Over the past two years, quarterback Christian Ponder has missed five starts as a result of injury. Reports surfaced early Saturday afternoon that he could miss his sixth, and probably the most important game of his college career.
During Florida State's 31-7 victory over rival Florida, Ponder reinjured his arm and had to have fluid drained on Sunday. Nevertheless, the fifth year senior took all the snaps with the first team offense Tuesday through Thursday.
On Friday, during FSU's walk-through in Charlotte (NC), head coach Jimbo Fisher was extremely secretive moving the session to the Panthers' practice field away from the prying eyes in Bank of America Stadium. He also purposefully waited for the mandatory 15-minute open period to the media before starting the walk-through.
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Warchant.com has learned from sources close to the program that Ponder "may" not start against Virginia Tech for tonight's ACC Championship (7:45pm, ESPN). However, we have confirmed that Ponder is medically cleared to play and even if he doesn't start, could see action in the game. We've also been told that a final decision may not be made until pregame warm-ups.
If Ponder doesn't start the game, redshirt sophomore E.J. Manuel, a native of Virginia Beach (VA), would make his second start of the season (sixth of his career). Manuel is 4-1 as a starter.
Starting at 6pm, Warchant.com will have a LIVE BLOG from Bank of America Stadium complete with updates on Ponder's status and pregame warm-ups.