Four Blue Devils Take All-ACC Honors
Thad Lewis
Thad Lewis
Special to TDD
Posted Dec 1, 2008


DURHAM, N.C. -- Headlined by first team selection Michael Tauiliili, four Duke players received All-ACC honors as the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association announced the 2008 Associated Press football all-conference teams.

Joining Tauiliili from Duke were second team choices Thaddeus Lewis and Eron Riley and honorable mention pick Vince Oghobaase.

A senior linebacker from Houston, Texas, Tauiliili finished the regular season with a conference-best 140 tackles and added 13.0 tackles for loss, four interceptions, five pass breakups, five quarterback pressures, three caused fumbles and one fumble recovery. A two-time ACC Player of the Week pick and the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week choice after Duke's 31-3 win over Virginia, Tauiliili is the only linebacker in the conference to rank among the top 10 in four different statistical categories. Tauiliili is the first Duke linebacker to earn first team all-conference honors since John Zuanich did so in 1994.

Oghobaase, a junior defensive tackle from Houston, Texas, posted 51 tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and a team-high 6.0 quarterback sacks in 2008. All six of his sacks came in league play as he helped the Blue Devils hold three opponents to fewer than 10 points for the first time since 1976.

Oghobaase and Tauiliili were primary reasons that Duke made significant improvement in scoring defense (-9.8 points), total defense (-67.4 yards), rushing defense (-28.7 yards) and passing defense (-38.7 yards) while facing the 2nd most difficult schedule in the nation -- a ledger that included 10 bowl eligible teams and the top-ranked FCS squad in James Madison.

Lewis and Riley, who teamed up over the past three seasons to form the most prolific quarterback-wide receiver tandem in Duke football history, both received second team honors. The duo hooked up for 19 touchdowns through the air to surpass the previous record of 16 held by the pairs of Ben Bennett-to-Chris Castor and Steve Slayden-to-Doug Green.

A junior quarterback from Opa-Locka, Fla., Lewis completed 224-of-361 (.620) passes for 2,171 yards with 15 touchdowns and six interceptions this year. He ranks second in the ACC in total offense (206.1), passing yards per game (197.4) and touchdown passes while standing third in passing efficiency (122.95). Lewis set school records for most consecutive pass attempts without an interception (206) and most pass attempts in a single-game without an interception (52 vs. N.C. State) and was named ACC Player of the Week after 317-yard, three-touchdown day against Navy. On Duke's single-season records lists, Lewis' 2008 totals stand seventh for pass completions, ninth for pass attempts and tied for eighth in touchdown passes. Lewis becomes the first Blue Devil signal caller to garner all-conference accolades since 1988 when Anthony Dilweg was a first team pick.

Riley, a senior wide receiver from Savannah, Ga., received his second straight second team all-conference citation. In 2008, he hauled in 61 passes for 693 yards and eight touchdowns to rank second in the league in receptions per game (5.08) and touchdown grabs and fourth in receiving yards per outing (57.8). On Duke's all-time charts, Riley finished his career ranking seventh in receptions (144), second in receiving yards (2,413) and third in touchdown catches (22).

The 2008 Associated Press All-ACC football teams are voted on by 67 members of the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association.


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