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Re-ranking the ACC Quarterbacks

By Matt Osborne
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Now halfway through the season, we have a mixed bag of results when it comes to comparing how the conference’s quarterbacks have fared in comparison with their preseason expectations.

During the offseason, we took the time to rank the ACC’s starting quarterbacks.

Now halfway through the season, we have a mixed bag of results when it comes to comparing how the conference’s quarterbacks have fared in comparison with their preseason expectations.

For the sake of argument, let’s now re-examine the signal callers in the league, and come up with the revised ranking of the ACC’s quarterbacks.

1. Jameis Winston, Florida State

Previous Ranking: No. 9

Prior to the start of the year, we thought that there was a good chance that Winston would end up as one of the better quarterbacks in the league due to his rarely-seen physical tools. Nobody, however, could have projected that he would proceed to take the conference by storm so early in his career. Through five games, Winston ranks second in the FBS in passer rating (213.9). He is currently completing 73.2% of his passes, and has displayed football intelligence well beyond his years.

2. Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Previous Ranking: No. 1

Boyd’s senior season has, thus far, gone exactly as he would have imagined. He currently leads the conference in passing (1,783 yards), and he has done a much better job of protecting the football in 2013, currently having thrown only two interceptions. At this time, he is still a legitimate candidate to bring home the Heisman Trophy at the end of the regular season.

3. Stephen Morris, Miami

Previous Ranking: No. 2

Morris’ statistics have been affected by a couple of minor injuries, but he has been very effective when he has been on the gridiron. It has taken some time for him to get on the same page with some of his young receivers, but that has not hindered Morris from producing big plays with regularity. He hopes to cut down slightly on some of his mistakes, but interceptions have not been a major problem for him in the past.

4. Chase Rettig, Boston College

Previous Ranking: No. 7

Boston College has been waiting for Rettig to take the next step as a quarterback for the last couple of seasons, and it appears that he has finally made that leap. Rettig’s completion percentage has jumped to a career-high 63.8%. Those numbers also include conference contests with Clemson and Florida State which have already taken place.

5. C.J. Brown, Maryland

Previous Ranking: No. 13

We all knew that Brown would be a threat with his legs, but nobody expected him to be as proficient with his arm as he has been this season. While he struggled in the Terrapin’s 63-0 loss to Florida State, he was one of the most efficient passers in the country through the first month of the season. Brown is currently recovering from a concussion, but is expected to make it back into the lineup very soon.

6. Bryn Renner, North Carolina

Previous Ranking: No. 3

Renner’s completion percentage is down from where it has been traditionally, but he has also been hurt by the lack of a ground game in Chapel Hill. He is currently completing 60% of his passes with seven touchdowns and three picks, but he clearly has looked less comfortable when being forced to become the focal point of the offense.

7. Tanner Price, Wake Forest

Previous Ranking: No. 6

Price has had to deal with an abysmal offensive line in front of him, but he has still managed to lead Wake Forest to three early-season victories. He is completing less than 60% of his passes, but he has thrown nine touchdowns and just three interceptions. With the Demon Deacons’ lack of overall athleticism, Price has done what he needed to do in order to keep the team competitive.

8. Anthony Boone, Duke

Previous Ranking: No. 8

Although Boone missed three games due to a shoulder injury, he has been very efficient when in action. The competition he has faced has been less than stellar, but he is completing over 78% of his passes with three touchdowns and one interception. He will be tested more as the season wears along, but he has been sharp with his throws against the inferior competition.

9. Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

Previous Ranking: No. 5

As has been customary throughout his career, Thomas has been the model of inconsistency this season. His physical tools are amongst the best in the country, but he still has serious bouts with inaccuracy and poor decision-making. He has been playing much better as of late, but he still needs to cut down on his interceptions and poor decisions.

10. Tom Savage, Pitt

Previous Ranking: No. 14

Statistically speaking, it looks like Savage is having a pretty good season. Those statistics are a little misleading, however, as he threw six of his ten scores in the game against Duke. Outside of that contest with the Blue Devils, Savage has been relatively underwhelming, including completing less than 50% of his passes in his two most recent games.

11. Vad Lee, Georgia Tech

Previous Ranking: No.4

Though relatively inexperienced, many people thought that Lee would immediately be a much better option under center than Tevin Washington had been. To this point, Lee has struggled mightily to grasp the offense, looking completely lost with most of the option concepts. He also has completed less than half of his passes on the year, and now finds himself in a potential quarterback battle with Justin Thomas.

12. Terrel Hunt, Syracuse

Previous Ranking: No. 11

Hunt actually lost the starting job to Drew Allen during fall camp, but was placed into action after Allen threw six interceptions in the first two games of the season. Hunt started off on fire, throwing seven touchdowns and no picks in his first two starts. Against better competition the last two weeks, though, he has thrown for zero scores and five interceptions.

13. David Watford, Virginia

Previous Ranking: Not Ranked

Watford beat out Greyson Lambert for the starting job in Charlottesville, but he has been extremely underwhelming to this point. In six games, Watford has thrown four touchdowns and seven picks, and has looked very uncomfortable in the pocket. He also has only thrown for 1,076 yards, but some of that has to do with Virginia’s offensive scheme.

14. Pete Thomas, NC State

Previous Ranking: No. 12

Not all of Thomas’ statistics look terrible right now, but they do indicate his lack of efficiency. Although he is currently fourth in conference in passing yards (1,314), he has only thrown three touchdowns through six contests. Conversely, he has already turned the football over eight times through the air.

Matt Osborne - Matt Osborne currently serves as the director of recruiting and lead editor for Southern Pigskin. His work has been published in a number of national publications, including USA Today. Although he loves all levels of football, Matt's number one joy in his life is his relationship with Jesus Christ. Follow Matt on Twitter: @MattOsborne200. For media requests, please email Matt at