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(10) Clemson (7-1) at Duke (6-3)



Saturday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Football Editor

GAME NOTES: The 10th-ranked Clemson Tigers continue their run at the ACC title, as they head to Durham this week for a matchup against the Duke Blue Devils.

The Tigers have had a few extra days to rest up following last Thursday's 42-13 rout of Wake Forest. With the win, Dabo Swinney's squad moved to 4-1 in conference play, just a half game behind Florida State in the ACC's Atlantic Division standings.

David Cutcliffe is enjoying the best season the Blue Devils have had under his reign and the best season since 1994 overall. Duke is 6-3 overall on the season and 3-2 in-conference, good for a first-place tie with Miami and North Carolina in the Coastal Division. The team took on the Seminoles last weekend in Tallahassee, but came up real short in a 48-7 lopsided loss.

Cutcliffe was quick to rally the troops after the loss.

"I would like to think what we saw was somewhat of an aberration when you have all three phases break down consistently and that's what we did," said Cutcliffe after the loss to FSU. "I told our team afterwards it was not a product of our preparation; we have a very committed team, we practice well. It was not a product of we are bowl eligible and we are going to shut down. That's not the case in my opinion. It is a product of playing a very good team that we didn't respond to that very good team."

Clemson holds a 35-16-1 series advantage all-time against Duke, but things are much closer in games played in Durham, with the Tigers holding a narrow 14-12 edge. Still, Clemson has been dominant of late, winning 15 of the last 18 meetings overall.

Quarterback Tajh Boyd had a huge day against Wake Forest, passing for a school-record 428 yards and five touchdowns. All-American wideout Sammy Watkins became the first player in school history to go over 200 yards receiving in the game, finishing with 202.

Watkins is happy he is finally getting back to playing well.

"I just played within the system and got open and got great balls from Tajh," he said following the win. "I'm just getting back in the groove, and I think next week it should carry on as well."

On the season, Boyd is the orchestrator of an offense that is putting up 498.0 yards of total offense, including 317.6 yards per game passing. Boyd has completed an efficient 67.7 percent of his throws, for 2,336 yards, with 20 TDs. Despite his eye-popping stats against Wake Forest, Watkins (32 receptions, 404 yards, one TD) has been overshadowed in the receiving corps by DeAndre Hopkins (58 receptions, 909 yards, 10 TDs) who has played at an All- American level.

Balance is a key to Clemson's success and tailback Andre Ellington provides that, rumbling for 754 yards thus far on 5.0 yards per carry, with seven TDs.

Clemson's defense has had moments of strong play, like last week against Wake Forest, but inconsistency has plagued the unit for the most part. The team is allowing a generous 421.1 yards of total offense per game, showing itself to be particularly vulnerable to the run (183.3 ypg).

The linebacker play has led the way for this unit. Jonathan Willard paces the team in total tackles (65), followed closely by fellow LBs Stephone Anthony (60) and Spencer Shuey (49). Safeties Rashard Hall (40 tackles, three INTs) and Jonathan Meeks (40 tackles, two INTs) are the top playmakers in the secondary.

Despite a poor offensive showing against Florida State last week, the Blue Devils have actually been quite productive on that side of the ball this season, averaging 31.9 ppg. A lot of that comes from a passing attack that generates 271.6 yards per game.

Quarterback Sean Renfree has spearheaded that attack, completing 68.9 percent of his throws, for 1,885 yards, with 11 TDs. However, Renfree was injured against FSU and is questionable for this week's game. Anthony Boone would get the start if Renfree was unable to go. Boone has had success this season in a limited role.

Regardless of who is under center, the top targets downfield remain the same in wideouts Conner Vernon (54 receptions, 761 yards, five TDs), the ACC's all- time leader in receptions, and Jamison Crowder (53 receptions, 645 yards, five TDs).

Duke's defense forced four FSU turnovers last week, but the squad needs to do that on a regular basis to become competitive against the upper echelon in the league. The Blue Devils are yielding 30.0 ppg this year, on 414.7 yards of total offense.

Safety Walt Canty has made plays all over the field and leads the team with 80 tackles. Fellow safety Jordan Byas is a distant second in stops (59), followed by cornerback Ross Cockrell (50 tackles), who is responsible for half (4) of the team's eight interceptions.

This game is probably going to be a shootout as neither defense has shown the ability to really shut the opposition down. The Tigers are the more potent offense though, and with Renfree at less than full health, expect Clemson to get going and Duke unable to keep up.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Clemson 41, Duke 20

10/31 10:46:43 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13