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ACC Football Preview: #13 Clemson vs. Maryland and Boston College vs. #4 Notre Dame

It’s Week 11 and there’s a slate full of ACC games on Saturday. #10 Florida State (9-1, 6-1) already kicked things off for the conference with a 28-22 win in the final minute over Virginia Tech on Thursday.

The Seminoles have now won their fourth consecutive game and sit within one win against Maryland (4-5, 2-3) (Nov. 17) to lead them to the Dec. 1 ACC championship game.

This week, #13 Clemson (8-1,5-1) will play the Terps while conference bottom feeder Boston College (2-7, 1-5) takes on #4 Notre Dame (9-0) to steal Saturday’s headlines.

Clemson vs. Maryland

Clemson QB Tajh Boyd

Last week in its 56-20 win over Duke, Clemson had its largest offensive day since the 1981 national championship season with 720 yards. Large yardage has been the name of the game for this team as it was its sixth game with 500-plus yards–a record for the school’s program.

Leading the charge is Clemson quarterback is Tajh Boyd. He also had a great game against Duke, setting a six-touchdown school record and 388 offensive yards in the first half of the game.

To-date, Boyd has 2,680 yards and 25 touchdowns.

His weapons include wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. Against Duke, Hopkins grabbed three touchdown catches in eight minutes–in the first quarter.

There’s no reason to think that Clemson can’t repeat last Saturday’s performance again versus the injury-depleted Terps.

It’s been quarterback roulette this season and now Maryland is on quarterback No. 5 with former linebacker and true freshman Shawn Petty.

Last week in its 33-13 loss to Georgia Tech, Petty had a rough start, running on 17 carries for 24 yards while going 9 for 18, 115 yards, one pick and two fumbles. He had two touchdowns but it took until the third quarter when the team was down 27-0.

The team is on life support with its plethora of injured players. You can add one more this week to the list as top linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield is out for the season with a torn ACL.

For Maryland, they’ll look for the win to keep them on the bumpy path for bowl eligibility but with two wins in their last meetings, Clemson should have a third one at -31.5 with a 55.5 over/under.

Boston College vs. Notre Dame

Notre Dame QB Everett Golson

With these two teams entering Saturday’s game with their records, one would immediately think the advantage goes to the Fighting Irish.

But not so fast.

Rewind 10 years ago with Notre Dame at 8-0 and everyone thought the same thing: a win for the Gipper. The Eagles kept their noses to the ground and defeated the home team 14-7 in an ugly win.

The wheels fell off for the Irish, who then lost three of their last five games.

Another loss happened in 1993. Will things happen in three on Saturday?

Notre Dame dodged a bullet last week with a triple OT win over Pitt. They will need more than just a victory this week; they need a decisive win to boost their BCS ranking.

No pressure here.

Last week, Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson had an inconsistent game. While he led his team to a comeback, first he sat on the bench in the second quarter for poor play.

Fortunately, this week may be easier: Boston College has one of the poorest defenses in the ACC as it allows 477.4 yards per game or 232.2 rushing yards.

This could be a good things for Notre Dame’s running back duo of  Theo Riddick and Cierre Wood. To-date they have a combined 1,147 rushing yards.

Notre Dame’s defense is tough with its 18 forced turnovers. For the Eagles, they’ve lost the ball 18 times with a second-high of four coming last week against Wake Forest.

The Eagles quarterback is Chase Rettig. He’s decent and is No. 3 in the conference with his 2,556 passing yards. He has 16 touchdowns with at least one per game this season.

The bettors don’t believe there’s a spoiler alert this year with the Fighting Irish at -19.5 with a 48 over/under.


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