Clemson wins Atlantic Division
November, 12, 2011
By Heather Dinich | ESPN.com
Those tickets you already bought for the ACC championship game?
Feel free to keep them, Clemson fans.
The Tigers escaped a season-defining scare from Wake Forest in Death Valley, and in a game in which missed field goals were costly, Clemson kicker Chandler Catanzaro got redemption with the game-winner as time expired. The 31-28 win over Wake Forest assured No. 9 Clemson of its second appearance in the ACC title game in three years. It was a gutsy, impressive performance by the Demon Deacons, but two missed field goals will continue to haunt them. Wake Forest had a 21-point third quarter lead and led 28-21 entering the fourth quarter, but couldn't hang onto the lead.
Despite a lackluster three quarters for the No. 9 team in the nation, Clemson came together in the fourth quarter and rallied behind quarterback Tajh Boyd and got several key defensive stops for the come-from-behind win. It wasn't Boyd's best performance -- he had two interceptions and could have had several more, had potential picks not been dropped -- but he came through in the clutch and threw two touchdown passes to tie the game at 28.
Clemson did not "Clemson itself" this season. It found a way to win. Again.
With all due respect to Wake Forest and its fans -- and I mean that sincerely, because it was an outstanding effort and has been a great season for the Deacs -- this was the best possible outcome for the ACC, because right now, there are two top-10 teams slated to play for the ACC title this year. First, Virginia Tech must win its final two games.
11:00 AM ET Nevada Louisiana-Lafayette 2:20 PM ET Utah State UTEP 3:30 PM ET 22 Utah Colorado State 5:45 PM ET Western Michigan Air Force 9:15 PM ET South Alabama Bowling Green
6:00 PM ET Marshall Northern Illinois 9:30 PM ET Navy San Diego State
12:00 PM ET Central Michigan Western Kentucky 8:00 PM ET Fresno State Rice
1:00 PM ET Illinois Louisiana Tech 4:30 PM ET Rutgers North Carolina 8:00 PM ET North Carolina State UCF
1:00 PM ET Cincinnati Virginia Tech 2:00 PM ET 15 Arizona State Duke 3:30 PM ET Miami (FL) South Carolina 4:30 PM ET Boston College Penn State 8:00 PM ET Nebraska 24 USC
2:00 PM ET Texas A&M West Virginia 5:30 PM ET Oklahoma 17 Clemson 9:00 PM ET Arkansas Texas
3:00 PM ET Notre Dame 23 LSU 6:30 PM ET 13 Georgia 21 Louisville 10:00 PM ET Maryland Stanford
12:30 PM ET 9 Ole Miss 6 TCU 4:00 PM ET 20 Boise State 10 Arizona 8:00 PM ET 7 Mississippi State 12 Georgia Tech
12:00 PM ET 19 Auburn 18 Wisconsin 12:30 PM ET 8 Michigan State 5 Baylor 1:00 PM ET 16 Missouri 25 Minnesota 5:00 PM ET 2 Oregon 3 Florida State 8:30 PM ET 1 Alabama 4 Ohio State
12:00 PM ET Houston Pittsburgh 3:20 PM ET Iowa Tennessee 6:45 PM ET 11 Kansas State 14 UCLA 10:15 PM ET Washington Oklahoma State