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Tuesday, October 9, 2012
ACC Heisman Watch: Week 7

By Heather Dinich

The following three players are still getting a smattering of votes in ESPN.com’s weekly Heisman Watch. Colleague Andrea Adelson gave a vote to Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins this week. Here’s a look at the ACC’s top Heisman contenders for Week 7:

1. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd: Boyd is making plays this year that he wouldn’t have been able to make a year ago. He has slimmed down and is making good use of his feet, and in turn he’s driving defenses nuts. Against Georgia Tech last weekend he became the school’s career leader in touchdown passes with 50, finishing the game with two passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown. He passed for a career-high 397 yards and rushed for a career-high 63 yards. The 460 yards of total offense was the second most by an individual player in school history. The record is 517 yards of total offense by Woodrow Dantzler in 2001 against NC State.

2. Clemson receiver DeAndre Hopkins: Hopkins had seven receptions for 173 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia Tech. His 173 receiving yards was the fifth best in school history. Hopkins now has eight touchdown receptions this season, giving him 17 for his career. That ties him with Perry Tuttle for third place in school history for career touchdown receptions. Hopkins has had at least 100 yards receiving in four of Clemson’s six games this season and a touchdown catch in five of the six as well.

3. Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel: He had a chance to have a Heisman moment at NC State this past Saturday, and instead it was Wolfpack quarterback Mike Glennon who made the fourth-down plays down the stretch. Manuel isn’t out of it yet, especially if Florida State goes on to win the ACC championship and holds tight to a one-loss season. Manuel will need to have more performances like he did against Clemson, though, when he took over the game. Against NC State, Manuel completed a pedestrian 17 of 29 pass attempts for 218 yards, one touchdown and one interception.