Athlon recaps the Week 12 action in the ACC.
The Coastal Division was still up for grabs after Saturday's action, but the Atlantic Division title was clinched by Florida State in Week 12. The Seminoles dominated Maryland to claim their second division title under Jimbo Fisher, while Clemson kept its at-large BCS hopes alive with a victory over NC State. Although the action on the field didn't sort out the Coastal, the champion was declared on Monday, as Miami self-imposed a postseason ban, which means Georgia Tech will meet Florida State in Charlotte.
Offensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Tajh Boyd, QB, Clemson – Boyd climbs to the No. 1 spot after another strong performance. The junior threw for 426 yards and five touchdowns, while adding 103 yards and three scores on the ground against NC State.
2. Giovani Bernard, RB, North Carolina – Bernard failed to record 100 yards for the second consecutive game but still finished with 104 overall yards and one touchdown in the win over Virginia.
3. EJ Manuel, QB, Florida State – Manuel didn’t have a standout performance against Maryland, throwing for 144 yards and two touchdowns on 17 completions. However, the senior is completing 68.8 percent of his throws this season and has just six interceptions on 295 passes.
Defensive Player of the Year Standings
1. Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State – It’s a tossup between Carradine and teammate Bjoern Werner for the top spot. Carradine recorded five tackles and 1.5 tackles for a loss against Maryland.
2. Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State – Werner and Carradine are really neck-and-neck for the No. 1 ranking. Werner picked up four tackles and two tackles for a loss against Maryland.
3. Joe Vellano, DT, Maryland – Vellano recorded just two tackles and was very quiet in Saturday’s loss to Florida State.
Coach of the Year Standings
1. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State – The Seminoles clinched their third ACC Championship appearance with a 41-14 victory over Maryland. Fisher is 29-9 in three seasons in Tallahassee.
2. David Cutcliffe, Duke – The Blue Devils have slipped in recent weeks, but Cutcliffe still has this team on track to make its first bowl appearance since 1994.
3. Dabo Swinney, Clemson – The Tigers are quietly on a roll, winning each of their last seven games by at least 14 points.
ACC Post-Week 12 Power Rankings
1. Florida State (10-1, 7-1 ACC)
Last Week: 1
Week 12 Result: Beat Maryland 41-14
With an ACC Atlantic title on the line, the Seminoles took care of business in a 41-14 rout over Maryland. Florida State outgained the Terrapins 397 to 170, while the defense forced five sacks and two turnovers. Quarterback EJ Manuel completed 17 of 23 throws, and Devonta Freeman gashed Maryland for 148 yards on 16 carries. The Seminoles didn’t allow a point until the third quarter and held the Terrapins to just 3.2 yards per play. Florida State will be making its third appearance in the ACC Championship and its second under Jimbo Fisher. However, the Seminoles have a little business to handle before that game, as they have a huge showdown against rival Florida next Saturday.
Next Game: Florida
2. Clemson (10-1, 7-1 ACC)
Last Week: 2
Week 12 Result: Beat NC State 62-48
The Tigers kept their at-large BCS hopes alive with a 62-48 shootout victory over NC State. Quarterback Tajh Boyd continued his red-hot play with 529 overall yards and eight touchdowns. Boyd didn’t do it alone on offense, as running back Andre Ellington chipped in 124 rushing yards, while receiver Sammy Watkins had 11 catches for 110 yards and one touchdown. The defense gave up 48 points but picked off NC State quarterback Mike Glennon once and sacked him four times. The Tigers close out their 2012 regular season with a matchup against in-state rival South Carolina.
Next Game: South Carolina
3. Georgia Tech (6-5, 5-3 ACC)
Last Week: 8
Week 12 Result: Beat Duke 42-24
After a 2-4 start, things looked bleak for Georgia Tech and its chances of making a bowl game. However, the Yellow Jackets have rallied with three wins in their last four games and are still alive to play for the ACC Championship. Quarterback Tevin Washington turned in a solid performance against Duke, throwing for three touchdowns and adding 62 yards and one score on the ground. The defense also stepped up, holding the Blue Devils to 275 yards and just one touchdown after halftime. The good news for Georgia Tech? Miami self-imposed a postseason ban, which means the Yellow Jackets will meet Florida State for the ACC title.
Next Game: at Georgia
4. North Carolina (7-4, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week: 3
Week 12 Result: Beat Virginia 37-13
After a bad all-around outing against Georgia Tech, the Tar Heels rebounded with a 37-13 win over Virginia on Thursday night. Running back Giovani Bernard failed to record 100 rushing yards for the second consecutive game, but quarterback Bryn Renner was sharp, completing 29 of 36 throws for 315 yards and three touchdowns. Freshman receiver Quinshad Davis is quickly emerging as a potential star next year in the ACC, catching 16 receptions for 178 yards against the Cavaliers. Although the offense was solid, the defensive performance was an even bigger highlight, holding Virginia to 350 yards, picking up two turnovers and four sacks.
Next Game: Maryland
5. Miami (6-5, 4-3 ACC)
Last Week: 4
Week 12 Result: Beat South Florida 40-9
With Saturday’s win over South Florida, Miami reached the all-important six-win mark. And on Monday, the school decided to self-impose a postseason ban, which means the Hurricanes won't play in the ACC Championship. Miami’s offense was sharp in the win over South Florida, recording 548 total yards and 40 points. Quarterback Stephen Morris threw for 413 yards, while Duke Johnson added 66 and one score on the ground. The Hurricanes close out the regular season against Duke next Saturday.
Next Game: at Duke
6. Virginia Tech (5-6, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 5
Week 12 Result: Beat Boston College 30-23
Considering how well the Hokies played against Florida State last week and Boston College’s 2-8 record, Saturday’s trip to Chestnut Hill was supposed to be an easy trip for Frank Beamer’s team. However, Virginia Tech had a tougher battle than most expected, as it had to escape with a victory in overtime. Quarterback Logan Thomas was held in check on the ground and completed 16 of 33 passes for 247 yards and two scores. The Hokies used a 41-yard field goal from kicker Cody Journell to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, while Thomas hit Randall Dunn for a seven-yard touchdown for the winning score in overtime. Virginia Tech hosts Virginia next Saturday, with a win giving the Hokies six victories and another trip to the postseason.
Next Game: Virginia
7. NC State (6-5, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 7
Week 12 Result: Lost to Clemson 62-48
After a solid 5-2 start, the Wolfpack have been one of the ACC’s biggest disappointments in the second half of the season. NC State has lost three out of its last four games, with two of those matchups decided by at least 14 points. The Wolfpack had no answer for Clemson’s offense in Saturday’s loss, giving up 62 points and allowing the Tigers to record 754 yards. Receiver Tobais Palmer set an ACC record with 496 all-purpose yards, and quarterback Mike Glennon threw for 493 yards and five touchdowns. Considering the late-season losses, Tom O’Brien’s status for next season has to be in doubt.
Next Game: Boston College
8. Duke (6-5, 3-4 ACC)
Last Week: 6
Week 12 Result: Lost to Georgia Tech 42-24
The Blue Devils’ command of the ACC Coastal race has slipped over the last few weeks. Duke’s 42-24 loss to Georgia Tech dropped it to 3-4 in the ACC and was the fourth defeat in five games. The Blue Devils were unable to take advantage of a suspect Yellow Jackets’ defense, only managing 275 yards. Duke’s defense struggled to stop Georgia Tech’s rushing offense, allowing 330 yards and three scores on the ground. The Blue Devils won’t represent the Coastal in the title game but are still headed to their first bowl game since 1994.
Next Game: Miami
9. Virginia (4-7, 2-5 ACC)
Last Week: 9
Week 12 Result: Lost to North Carolina 37-13
The Cavaliers’ late-season surge was stopped on Thursday night. Virginia held onto slim bowl hopes after beating NC State and Miami, but it fell 37-13 to North Carolina, which ended any shot at qualifying for the postseason. Both sides of the ball failed to deliver against the Tar Heels. The offense struggled to get consistent quarterback play, while the defense didn’t have an answer for North Carolina’s passing attack. Virginia closes out its 2012 season with a date at rival Virginia Tech.
Next Game: at Virginia Tech
10. Maryland (4-7, 2-5 ACC)
Last Week: 10
Week 12 Result: Lost to Florida State 41-14
As expected, the Terrapins couldn’t put up much of a fight against Florida State and lost 41-14. With injuries taking its toll on offense, Maryland has been reduced to a very limited attack on offense, especially with freshman Shawn Petty at quarterback. The Terrapins managed just 10 first downs and finished with 170 yards. Maryland has lost five consecutive games but has shown progress in Randy Edsall’s second season in College Park.
Next Game: at North Carolina
11. Wake Forest (5-6, 3-5 ACC)
Last Week: 11
Week 12 Result: Lost to Notre Dame 38-0
The bad news started early and often for Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons quickly fell behind on a 68-yard touchdown run by Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood and trailed 31-0 at halftime. Wake Forest managed just 209 yards and could only muster 55 of that on the ground. Quarterback Tanner Price was an efficient 22 of 33 for 153 yards, but the Demon Deacons never hit on a pass longer than 16 yards. Wake Forest still has one more chance to get bowl eligible, as it hosts Vanderbilt next Saturday.
Next Game: Vanderbilt
12. Boston College (2-9, 1-6 ACC)
Last Week: 12
Week 12 Result: Lost to Virginia Tech 30-23
Even though the Eagles are in the midst of an awful season, credit the players for not giving up. Boston College dropped to 2-9 with a 30-23 overtime loss to Virginia Tech on Saturday. The Eagles led 23-20 late in the fourth quarter, but the Hokies scored a field goal with just over a minute to go to send in the game into overtime. Boston College’s offense has struggled to find a rushing attack this year, but Deuce Finish rushed for 138 yards on 26 attempts against Virginia Tech. The defense also did a good job on quarterback Logan Thomas, holding the junior to seven rushing yards on 13 attempts. Boston College closes out its 2012 season against NC State.
Next Game: at NC State
by Steven Lassan
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