ACC Power Rankings: Running Backs, Week 9 Edition

Travis CookeCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2010

ACC Power Rankings: Running Backs, Week 9 Edition

0 of 10

    Clemson's Andre Ellington is one of the most elusive runners in the ACC.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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

1 of 10

    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.

    Season Stats:

    419 YDS

    4.9 YPA

    4 TD

    Previous Game (vs. ECU):

    75 YDS

    4.7 YPA

    0 TD

9. Jermaine Thomas, FSU

2 of 10

    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    430 YDS

    6.1 YPA

    6 TD

    Previous Game (vs. BC):

    44 YDS

    8.8 YPA

    0 TD

8. Darren Evans, VT

3 of 10

    Geoff Burke/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    447 YDS

    5.8 YPA

    9 TD

    Previous Game (vs. Duke)

    36 YDS

    4.5 YPA

    1 TD

7. Josh Harris, WFU

4 of 10

    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.

    Season Stats:

    430 YDS

    6.9 YPA

    4 TD

    Previous Game (vs. VT):

    241 YDS

    12.1 YPA

    2 TD

6. Keith Payne, UVA

5 of 10

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    471 YDS

    4.9 YPA

    10 TD

    Previous Game (vs. E. Michigan)

    69 YDS

    5.3 YPA

    2 TD

5. Johnny White, UNC

6 of 10

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    549 YDS

    5.8 YPA

    5 TD

    Previous Game (vs. MIA):

    85 YDS

    10.6 YPC

    1 TD

4. Damien Berry, MIA

7 of 10

    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    648 YDS

    4.9 YPA

    4 TD

    Previous Game (vs. UNC):

    109 YDS

    5.7 YPA

    1 TD

3. Anthony Allen, GT

8 of 10

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    692 YDS

    6.0 YPA

    5 TD

    Previous Game (vs. Clem.)

    92 YDS

    5.4 YPA

    0 TD

    1 TD Reception

2. Montel Harris, BC

9 of 10

    Elsa/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    694 YDS

    4.7 YPA

    3 TD

    Previous Game:

    116 YDS

    4.3 YPA

    2 TD

1. Andre Ellington, CU

10 of 10

    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    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.

    Season Stats:

    642 YDS

    6.3 YPA

    10 TD

    Previous Game (vs. GT):

    166 YDS

    8.3 YPA

    2 TD

    1 TD Reception