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Mikel Jones Named ACC Linebacker of the Week

The Syracuse defender had a great game against Pittsburgh.

Syracuse football received some accolades for its performance in the regular season finale against Pittsburgh. Despite losing 31-14 to the Panthers, Orange linebacker Mikel Jones was named ACC Linebacker of the Week. Jones racked up a career high 16 tackles in the loss as he capped his stellar 2021 campaign on a high note. 

More from an ACC press release:

Led the Orange with a career-high 16 tackles in Saturday’s 31-14 loss to Pitt, including six solo stops • Registered 2.0 tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry • The 16 tackles were the most for an SU defender since Zaire Franklin had 16 versus Wake Forest in 2017 • Jones and the Syracuse defense held the Panthers to their lowest total offense output of the season (333 yards) and second-fewest passing yards (209) of the season • Pitt’s 31 points marked just the third time in 12 games the Panthers were held below 34.

Jones finished the 2021 season with 110 tackles, 13 tackles for loss, four sacks, three quarterback hurries and one fumble recovery. As the quarterback and leader of the Orange defense, he led Syracuse to a top 25 ranking in total defense (22nd), top 30 in rushing defense (29th) and top 30 in passing defense (28th). 

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The 6-1, 220 pound linebacker has been the starting middle linebacker for the last two seasons, helping lead the success of defensive coordinator Tony White's 3-3-5 system. White finished the 2020 season fifth nationally with four interceptions and number one nationally in interceptions by a linebacker.