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.
While his overall performance — 304 all-purpose yards, three TDs — was the most impressive part of Saturday’s game, you could just as easily praise Bernard for any number of isolated plays or statistics. Tallying his third straight game with at least two scores. His 135 yards on the ground, or his 95 yards receiving. And of course, his 74-yard punt return touchdown with just 13 seconds left on the clock. If Bernard were actually part of the Heisman conversation (sadly, he’s not), he’d have his moment already locked up. So while there was offseason concern over where the sophomore running back would fit into Larry Fedora’s offense, I’m pretty sure any outstanding issues have passed at this point. Bernard is the ACC’s most dynamic running back, and its best playmaker outside of Clemson’s Sammy Watkins. If you didn’t believe it before, feel free to consult the tape.
Sammy Watkins, WR/Clemson (8 catches, 202 yards, 1 TD)