ACC Roundup: #13 Clemson vs. Duke, Georgia Tech vs. Maryland
The ACC kicked off for Week 10 on Thursday night with the Miami vs. Virginia Tech game. The Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing streak and won 30-12 in a game plagued by errors from both teams.
With the win, they are 4-2 in the Coastal division and are moving toward its title; Miami has a half-game lead over Duke and North Carolina.
But for the Tar Heels they will not see the postseason including an opportunity at the conference’s title game.
In other ACC games, on Saturday #13 Clemson (7-1, 4-1) will play Duke (6-3, 3-2) and Georgia Tech (3-5, 2-3) takes on quarterback-deprived-Maryland (4-4, 2-2).
#13 Clemson vs. Duke
Clemson is looking to avoid a repeat of last season’s late meltdown that had them at No. 6 nationally with an 8-0 record. They lost their last three of four games but made it to the Orange Bowl only to get spanked by West Virginia 70-33.
This year’s team is more experienced and is on a mission.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd is the league’s leader with his more than 326 yards of total offense per game and is at the top of the conference with his 20 touchdown passes vs his six picks.
Against Wake Forest last week, he passed for a school-record of 428 yards. He also tied a school record (his own) with five touchdown passes to five different wide receivers.
One of Boyd’s weapons of choice is wide receiver Sammy Watkins, who also had a great game against Wake Forest. He had eight catches for a Tiger-record of 202 yards with his first receiving touchdown for the season.
For Duke, quarterback Sean Renfree went down in last week’s game against Florida State. He has been listed as probable (head). If Renfree isn’t good to go, then Anthony Boone will get the start.
The Blue Devils like to throw the ball around and have two good wide receivers to help out: Conner Vernon and Jamison Crowder. Both have more than 50 catches to-date with Crowder’s 645 yards receiving and five touchdowns and Vernon’s 761 yards and five touchdowns.
For the Blue Devils, a win would give them a crack at the division title but history isn’t on their side. They have lost 46 consecutive games against ranked teams but they play well at home, going 5-0 this year.
The bettors think Clemson will take the win at -12.5 with a 65.5 over/under.
Georgia Tech vs. Maryland
Maryland has been playing quarterback roulette this season by using four different ones in the last three months. This week, true freshman linebacker Shawn Petty will take over. He was a high school quarterback and will entry the fray as the team ran out of scholarship quarterbacks on the team’s roster.
This green player will take one for the team and has expressed excitement about it.
Petty won’t be asked to carry the game on his back but Maryland’s defense will.
It is a tough group, holding its opponents to 2.31 yards per carry, giving them a No. 3 national ranking. From their opponents’ 269 rushing attempts in 2012, 186 (69.1 percent) have come in 3 yards or less.
The Terps rank No. 4 in rushing defense and the team will look for defensive lineman Joe Vellano to help stop Georgia Tech.
He is the conference leader for defensive linemen tackles (6.5) and is the league’s leader with 1.75 tackles for loss per game. Last year against Georgia Tech, he had a career-high 20 tackles.
Georgia Tech has its own quarterback challenges as starter Tevin Washington who likes to run (15 rushing touchdowns) with an average of 4.1 yards per carry, got sent to the bench last week as true freshman Vad Lee (35 carries for 262 yards and four touchdowns) got the nod.
Last week, BYU crushed the Yellow Jackets 41-17. They will look for the win with their No. 4 rushing attack for the win. Georgia Tech gets the nod at -8 with a 46 over/under.