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Game changer? FSU’s Ponder likely won’t start ACC title tilt

When Florida State takes the field tonight for the ACC championship game against Virginia Tech, their offensive hopes -- at least initially -- will likely rest squarely on the shoulder of a redshirt sophomore.

According to a tweet from Tallahassee Democrat sports editor Jim Lamar by way of the Orlando Sentinel, Christian Ponder is not expected to start the game due to an injury. Lamar did state that Ponder will be available if necessary, but head coach Jimbo Fisher wants to give the senior a chance to heal.

Ponder has been bothered by a bursa sac issue in his right (throwing) elbow throughout the past couple of months. He had the elbow drained again earlier this week, and it appeared he would be a go for the Hokies.

Instead, redshirt sophomore E.J. Manuel will get the call if Lamar’s report is accurate. Manuel started one game in the middle of last month because of the elbow issue, and started the last four games of last year when Ponder went down with a season-ending injury.