Each week, we’ll be identifying the best ACC player from that weekend’s games. As always, it’s a completely arbitrary award with no specific criteria beyond the vague concept of “excellence.” No, we don’t take write-ins.
Of all the games to put in a career-defining performance, it sure seems like FSU quarterback EJ Manuel picked the right one. Against Clemson in primetime, Manuel and Florida State showed they were worth the hype by putting on an offensive clinic in the second half of their 49-37 victory. The senior, who’s always been billed on his potential, may have finally reached it — on the biggest stage. His 380 yards passing were a career high, and along with two touchdowns and 102 rushing yards, it all combined for one of the best individual games for any one player in the country this season. Obviously, his work is far from done. After all, his team is just one-third of the way toward their goal of playing for an ACC title. But based on the show Manuel and his offense displayed to the nation the other night, it appears they’re finally ready to regain their spot in the limelight.
Stefon Diggs, WR/Maryland (113 receiving yards, 2 TD)