Oct 4, 2014; Chapel Hill, NC, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels quarterback Marquise Williams (12) is pulled back by Virginia Tech Hokies defensive tackle Corey Marshall (96) after a quarterback sneak during the first half at Kenan Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports
Yesterday, the ACC announced the media’s All-ACC teams with the Hokies getting Kendall Fuller on the first team while Dadi Nicolas was mistakenly snubbed from the first team and was on the second team instead. However, the Hokies also had three representatives on the All-ACC Third Team.
Corey Marshall, Ken Ekanem, and Bucky Hodges all were voted onto the media’s All-ACC Third Team with the Hokies having 3 defensive linemen on the three All-ACC teams and Hodges being the only offensive representative for the Hokies on one of the three All-ACC teams.
Marshall was 2 points away from making the All-ACC Second Team but it is fairly clear that he was the third best defensive tackle in the ACC. Marshall was a disruptive force on the defensive line that could have had more sacks this season but rushed a lot of opposing quarterback’s passes while creating spaces for blitzers to get to the quarterback fairly easily.
Marshall was also an excellent run stuffer this season with 9.5 tackles for loss this season to go with 39 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Marshall did have a few bad plays as a run defender but Marshall made a lot of great plays shutting down opposing running backs throughout the season.
Based on the stats, Marshall was better than the two defensive tackles on the All-ACC Second Team, Georgia Tech’s Adam Gotsis and Wake Forest’s Tylor Harris. Through 11 games, Gotsis had 24 tackles and 4.5 tackles for loss while Harris had 25 tackles and 3.5 tackles for loss.
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The numbers show that Marshall most likely should have been on the All-ACC Second Team and the impact he had that went beyond the stats also backs that up.
Ken Ekanem also was on the All-ACC Third Team in what was a well-deserved honor for the redshirt sophomore defensive end. Ekanem had 43 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, and 8.5 sacks in what was a very impressive first season as a starter. Ekanem’s future is bright and will form the best duo of defensive ends in the ACC next season with Dadi Nicolas.
Bucky Hodges also made the All-ACC Third Team after having 42 catches for 517 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns. There is a decent argument that Wake Forest’s Cam Serigne should be in this spot and Hodges should be an Honorable Mention. Serigne had 12 more catches and 14 more yards than Hodges but the Hokies’ redshirt freshman tight end had 2 more touchdowns.
These two are both freshmen and will both battle to be the Preseason All-ACC tight end next season though the massive potential of Hodges should give him the edge.
Congrats to Corey Marshall, Ken Ekanem, and Bucky Hodges for making the media’s All-ACC Third Team.