Florida State’s Christian Ponder had one of his worst games of his Seminoles’ career with a three interception performance against Boston College, but the senior was able to make enough impact plays in a 24-19 win over Boston College.
Ponder was 19-for-31 for 170 yards and two touchdowns as Florida State improved to 6 and 1 overall with an undefeated conference mark at 4 and 0 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.
Ponder’s health has become an issue once again and was one of the reasons that he had turned the football over. Against Boston College, he injured himself in the first quarter and fell squarely on his throwing elbow while being pursued by the Eagles’ defense.
The 6’4 starting senior quarterback had injured that same arm earlier in the season in the Seminoles’ painful 47-17 loss against Oklahoma. Ponder had recently admitted that he had been dealing with lingering injuries to his arm prior to his most recent elbow injury.
Against Oklahoma, sophomore E.J. Manuel took the reins briefly and the 6’4 226 pound dual-threat quarterback may be called if Ponder’s injury doesn’t heal properly.
Manuel is taking all the first-team snaps this week at practice while Ponder rests.
Florida State coaches and Ponder himself and said that he should be ready for a very big ACC game against Russell Wilson and the North Carolina State Wolfpack team on Thursday, October 28th.
Manuel is no stranger to dealing with injuries because he had missed team earlier this year by missing spring practice entirely after undergoing offseason surgery which was needed to repair his right shoulder.
Manuel is poised to become the Seminoles’ starting quarterback in 2011, but if he needs to step in for an injured Ponder, he is ready to do so.
In 2009, Manuel won two of three ACC games last season that he started. Plus, Manuel gave Bobby Bowden a parting gift with a 33-21 Gator Bowl win over a ranked West Virginia team.
So E.J. Manuel is entirely capable of stepping in and taking over if needed.
Luckily for Ponder and Florida State, there is a bye week before the big game against N.C. State.
For N.C. State, they have a bye week as well. The Wolfpack will be trying to shake off a very tough loss to in-state rival East Carolina. N.C. State’s quarterback Russell Wilson had been having a very strong season thus far and has passed the 2,000 yard mark in passing.
The only blemishes thus far for Wilson’s Wolfpack are those home losses to Virginia Tech and East Carolina. Unfortunately for Wilson, those losses may have kept him out of the Heisman race.
However, a win against a ranked Florida State team could put Wilson back into the conversation.
The Florida State-N.C. State game will be played at Carter-FInley Stadium in Raleigh, North Carolina in front of a ESPN Thursday night audience.