ACC Heisman watch, Week 2

September, 4, 2012
9/04/12
10:30
AM ET
Time to take our weekly look at potential Heisman hopefuls in the ACC.

1. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State. It was a quick and easy night of work for the Seminoles in a 69-3 win over Murray State. Manuel played a little more than two quarters and looked like he was comfortable in the pocket, going 16-of-22 for 188 yards with a touchdown and interception. Those are not eye-popping numbers but he did not need to have eye-popping numbers in Week 1. Bigger tests await, but so far so good for Manuel as a potential dark horse. He was the only ACC player to receive a vote in the ESPN Heisman poll for Week 1.

2. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech. Thomas had an up-and-down performance in a 20-17 overtime win over Georgia Tech. He ended up going 21-of-38 for 230 yards with two touchdown passes, but he was off on many of his throws. He did show some flashes, though, particularly his beautiful 42-yard touchdown pass to Demitri Knowles in the corner of the end zone. Thomas also added 40 yards rushing and made a few plays with his legs. He's going to have to be a whole lot better to get serious Heisman consideration later in the season.

3. Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson. We will have to wait until Week 3 to see what to make of his Heisman hopes.

Watch out for:

Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson. USC had Heisman finalists with Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush, so it is possible to get two from one team up in New York. Boyd showed a better handle of the offense, poise in the pocket and some pretty excellent wheels in the victory over Auburn. He also would have had way more passing yards if his receivers held on the football. There were at least six drops in that game.

Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina. Bernard did it all for the Tar Heels against Elon, compiling 203 all-purpose yards and scored a rushing touchdown, receiving touchdown and punt return touchdown before leaving the game with soreness in his knee. If he keeps up that pace, he will insert himself into the Heisman race and quick. As for his health status, both he and coach Larry Fedora said Monday that Bernard will be ready to play against Wake Forest.

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