Long, Simpson Named ACC Players of the Week
Defensive end Chris Long and tailback Mikell Simpson have been named ACC Players of the Week for their play in Virginia’s dramatic come-from-behind 18-17 win at Maryland Saturday night. The win is the Cavaliers’ seventh in a row, tying a school record.
Long was named the conference’s Defensive Lineman of the Week for making 10 tackles to spearhead a tremendous defensive effort. He was in on five tackles for loss (two solo, three assists), including two sacks. His sack of quarterback Chris Turner in the end zone for a safety late in the third quarter was key to the team’s one-point victory. Long also knocked down to passes as the defense held Maryland to season lows for total yards (235) and passing yards (105).
A semifinalist for the Lombardi Award, Long is third in the country in sacks (1.25/g), second among defensive linemen in pass break-ups (seven) and passes defended (pass break-ups and interceptions) with eight, and fifth in tackling by a lineman with an average of 6.3 tpg.
Simpson earned conference Offensive Back of the Week honors following one of the greatest individual performances in the history of the program. He finished with 119 yards and two touchdowns rushing and caught 13 passes for 152 yards to lead the team in both areas.
On UVa’s final 15-play, 90-yard game-winning drive, Simpson handled the ball on the final 14 plays and capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown leap with 16 seconds remaining to lift his team to the victory.
He became the first Cavalier with 100 yards rushing and receiving in the same game since Thomas Jones vs. Buffalo in 1999 and only the fifth player in ACC history to accomplish the feat. Simpson’s 271 all-purpose yards rank sixth in school history.
The Cavaliers remain on the road this Saturday as they travel to Raleigh, N.C., to face NC State. The game is scheduled to kickoff at 4:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPNU.
Virginia’s home game in two weeks (Nov. 3) against Wake Forest has been announced as a noon kickoff. The contest will be televised on the Lincoln Financial Sports/Raycom ACC network.