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Tuesday, October 16, 2012
ACC Heisman Watch: Week 8

By Heather Dinich

The ACC’s odds of producing a Heisman candidate are about as good as the conference finding its way into the top of the BCS standings right now. The truth is, it’s a long shot, but if Florida State and Clemson can cling to one-loss seasons, there is still a chance. FSU quarterback EJ Manuel and Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins are both still getting mentions in ESPN.com’s weekly Heisman Watch.

Here are your top dark horse candidates heading into Week 8:

1. Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel: He is coming off a terrific performance against a not-so-terrific defense. Manuel completed 27 of 34 passes for a career-high 439 yards and four touchdowns in the Seminoles’ 51-7 win over Boston College.

2. Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins: He leads the ACC with 8.2 receptions per game, and leads the league and is third nationally with 129.5 receiving yards per game. He has 777 yards and eight touchdown receptions this year. He is fourth in the ACC in all-purpose yards with 129.5 per game.

3. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd: He enters Saturday’s game against Virginia Tech leading the ACC and ranked No. 11 nationally in total offense (328.7 yards per game). He also leads the ACC in passing average per game with 291.3 yards. He has 14 passing touchdowns to only five interceptions, and he is second in the ACC in passing efficiency behind Manuel.