ACC Roundup: Title Game Between Florida State and Georgia Tech, Clemson Tajh Boyd Grabs Awards

For the ACC, Saturday’s game day includes one this week with the conference title matchup between Florida State (10-2, 7-1) and Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3). Both teams will look to regroup from in-state losses last week and play for a trip to the Orange Bowl.

In other ACC news, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd grabbed a number of conference awards this week and will now look ahead to the team’s bowl game and his future–will he or won’t he enter the NFL draft?

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

Florida State QB EJ Manuel

Thanks to Miami’s self-imposed bowl ban, Georgia Tech slid into the conference title game. They’ll face a team with a better record and probably more talent but both will enter the game without key players.

For the Seminoles, they’ll play without one of its top defensive stars, defensive end Cornellius “Tank” Carradine. He tore his right anterior cruciate ligament against Florida last week and will see his college career come to an end.

Carradine was the team’s leader for tackles (80) and No. 2 for sacks (11). According to ESPN, he has been projected as a possible first-round draft pick for 2013.

His replacements for Saturday could include the freshmen duo of Mario Edwards and Giorgio Newberry.

The Yellow Jackets will be without leading running back Orwin Smith. The player did not practice on Thursday due to a right ankle injury; he has been listed as doubtful for the game.

This season, Smith ran for 673 yards and five touchdowns. He averaged 9 yards per carry and grabbed 267 additional yards from 14 kickoff returns.

Who will replace Smith? Last week it was B.J. Bostic as the starter followed by Synjyn Days in the second half. There’s also Tony Zenon and Deon Hill likely to see playing time.

Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel had a rough game against Florida with his three picks but on Saturday, he’ll look for 33 passing yards to hit the 3,000-yard mark–a first for the player who will head to the NFL next year.

He could have a good game against Georgia Tech’s weak defense. It’s been a problem all season, enough for the team to already get rid of its defensive coordinator.

For Georgia Tech, Tevin Washington is the team’s quarterback and to-date, he has 1,097 yards, seven touchdowns and three interceptions.

He’ll go up against the Seminoles FBS-leading three-and-out drivers (61). But they will face a Yellow Jacket offense that has 19 three-and-out drives this season– the lowest in the conference and tied for the No. 9 fewest in the FBS.

For the Seminoles, it looks like they”ll stay in-state for bowling season as they’re a -14 favorite with a 61 over/under for Saturday.

ACC Player of the Year – Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

It was a good season for Clemson (10-2, 7-1) and perhaps an even better one for its quarterback Boyd.

This week he won the ACC Player of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year awards. Because things happen in threes, he was also named an AFCA All-American.

For the regular season, Boyd had 3,550 yards, 34 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

ESPN posed the question to Boyd on whether he had a shot as the ACC Player of the Year and he responded, “I thought I would have a pretty good chance, and I’m just excited to hear about it, just excited to get the chance to represent Clemson in a great way. As a program, we’re excited to hear that we had six guys on the first team. It’s capped off the season pretty nicely. It’s just exciting news.

Clemson is likely headed to the Dec. 31 Chick-Fil-A Bowl and could face either LSU or Georgia.

But before then, questions will continue to swirl whether Boyd will leave school early and head to the NFL. He is planning to submit the paperwork but he hasn’t made a decision.



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