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Monday, October 22, 2012
ACC Week 9 sneak peek

By Andrea Adelson

Let's take a sneak peek at the the ACC schedule for Week 9.

Thursday night

Clemson (6-1, 3-1) at Wake Forest (4-3, 2-3), 7:30 p.m., ESPN. Will this game come down to the wire the way the meeting between the two schools did a season ago? Flash back, to last year, and remember that Clemson rallied from 14 points down to win 31-28. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 43-yard field goal as time expired to clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title for the Tigers. Clemson has won three straight in the series. The last Wake Forest win came in 2008 -- also a Thursday night game. Headed into this game, it appears as if the Clemson defense has turned a corner following a good game against Virginia Tech last week. Wake Forest, meanwhile, was stagnant on offense last week in a win over Virginia, managing just one touchdown and 213 yards. In fact, the Deacs have managed less than 300 yards of total offense in back-to-back games.

Saturday

NC State (5-2, 2-1) at North Carolina (5-3, 2-2), 12:30 p.m., ACC Network. The Wolfpack own a five-game winning streak in the series, matching 1988-92 for its longest in the series. In a 13-0 win last year, NC State limited the Tar Heels to 165 total yards. If the Wolfpack do that this year, they deserve a golden medal in addition to the W in the win column. Despite losing to Duke last week, North Carolina had 414 yards of total offense. The Tar Heels have run for more than 150 yards in five straight games. NC State, meanwhile, survived Maryland last week to stay atop the Atlantic Division. This one is yet another important one for bragging rights in the state of North Carolina.

Maryland (4-3, 2-1) at Boston College (1-6, 0-4), 1 p.m., ESPN3. The big question headed into this game is: Who will start at quarterback for the Terps? Perry Hills will undergo an MRI on his left knee, and coach Randy Edsall was not giving out many answers about his quarterback situation after the game. Caleb Rowe and Devin Burns both played in relief of Hills last week against NC State. No doubt this team has been decimated at the position, losing starter C.J. Brown in the preseason. Could all this uncertainty be the opening BC needs to end its five-game losing streak?

BYU (4-4) at Georgia Tech (3-4). The Yellow Jackets take a break from conference play to take on BYU, a team that took Notre Dame down to the wire last week before losing a heartbreaker. These two teams last met in 2002 and 2003, splitting their series. But the Cougars are a vastly different team today than they were back then. In fact, the strength of this team resides on its defense, as the Cougars rank No. 4 in the nation in total defense. Should be a great challenge taking on the run-heavy Georgia Tech offense. Meanwhile, the BYU offense has been inconsistent for the last several years now, and that could play right into the hands of the reconstituted Georgia Tech D, which held Boston College to 296 yards of offense -- its best showing of the season against an FBS opponent.

Duke (6-2, 3-1) at Florida State (7-1, 4-1), 3:30 p.m., ESPNU. Is this an ACC championship game preview? Stop laughing -- Duke is for real this year. The Blue Devils go into the game having clinched bowl eligibility and sit alone in first place in the Coastal Division. Florida State is in the mix in the Atlantic. So how will this one play out? History is not on the Blue Devils' side. Florida State leads the series 17-0. The Noles got pretty banged up in a very physical game against Miami, so we will see how close they are to being 100 percent healthy as the week goes on.