Top 10 Individual Performances of the 2012 ACC Football Season

Tajh Boyd Turned In a Slew of Top Performances in 2012, But Did He Have the ACC's Best One?

Tajh Boyd Turned In a Slew of Great Performances, But Did He Have the ACC’s Best One of 2012?

During a season in which the ACC took plenty of lumps on and off the field, there were still plenty of individual performances worth bragging about; so we’ll make sure to do so in this space. Below are our picks for the top 10 individual performances of the 2012 season, highlighting the best players the ACC had to offer.

Agree or disagree with any of these choices? Feel free to add your own commentary below.

Top 10 Individual Performances of 2012

10. Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida State (4 sacks vs. Murray State): One of FSU’s standout seniors on defense set the tone for a big year with his opening effort against Murray State. Of Werner’s five tackles in limited action (the team was pulling starters early in the blowout), four of them were sacks. He also defended a pass during a very productive day that was impressive, regardless of opponent.

9. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (428 yards, 5 TDs vs. Wake Forest): In a Thursday night game many billed as an “upset special,” Boyd had quieted all the critics by halftime. The junior completed 71 percent of his passes, and threw all five touchdowns in the first half (and four of them were in the second quarter).

8. Giovani Bernard, RB/North Carolina (262 yards, 1 TD vs. Virginia Tech): Like many of the stars we’re highlighting in this feature, this is just one of many phenomenal games from Bernard. In his first full game of the season (he was cut short or out during the first five), he put in the fifth-highest rushing total in UNC history and played a central part in one of the Heels’ key victories of the season.

7. EJ Manuel, QB/Florida State (439 yards 4 TDs vs. Boston College): Coming back from the Seminoles’ first loss of the season, Manuel played like a man on fire against the Eagles in a 51-7 victory. The senior completed nearly 80 percent of his 34 throws, and appeared to have his team and his offense right back on track. Regardless of whether or not that was the case, it was a dazzling air display that really showed just how much Manuel could do when given an opportunity.

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ACC Football 2012 Power Rankings: Week Two

If Clemson’s Andre Ellington Continues Running the Way He Did on Saturday, the Tigers Could Win the ACC Once Again

After months of arbitrary offseason shuffling, we finally have some actual games to base these rankings off of. All 14 ACC squads were in action last week, and while many performed admirably, several manged to disappoint as well. Check out the list below, and weigh in down in the comments if you disagree.

1. Florida State Seminoles (LW: 1): The Seminoles did a commendable job pummeling Murray State on Saturday. And that defense — just as impressive as they’ve ever been. Unfortunately, however, the big win came with a steep price. Star defensive end Brandon Jenkins injured his foot, and is now out for the remainder of the season. We won’t know how much the loss affects FSU this week, but once the real slate starts, it’ll be all too apparent.

2. Clemson Tigers (LW: 2): Everything about Saturday’s win over Auburn was exceptional. Andre Ellington‘s ground game. Tajh Boyd‘s ability to make plays work through the air and on the ground. The offensive line’s maturity right in front of our eyes. And of course, the defense quickly showing they’d learned a thing or two from new coordinator Brent Venables.

3. North Carolina Tar Heels (LW: 6): Everyone worried about how Giovani Bernard would fit into Larry Fedora’s offense. After the 62-0 drubbing they handed Elon, I think he’ll fit in just fine. Three TDs on just 12 touches will do that sort of thing. Obviously there’s more difficult opponents out there, but the big win appears to be an appetizer for what’s in store for this offense.

4. Virginia Tech Hokies (LW: 3): Another slow start for the Hokies, though this year, they manage to win the opener. If Virginia Tech gave the game ball to anyone on Monday night, it should’ve been handed right over to their opponent’s QB. Aside from their late drive for the game-tying field goal, the offense appeared listless and the O-line issues are real.

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ACC Football 2012 Previews & Predictions: Week 1 (Part Two)

Can Chase Rettig Repeat Last Year’s Performance and Bring BC Their Second Win Over Miami In As Many Games?

This is Part Two of this week’s Previews & Predictions feature. Also check out Part One.

Miami Hurricanes at Boston College Eagles: One of two league games on the schedule this week is actually a repeat of each of these team’s final games of 2011. Both were in better shape then, and come into 2012 trying to answer some major questions. Miami replaces nearly their entire starting lineup (on both sides) from last year, while BC tries to get past a rash of preseason injuries. I’m giving the edge to the Eagles, however, due to their experience and (surprisingly) QB Chase Rettig, who may be reborn with a new O-coordinator this season. Prepare for a rough season, Miami. Prediction: Boston College 20, Miami 16

Murray State Racers at Florida State Seminoles: I honestly feel bad for the Racers here, because they were actually a pretty good team last year. They scored 37 points per game, and threw for 308 yards per game, and had an all-around fun time. Unfortunately, that’s all going to end against Florida State this Saturday. The ‘Noles appear to be on a mission, and with the opining masses starting to include them in the National Championship conversation, it’s getting harder to see how anyone could get in this team’s way. Expect the starters out by halftime. Prediction: Florida St. 51, Murray St. 10

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ACC 2012 Scheduling Outlook: Florida State Seminoles

Florida State and Head Coach Jimbo Fisher's Scheduling Concerns Grow By the Day

With all of the insanity going on over in the Big East, we wanted to give a breakdown of each of the ACC‘s schedules — how the teams stack up, and some thoughts on overall difficulty. If these change at all, we’ll also be sure to update them on a rolling basis. All information is up-to-date as of publishing, based on the latest from

Today’s breakdown: Florida State Seminoles

As you may have heard, Florida State’s still in a little bit of a bind to fill their fourth and final non-conference scheduling spot. After West Virginia canceled on them (and the entire Big East), there’s been a frantic search to fill those empty dates. For FSU specifically, it’s even bigger than that. As they enter the season likely ranked in the top 10, the ‘Noles were looking to make 2012 a real banner year. That included another big non-conference home date (similar to their date with Oklahoma last year) en route to contending for a national title. Instead, looking at a $2.5 million hole, and few programs at all to choose from, Florida State’s searching frantically to fill that final spot. Lead candidates are future conference-mates Syracuse and Pittsburgh, but those programs also have elite teams on their schedule already.

In terms of the remainder of their non-conference slate, the Seminoles have already scheduled pretty well — meeting Murray State and the arch rival Florida Gators in Tallahassee, while also heading down to Tampa to take on USF. As a refresher, Florida State lost their previous meeting to USF, but on the flip side, exacted some overdue revenge on the Gators to wrap up the 2011 regular season. Continue reading