ACC Football 2013 Heisman Watch: Week 8

Clemson's Tajh Boyd is Still Very Much in Control of Heisman Race, Though Jameis Winston is Gaining

Tajh Boyd is Still Very Much in Control of Heisman Race, Though Jameis Winston is Gaining

Like the national Heisman race, the ACC‘s version is packed very tightly with a bevy of spectacular passers leading undefeated teams. There’s very few ways to separate any of these players from each other, but we try our best with what we have at hand. Have other nominees? Submit your ballots below.

1. Tajh Boyd, QB/Clemson (1,970 total yards, 20 total TD, 2 INT, 66.5% completion) (Last: 1)

No, Boyd’s performance against Boston College wasn’t amazing, but at the end of the day, he still managed over 360 total yards and two TDs. In a game that only featured 38 combined points between the two teams, I’d still say that’s pretty impressive. Under pressure, the senior’s accuracy has fallen off a bit, so that’s something to watch for. Though the main concern at the end of the day is to continue winning football games.

2. Jameis Winston, QB/Florida State (1,576 total yards, 19 total TD, 2 INT, 73.2% completion) (Last: 2)

Winston had a bye last week, though it’s tough to forget how well he’s played up to this point. He’s played second-fiddle to Boyd all season, but that could all change should he lead FSU to a victory against the Tigers on Saturday. In last year’s ACC Heisman race, EJ Manuel and Boyd were both pretty equal until the ‘Noles beat Clemson in late September. Winston has an opportunity to repeat the feat this year, and truly state his case for the trophy.

3. Teddy Bridgewater, QB/Louisville (1,921 total yards, 20 TD, 2 INT, 71% completion) (Last: 3)

Louisville appears bored with their opponents, and that goes double for Bridgewater, whose incredible statistics have fallen off somewhat from the early part of the season, but still possesses one of the best number lines in the entire sport. Just like the two gentlemen in front of him, if Bridgewater can continue to generate wins without many mistakes, his candidacy will only continue to improve. Unfortunately, Friday against UCF is likely to be one of his final performances on a national stage.

4. Duke Johnson, RB/Miami (954 all-purpose yards, 4 TD) (Last: 4)

Over the next month, Johnson (and this Miami team) get a real shot at stating their respective cases as national contenders. So now the only question begs: can they live up? Four straight games in the national spotlight — including two against top 25 teams — means Johnson can’t just continue his current pace. He must impact the outcome of these key matchups against teams like Virginia Tech and Florida State. And as much as they yardage certainly helps, a few more touchdowns wouldn’t hurt him in the long run either.

5. Vic Beasley, DE/Clemson (20 tackles, 12 TFLs, 9 sacks, 2 FF, 1 TD) (Last: 5)

Again, Vic Beasley shows off why he might just be the country’s best defensive lineman (and possibly defender). With the game still dangerously close against BC, his late forced fumble and subsequent recovery for a touchdown helped the Tigers seal a hard-fought victory on Saturday and keep their championship hopes alive. The junior end was a constant factor in the contest, regularly getting into passing lanes while also helping shut down a strong Eagles running game as well. Up against a formidable FSU line on Saturday, that game is likely to be his top test of the season.

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