Three Seminoles Earn ACC Honors as Top Performers

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Florida State quarterback EJ Manuel, offensive lineman Menelik Watson, and defensive back Lamarcus Joyner headline a list of eight players named as the Atlantic Coast Conference Football Players of the Week, announced by the conference on Monday. Manuel passed for a career-high 380 yards and had 482 total yards, Watson helped the Seminoles accumulate 667 total yards, and Joyner sparked a comeback as Florida State defeated No. 10 Clemson, 49-37.

OFFENSIVE BACK – EJ Manuel, Florida State, Senior, QB, 6-5, 240, Virginia Beach, Va.

Manuel turned in one of the most complete performances by a Seminole quarterback in ACC play, passing for a career-high 380 yards (27-35-0) and two touchdowns, while adding 102 rushing yards on 11 carries in the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson. He is the first Seminole quarterback since Charlie Ward in 1992 against Maryland to pass for more than 300 yards and rush for more than 100 yards. Manuel calmly led the Seminoles back from a 14-point, second half deficit, completing 12 of 17 second half attempts for 199 yards and a pair of scores. The Seminoles erased a 28-14 deficit by outscoring Clemson 28-3, a streak that included TD passes of nine yards to Rashad Green and 29 yards to Rodney Smith. Manuel was named National Offensive Player of the Week by the College Football Performance Awards. His performance was also notable because he moved to the No. 1 spot in ACC career history in completion percentage (67.2) and passing efficiency (151.41).

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN – Menelik Watson, Florida State, Junior, OL, 6-6, 320, Manchester, Great Britain

Making just his second career start at the Division I level, Watson was a force from his right tackle position for the Seminoles. Florida State amassed 667 yards of total offense – 287 rushing and 380 passing – against the Tigers. Watson was often at the point of attack on a day when the Seminoles pounded out five rushing touchdowns, pushing their ACC-leading total to 20 on the year.  It was Florida State’s most productive effort in an ACC game since compiling more than 700 yards against Clemson in 2000. Watson graded out at 82 percent with just one missed assignment in 78 snaps. He was flawless in pass protection as the Tigers managed just one sack, which came on a blitz from the opposite side.

SPECIALIST – Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State, Junior, DB, 5-8, 195, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

Joyner was responsible for perhaps the biggest momentum changing play of the 49-37 victory over No. 10 Clemson when he raced 90 yards with a third quarter kickoff return in response to the Tigers taking a 31-21 lead with 7:32 remaining in the quarter. Joyner, who finished with 185 kickoff return yards on five attempts, was brought down at the Clemson 10-yard line. Two plays later, EJ Manuel completed a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene as the Seminoles reeled off 28 unanswered points. In addition to his return work, Joyner was also instrumental on defense, contributing three tackles.

 

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