ACC: Jeremia Attaochu

Florida State is in. The Jackets are in. How they got here is a moot point. One of them will be crowned ACC champ on Saturday. Here’s a primer for those of you who need to get caught up:

Who: No. 13 Florida State (10-2, 7-1 ACC) vs. Georgia Tech (6-6, 5-3 ACC)

What: Dr Pepper ACC Championship game

When: Saturday at 8 p.m. ET

Where: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, N.C.

TV/Radio: ESPN

Twitter: #ACCFCG

The coaches:

Jimbo Fisher: 29-10 (third year) at Florida State and overall

Paul Johnson: 39-25 (fifth year) at Georgia Tech; 146-64 (16th year) overall

The series:

All games: Florida State leads 12-9-1;

In bowls and at neutral sites: First meeting

In ACC play: Florida State leads 12-2

Last meeting: Georgia Tech 49, Florida State 44 (Oct. 10, 2009 at FSU)

FSU title game history: Florida State will be seeking its 13th ACC championship. The Seminoles won or shared the title for the first nine seasons after they joined the conference (1992-2000), and went on to capture the national championship in 1993 and 1999. The Seminoles were also ACC champions in 2002, 2003 and 2005. FSU is making its third appearance in the ACC championship game. The Seminoles defeated Virginia Tech 27-22 in the inaugural event in 2005 in Jacksonville, Fla., and suffered a 44-33 loss to the Hokies in 2010 in Charlotte.

GT title game history: The Yellow Jackets captured their first of two ACC titles in 1990, when they went on to claim the national championship. Georgia Tech shared the title with Florida State in 1998. The Yellow Jackets are making their third appearance in the ACC championship game since its inception in 2005. Georgia Tech suffered a 9-6 loss to Wake Forest in the 2006 championship game in Jacksonville, Fla. The Yellow Jackets defeated Clemson 39-34 in 2009 in Tampa, Fla., but later vacated the win and the ACC title because of NCAA sanctions.

FSU stat stars

DE Bjoern Werner: He ranks third nationally and leads the ACC in QB sacks per game with 1.08 and is tied for 15th in total tackles for lost yardage per game (1.50). Werner’s 18 TFL this season have accounted for 134 yards in lost yardage. Werner now has 13 sacks this season.

QB EJ Manuel: He ranks eighth nationally in passing efficiency with a 160.01 rating and leads an offense that averages 41.5 points per game and has scored at least 51 points in four regular-season games.

PK Dustin Hopkins: He now ranks third on the all-time NCAA FBS scoring list with 456 points. Hopkins trails Travis Prentice of Miami (Ohio) by 12 points for second place all-time. He enters Saturday’s game tied for the all-time lead in field goals among NCAA FBS kickers with 87.

WR Rodney Smith: He has caught a pass in 37 consecutive games, one shy of the school record. E.G. Green (1994-97) holds the school record for most consecutive games with a reception at 38.

Georgia Tech stat stars

RB Orwin Smith: His 9.43 career yards per carry is the best for any ACC running back who has gained 1,000 or more yards. Smith has 1,830 yards on 194 carries and 20 touchdowns. His 61.2 yards per game leads the team.

QB Tevin Washington: His 36 career rushing touchdowns are an ACC and school record by a quarterback. Washington leads all active conference players in rushing touchdowns, and his 216 points scored rank seventh. He has improved his completion percentage by more than 12 percentage points (47.1 in 2011 to 59.6 in 2012).

KR Jamal Golden: He ranks second in the ACC and 10th nationally in kickoff returns with 29.0 yards per runback, including two returns for touchdowns.

LB Jeremiah Attaochu: He leads the team and ranks third in the ACC with eight sacks in 11 games (.73 per game).

Top 25 player countdown: No. 2

August, 30, 2012
8/30/12
3:00
PM ET
No. 2. David Amerson, CB, NC State

2011 stats: Amerson started all 13 games last year, played 866 snaps, and finished with 59 tackles, five pass breakups, and 13 interceptions.

Previous ranking: No. 2

Making the case for Amerson: In 2010, Amerson was a little-known true freshman boundary corner who finished the season with one pass breakup in 640 plays. Last year, Amerson made a quantum leap. He set the ACC and school single-season record for interceptions with 13, a mark that led the nation by five and tied for second in FBS history. He had a pair of picks in four different games, and all were wins for NC State. It’s na´ve to think Amerson is going to put up similar numbers this year, but it’s even more na´ve for offenses to continue to throw his way.
 

Top 25 player countdown: No. 3

August, 29, 2012
8/29/12
2:00
PM ET
No. 3. Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech

2011 stats: Thomas started all 14 games and completed 59.8 percent of his passes for 3,013 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He also had 153 carries for 469 yards and 11 touchdowns.

Previous ranking: No. 11

Making the case for Thomas: Thomas wasn’t on this list a year ago because he was a first-year starter who came to Blacksburg thinking he was going to be a tight end, and not even coach Frank Beamer knew what to expect of Thomas in 2011. Turns out quarterback is a pretty good fit for Thomas. His first season was a memorable one, as he set a school season record with 3,482 yards of total offense. He progressed with the season and was named the team’s most valuable offensive player of spring practices. At 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds, he’s difficult to bring down and has drawn physical comparisons to Cam Newton. Don’t be surprised to see him play like a Heisman contender this fall.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

ACC SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12