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.