide receiver T.J. Rahming was named the ACC’s best receiver of the week despite having two boneheaded blunders on punt returns. He ended with four catches for 91 yards, including most fans’ pick for the play of the game: a 48-yard touchdown catch that gave the Blue Devils a 21-14 lead less than a minute after Rumph’s fumble recovery.

All four of the catches by the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Powder Springs, Ga., native resulted in either a first down or a touchdown. And as a result of his second catch, Rahming became just the fourth Duke football player in history to snag 200 catches for his career.

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Up next, the Blue Devils host the 4-2 Virginia Cavaliers on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. EST.