Swinney: UVA's Perkins a 'wow' guy

GREENSBORO, N.C. (CBS19 SPORTS) -- The ACC announced its major individual football awards winners for 2019 on Wednesday morning, with Virginia quarterback Bryce Perkins finishing second in the voting for two of them.

Perkins finished behind Clemson running back Travis Etienne in the voting for both the league's player of the year and offensive player of the year. Etienne received 22 votes for player of the year and 28 votes for top offensive player; Perkins received 11 votes and 12 votes for each award.

Perkins finished the regular season leading the conference in both yards of total offense (3.636) and rushing yards (687) among quarterbacks. His 2,949 passing yards and 64.2 completion percentage both rank second in the league.

On Tuesday, Perkins was named second-team All-ACC at quarterback behind Clemson sophomore Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence finished fifth in player of the year voting and fourth in voting for offensive player of the year on Wednesday.

Those two quarterbacks will go head-to-head in Saturday night's ACC title game in Charlotte. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney gushed with praise when talking about the Cavaliers' quarterback this week.

"I mean, he's a 'wow' guy," Swinney said. "He's a guy that you just, the crazier things get, the better he gets. When things break down and it looks like a terrible play is about to happen, that's when he's at his best. He is just a very, very good football player. Very explosive. He's big, 6-3 guy. And he can run as good as any running back you're going to see."

Etienne repeated as ACC player of the year after rushing for 1,386 yards and 18 touchdowns during the regular season. The junior is the conference's all-time leader in both rushing touchdowns (53) and total touchdown (57).

But the Wahoos say Etienne is just one cog in Clemson's well-oiled offensive machine. The Tigers head into Saturday's game ranked third in the country in offensive yards per game (541.8 per game) and fourth nationally in scoring (45.3 points per game).

"They do a lot of similar stuff that we've seen all year. It's just they have incredible athletes at every position, and they do it at a really high level," said UVA junior linebacker Zane Zandier. "So it's just locking in and making sure we know what we're doing on our side. And comparing to their athletes, we've just got to play really hard."

"They don't need a lot of window dressing or uniqueness in terms of formations or novelty, because every player that touches the ball is skilled," said UVA head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "That's one of the keys to their success and balance, in running and throwing as well as ball distribution, is every person that's touching it on their team, they've recruited well, assessed well, coached well, and that makes them formidable."



 
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