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ACC Championship Game: Key players

Jamison Crowder is a First Team All-ACC wide receiver for Duke. Photo courtesy: USA Today Sports

Many seem to believe the ACC Championship Game is going to be a total mismatch. The talent level of the potentially BCS-bound Seminoles is a bit higher than the collective talent Duke will bring to Charlotte, but the Blue Devils have some players worth keeping an eye on this weekend as the Blue Devils look to turn the ACC and BCS discussion upside down.

Key Defensive Player, Florida State: Lamarcus Joyner. Florida State should be able to bring plenty of pressure in to Duke's backfield, but when the ball is traveling through the air (likely to a player we will get to in a moment), expect defensive back Lamarcus Joyner to be somewhere in the area. The senior corner was named a First Team All-ACC has just one interception this season but he also has 60 tackles and can pick up a sack when needed (5.0 sacks this season).


Key Defensive Player, Duke: Jeremy Cash. Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston could be in store for a big day, and the Seminoles should try to find a rhythm in the passing game early on. That makes the job of safety Jeremy Cash rather important for Duke if they are to pull an upset. Cash picked off four passes this season for the Blue Devils, and he proved to be a solid tackler with 109 tackles this season. Not allowing big plays will be his responsibility.

ACC Championship Game: How the Seminoles and Blue Devils Reached Charlotte

Key Offensive Player, Florida State: Jameis Winston. Yeah, real shocker here, right? Enough really cannot be said about Winston's ability to shine through any number of situations this season, be they on the road or with a legal issue looming above him. The redshirt freshman quarterback has rarely shown any signs of making freshman mistakes, so as long as he can avoid them in Charlotte the Heisman front runner should be able to lead Florida State to a second straight ACC championship.

Key Offensive Player, Duke: Jamison Crowder. Duke's leading wide receiver earned First Team All-ACC honors this week and for good reason. Crowder recorded 1,131 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. He has emerged as a scoring threat for Duke in recent weeks, scoring two touchdowns in each of his last two games. Crowder will likely be covered by Lamarcus Joyner, which could be quite a battle.

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Kevin McGuire

About Kevin McGuire

Managing editor of Crystal Ball Run and contributor to College Football Talk on NBCSports.com. Member of the FWAA and National Football Foundation. College Football Hall of Fame voter. Also managing Bloguin's NittanyLionsDen.com and Macho-Row.com.

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