The Clemson Tigers (9-1, 6-1) have lost just one game in 2012. Unfortunately, it came at the hands of the ACC’s Atlantic Division-leading Florida State Seminoles.
Even with a win over the North Carolina State Wolfpack (6-4, 3-3), the Tigers will likely find themselves as runner-up in the division. The Wolfpack will finish behind them, regardless of the outcome of this one.
But that doesn’t take away the excitement factor in this game. N.C. State is the lone team to topple Florida State this season and has the opportunity to play spoiler to the Tigers' BCS aspirations at their house.
The ACC has had clear-cut leaders this season in Clemson and Florida State, but quarterback Mike Glennon and the Wolfpack have their own ideas rewriting that power structure with a huge win against Clemson this week.
Wins over both Florida State and Clemson would give the Wolfpack considerable amount of national attention for bowl game considerations and Top 25 ranking votes.
When: Saturday, Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: 64; Spread: Clemson (-17)
Sixty-four points is a big cushion, but the Clemson Tigers have proven they can score their fair share of points this season. N.C. State’s been no slouch at times either this season, although the Wolfpack have struggled badly in losses against some pretty questionable defenses such as Tennessee (21 points) and Virginia (six points).
Go with the over due to Clemson's ability to score at will and the fact that Mike Glennon’s arm will likely account for a few scores for the Wolfpack as well.
At home, with their BCS bowl berth riding on this game, the Tigers will blow out the Wolfpack. They’ll win, and it’ll be a high-scoring affair. Give the Wolfpack some credit that they’ll keep this game close, but the Tigers will eventually bust it open.
Injury Report via USA Today (as of 11/13/2012)
Duran Christophe, G, Questionable
Jarvis Byrd, CB, Questionable
Sammy Watkins, WR, Probable
BCS/Top 25 Implications
Clemson has an outside shot at winning the ACC Atlantic Division should the Florida State Seminoles somehow slip up against the Maryland Terrapins this week in College Park. Still, that’s highly unlikely and the Tigers probably lost their ACC title aspirations with their lone loss on Sept. 22 to the Seminoles.
North Carolina State is two games behind in the Atlantic Division standings. A win over the Tigers, though, would effectively squash Clemson's BCS at-large bid aspirations.
No matter what happens, Clemson needs to win this game and then next week against South Carolina in order to lock up a likely position in a BCS bowl. The Wolfpack are playing for bowl game considerations and possibly a position in the season-ending BCS Top 25.
N.C. State Player to Watch: Mike Glennon, QB
The Wolfpack have thrived and ailed on the play of quarterback Mike Glennon. He’s posted an overall QB rating of 127.1, but that isn’t indicative of his full season’s body of work.
Despite having good games, Glennon has made some costly mistakes this season. In the Wolfpack’s four losses, the QB has thrown two-plus interceptions. In their six wins, he’s thrown just two.
If Glennon can play mistake-free, it may give the Wolfpack an outside shot for an upset, but it isn’t likely because he will be throwing early and often and is bound to slip up against an opportunistic Clemson defense.
Clemson Player to Watch: Tahj Boyd, QB
Tahj Boyd has a stable of weapons in the Clemson offense. Any one of running back Andre Ellington or wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins can go off at any moment. Hopkins and Ellington are the more consistent big producers, but Watkins is a liability for defenses once they start focusing on one or the other.
This offense truly has explosive big-play potential that any school dreams of having. But it’s all orchestrated by the mobile talents of Boyd. Boyd has the ability to run but hasn’t had to very much this season because he’s thrown all over his opponents. He’s racked up 28 touchdowns through the air with nearly 3,000 yards passing and has also run in five scores on 363 yards rushing.
Prediction: Clemson 45, N.C. State 24
There’s not too much more to say about this one.
The Clemson Tigers’ offense is just too high-powered for the Wolfpack to keep up and score with for four quarters. It isn’t going to be a defensive battle by any means, but the Tigers’ defense should be able to limit the things Mike Glennon and the one-dimensional Wolfpack are able to do.