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ACC Football: Top 10 Amazing Plays in 2012

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Top 10 ACC Football Plays of 2012

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports - Bret Davis-USA TODAY Sports - Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

So who out there is still fired up about the 2012 ACC Football!



Come on folks...

Things could have been a lot worse!

Think about it...

The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets could have won the ACC Championship and could be facing the Northern Illinois Huskies in the Orange Bowl.

But despite the shortcomings the league had there were few conferences that could boast the athletes and amazing plays that the ACC dished out this past season.

Just the initial brainstorming list has about 30 that could quickly be recalled and the ACC Digital Network has more than 65 plays that were Must See Moments from 2012.

So when it comes to the players on the field, some of the most explosive and entertaining in all of College Football call the ACC home.

Some of the players who made the conference extraordinary were Duke Johnson, Stefon Diggs and Gio Bernard...

And that’s two freshmen and a redshirt sophomore ladies and gentlemen.

Even though Diggs will finish his playing days in the Big 10, the abundance of youthful talent in the ACC will be amazing to watch develop over the next few years.

So let’s jump right into the Top 10 Play in ACC Football in 2012.

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No. 10 - Virginia Cavaliers Jake McGee Make a Circus Catch

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

Who doesn’t love a catch when the game is on the line to keep a drive alive!

And that is where we start with the Virginia Cavaliers Jake McGee.

Trailing late in the fourth quarter, McGee came down with a one-handed prayer to keep the game-winning drive alive.

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No. 9 - Sammy Watkins Pass to Andre Ellington

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest game of the year in the ACC was the Clemson Tigers against the Florida State Seminoles in a Top 5 match up at that point.

Clemson came out red hot thanks to plays like this one from Sammy Watkins to Andre Ellington.

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No. 8 - Jamison Crowder Catch Beats Rival North Carolina Tar Heels

Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

The Duke Blue Devils had a magical season.

But there was not a better moment for any Blue Devil than this game winning catch by Jamison Crowder to knock off their arch rival North Carolina Tar Heels.

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No. 7 - Duke Johnson's 95-yard Kick-off Return

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes Duke Johnson was an electrifying player in the ACC in 2012.

It was next to impossible to pick just one of his amazing plays as a freshman...

But this kick-off return showed off just about everyone of his moves and skills on the season and what Al Golden and Hurricane fans have to look forward to for a few more years.

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No. 6 - Corey Fuller's Amazing Catch

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Well the Virginia Tech Hokies did not have the season it wanted to for sure.

But there still were a lot of big plays for the Hokies...

None more impressive than this crazy catch by Corey Fuller...

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No. 5 - Miami Hurricanes Game Winning Touchdown Against North Carolina State Wolfpack

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Hurricanes had a crazy run of winning games on the last play for a few weeks in a row in 2012.

None, though, were better than this 62-yard game winner from Stephen Morris to Phillip Dorsett!

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No. 4 - The Stefon Diggs Show

Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports

Stefon Diggs was a one man highlight film in 2012...

There are at least 10 Must See Moment videos!

He did things a freshman shouldn’t have been able to do...

So in Diggs honor, he gets a trio of plays...

A 99-yard kickoff return, a 103-yard kickoff return and an incredible one-handed catch.


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No. 3 - Florida State's Game Winning Touchdown Versus Virginia Tech Hokies

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

A truly great play is one that is made when the entire weight of the world is pressing on your shoulders.

That is exactly what E.J. Manuel felt when he found Rashad Green to lift the Florida State Seminoles past the Virginia Tech Hokies and clinch the Atlantic Division Title.

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No. 2 - North Carolina State Wolfpack Shocks Florida State Seminoles and the BCS

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

A lot was expected out of the North Carolina State Wolfpack in 2012...

And unfortunately, the Wolfpack could not live up to any of their hype.

But for a few hours on October 6, NC State and Glennon were world beaters...

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No. 1 - Gio Bernard's Walk-Off, Game-Winning Punt Return Against North Carolina State Wolfpack

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

These eyes have seen a lot of things in sports in 40 years...

Walk off homers, hail mary passes for winners, half court buzzer beaters...

You name it...

But something that is rare and these eyes have not seen is a punt return for a win.

And with that, let’s introduce the world to Gio Bernard...

The greatest thing about this play is that North Carolina Tar Heels Head Coach Larry Fedora called his lat two timeouts back to back to give Bernard extra time to rest.

It was like Fedora, Bernard and the entire Tar Heel team knew he was going to win the game on this one play...

Simply an amazing play that so happened to be the ACC Play of the Year for 2012.


M Shannon Smallwood has over 10 years of experience in broadcasting and journalism in professional baseball and college athletics and is the ACC Football Guru, SEC Voice of Reason and College Football Comedian for Rant Sports. He is a member of the Football Writers Association of America and the US Basketball Writers Association.

Follow him @woodysmalls.