ACC Football 2012 Heisman Watch: Week Two

Following an Impressive Showing Against Auburn, Clemson QB Tajh Boyd Takes the Early Clubhouse Lead as a Heisman Contender

One game down, which means we can start talking about the Heisman trophy in a very general sense and actually have statistics backing it up. These won’t just be a list of the best players, however. We’re also looking at these players with the typical lens — winning team, team’s best player, signature moment (TBD) and statistical excellence. And if every player in the ACC completely drops out of the running, maybe we turn this into the Weinke Award. Just an idea…

1. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (266 total yards/1 TD/1 INT/68.6% completion) (LW: 3)

Boyd was far from perfect in the Tigers’ opener, but he knew what needed to get done in order to help his team get the win. If the running game wasn’t working so well, perhaps he’d have been tasked with passing the ball much more. But, by establishing an effective rushing attack, he was freed up more to take his time and make smart decisions. His numbers are due to go up this week, downgrading from the SEC defense, obviously.

2. Logan Thomas, QB/Virginia Tech (270 total yards/2 TD/0 INT/55.3% completion) (LW: 2)

He was inconsistent in his first game, but nonetheless, still accounted for a large chunk of his team’s offensive output. Contrary to popular belief, he’s not the next Cam Newton or some sort of unstoppable force. But that said, if his offensive line matures quickly, we’ll see his effectiveness ratchet up several notches very quickly. Additionally, the remaining schedule gives him plenty of time to feast on lesser defenses.

3. Giovani Bernard, RB/North Carolina (203 all-purpose yards/3 TD) (LW: NR)

Bernard’s day was cut short due to some knee soreness, so when putting that all into perspective, he managed all of that in just 13 touches. In a full game, there’s no telling the type of damage he’ll be able to inflict. All we know is that right now, he’s one of the nation’s most dangerous runners to bring down in the open field.

4. Andre Ellington, RB/Clemson (231 rushing yards/0 TD) (LW: NR)

Ellington was handed the keys to the Clemson offense on Saturday, and he took full advantage. In the past, it’s been difficult for him to establish any consistent carries within the team’s pass-first offense. But with an emphasis on the ground game, he really showed off what he could do as a feature back. While the Tigers may eventually revert back to their old attack, the conference has already been put on notice as to the senior’s now-astronomical potential.

5. Bjoern Werner, DE/Florida State (5 tackles/4 sacks) (LW: NR)

Werner was a terror over the weekend, recording five tackles for loss (four of them sacks) while also defending a pass as well. The aggressive rusher will likely see more attention on the line now that his defensive comrade, Brandon Jenkins, will miss the season. Nevertheless, we could see a record year as he guides a defensive front destined to be considered among the game’s greatest.

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