Marylands Joe Vellano was honored Monday by the Atlantic Coast Conference for his play in Saturdays 21-16 loss at No. 13 Georgia Tech.
Vellano was all over the field against the triple-option attack of the Yellow Jackets, who were held well below their season averages in points (21 - GT averaged 51.6 ppg), rushing (272 - GT averaged 378.2 pg) and total offense (386 - GT averaged 587 pg).
The junior racked up a career-high 20 tackles, including 14 solo stops and a tackle for loss. Vellano, whose previous high of 10 stops came in the 2010 season opener, became just the fifth defensive player in the nation to post 20 or more tackles this season, though he is the only lineman in the FBS to register more than 15 stops in a game.
The native of Rexford, N.Y., is one of just six Maryland players to reach the 20-tackle plateau since 1990, including the only defensive lineman. The last time a Maryland player made 20 tackles was Oct. 6, 2007, when Dave Philistin had 21 against Georgia Tech.
I think we had probably one of the most outstanding performances that I know I have ever seen out of a defensive lineman, head coach Randy Edsall said Sunday after watching the game film.
Vellano, a 2010 second-team all-league choice, was the ACC Co-Defensive Lineman of Week after the season opener vs. Miami. He recovered two fumbles, the first of which led to a field goal and the second was scooped up and run 30 yards for a touchdown.