ACC Power Rankings: Running Backs, Week 9 Edition
In a conference with several very good, but no great running backs, competition at the top of the RB Power Rankings is pretty close.
Factored into these rankings are season stats, previous game stats, upcoming opponent, and a bit of my very own hunch.
While leaving out a couple of quarterbacks who are outstanding runners, here are the Top 10 ACC running backs heading into Halloween weekend.
10. Mustafa Greene, NC State
The Wolfpack freshman has been a pleasant surprise for Tom O'Brien and his staff, as they entered the season with question marks at the tail back position.
Greene will face a middling Florida State rush defense on Thursday night and hopes to prove himself in the national spotlight once and for all.
Previous Game (vs. ECU):
9. Jermaine Thomas, FSU
Jermaine Thomas is part of a two-headed rushing attack for the Seminoles, along with Chris Thompson.
Thomas was relatively quiet in his last game against ACC rush defense leaders Boston College but will look to rebound Thursday night against the worst rush D in the league in NC State.
Previous Game (vs. BC):
8. Darren Evans, VT
Evans has not had the stellar season he was hoping for while rehabbing an injury from last season. Regardless, he's still one of the most experienced and reliable backs in the conference.
The Hokies are off this weekend before returning to action against Georgia Tech next weekend.
Previous Game (vs. Duke)
7. Josh Harris, WFU
Harris had an enormous game in his last outing against Virginia Tech before last weekend's bye.
This weekend, the Demon Deacons face Maryland and a rush defense that ranks 10th in the conference, so look for Harris's stock to continue rising.
Previous Game (vs. VT):
6. Keith Payne, UVA
Keith Payne is an absolute bruiser out of the backfield, and his presence in the red zone has been heard to the tune of 10 touchdowns.
Virginia faces Miami this weekend, who has a mediocre rush defense that is susceptible to the big play.
Previous Game (vs. E. Michigan)
5. Johnny White, UNC
The running-back-turned-defensive-back-turned-running-back has stepped in admirably for the Tar Heels amidst their ongoing investigations. Last weekend against Miami, White took a hand-off 76 yards for a touchdown for UNC's only touchdown.
Look for the Tar Heels to catch their footing against William & Mary this weekend with Johnny White leading the way from the backfield.
Previous Game (vs. MIA):
4. Damien Berry, MIA
Berry fared well against a depleted UNC rush defense last weekend, which was effective in keeping the Hurricanes' defense off of the field.
Miami faces a tougher challenge on the ground this weekend, facing up against Virginia's 3rd ranked rush defense.
Previous Game (vs. UNC):
3. Anthony Allen, GT
Allen put up respectable numbers against Clemson last weekend, though he only found pay dirt through the air.
The Yellow Jackets are on their bye week this week before facing the ever-staunch Virginia Tech defense in Blacksburg next weekend.
Previous Game (vs. Clem.)
1 TD Reception
2. Montel Harris, BC
Harris has the most yards rushing in the conference and took advantage of a favorable match-up against Maryland last weekend.
This weekend, Harris will go head-to-head with Clemson's Andre Ellington, where he will have the chance to possibly supplant himself atop these rankings next week.
1. Andre Ellington, CU
Ellington remains one of the most explosive players in the ACC, both in the rush offense and on special teams.
A big game against Georgia Tech last weekend earns him No. 1 on this list, while a strong performance against ACC rush defense leaders Boston College will further himself even more from the rest of his competition.
Previous Game (vs. GT):
1 TD Reception