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ACC Championship Game, Virginia Tech Vs. Florida State: E.J. Manuel To Start, Christian Ponder Sits

Florida State has had a remarkable season, especially considering the somewhat shaky health of Christian Ponder, their erstwhile Heisman candidate at quarterback. And tonight, the Seminoles will have to do without Ponder in the ACC Championship Game.

Citing the long-term health of Ponder, considered a likely NFL quarterback, Florida State will start redshirt sophomore E.J. Manuel against Virginia Tech. That's a decision that would make 'Noles fans cringe if Manuel hadn't been excellent in relief so far: he's 4-1 as a starter for Florida State, and his lone loss came at top-ranked Florida last season.

And Manuel may have some extra motivation to play well against Virginia Tech: he's from Virginia Beach, and, as a mobile quarterback more known for his legs than his arm, would have been a suitable heir to Michael Vick as a Hokie. But he elected to take his talents to Tallahassee.

And tonight, in the ACC Championship Game, he might be able to show Virginia Tech what it's missing.