Each week, we’ll be identifying the best ACC (plus Louisville) 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.
Much has been made of Winston’s hot start and subsequent “cool down,” but much of that is caused by the dizzying highs his play was at during game one, rather than where things may have sunk to. Completing 63 percent of your passes is more than acceptable for a redshirt freshman quarterback, as is throwing for 330 yards and four touchdowns. Another 67 yards is a bonus, and an important one at that, since he was also the team’s leading rusher against Boston College on Saturday. My point is that all the talk about him “falling off” is nonsensical, and that was no more apparent than the win against BC. As the the rest of his backfield and the entire defense failed him early against the Eagles, he put the team on his back and led them back from 14 down early. He also completed a Hail Mary play at the close of the first half that swung the entire narrative of the game. Call it luck, or call it skill, it doesn’t really matter. All that’s important is Winston’s continued play-making ability and his sharp ascension to a leadership role on both the offense and the entire team.