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Wheeler, Brooks, Bell Earn Weekly Awards

Oct. 30, 2006

ATLANTA–Georgia Tech linebacker Philip Wheeler earned his second Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Lineman of the Week award of the season and punter Durant Brooks was honored as ACC Specialist of the Week after helping the Yellow Jackets to a 30-23 victory over Miami.

In addition, placekicker Travis Bell was recognized as a Lou Groza Award Star of the Week.

Brooks averaged 50.8 yards with a net of 45.2 yards on six punts, including three kicks that were downed inside the 20-yard line.

Two of Brooks’ punts were key plays in the game. In the third quarter with the score tied at 13-all, Tech had to punt from its own one-yard line, and Brooks boomed a 63-yard kick that Miami was only able to return two yards. Late in the game with Tech holding a seven-point lead and trying to run out the clock, Brooks punted from the Tech 32-yard line with less than a minute left. He booted a 53-yard kick that Miami’s Rashaun Jones tried to field at the 16-yard line but fumbled, and Tech recovered to end the game.

Also the holder on placements, Brooks grabbed a high snap and got it down for placekicker Travis Bell, who booted a 39-yard field in the fourth-quarter field goal that tied the score at 16-all.

Brooks leads the ACC in punting average (44.8) and punting net (41.20). His net is second in the nation.

Wheeler had six tackles and three of Tech’s six sacks for 22 yards in losses. His third sack came in the fourth quarter with the score tied and Miami facing second-and-one at the 44-yard line. Wheeler sacked Kyle Wright for an eight-yard loss, and then Tech held on third-and-nine to force a punt. The Jackets got the ball back and drove for the go-ahead touchdown.

Wheeler and the Jackets held Miami to just one offensive touchdown, which came late in the game with the Jackets leading 30-16. The Tech defense forced four turnovers and held the Hurricanes to just 71 yards rushing and 3-for-12 on third downs.

The junior from Columbus, Ga., leads the ACC in tackles for loss (12.5) and ranks second in sacks (8.0).

Bell, a junior from Roswell, Ga., had perhaps the best game of his career, booting three crucial field goals. He hit from 39, 38 and 39 yards. His last field goal came in the fourth quarter and tied the score at 16-all.

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