CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Florida State (No. 21 BCS, No. 20 AP) is going with backup EJ Manuel at quarterback in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game because of Christian Ponder's sore throwing elbow.
Ponder has been plagued by right elbow pain for most of the season and had fluid drained on Sunday. He warmed up with the second team Saturday and at least once clutched his elbow after a throw.
The senior has thrown for 2,038 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, leaving the Seminoles without a key offensive weapon.
Manuel, a sophomore, has played in eight games and started Florida State's win over Clemson when Ponder was sidelined.