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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
ECU 58
FRES 52
1st
CIN 5
NCCU 6
 
1st
WAS 1
ATL 4
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
GSW
8:00pm Tonight
MIL
DET
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
SAC
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
CHI
1st
UMO 0
OHIO 0
 
Final
ECU 58
FRES 52
Final
ELON 74
MRGST 73
 
Final
MIZZ 61
PURD 82
Final
MAR 55
HAW 62
Final
UNF 77
LIB 57
 
Final
CHAM 85
BYU 121
Final
BUCK 58
MDES 55
 
Final
UGST 85
WCU 70
 
2nd
UWGB 38
EVAN 37
 
1st
ARST 5
ALA 4
 
1st
OHIO 3
ARKPB 0
 
1st
UNH 7
BU 3
 
1st
OU 14
CHIST 15
 
1st
TOL 10
DET 6
 
1st
CLMB 1
FD 0
 
1st
QUIN 6
HART 5
 
1st
SFLA 8
HOF 6
 
1st
HARV 6
HOU 3
 
1st
BONA 13
JST 10
 
1st
STJOE 0
LIU 0
 
1st
SYR 2
GHND 0
 
1st
MLOWELL 17
MTIDA 12
 
1st
CIN 5
NCCU 6
 
1st
VT 2
NIOWA 7
 
1st
WOFF 6
OHVALLEY 11
 
1st
TEMPL 12
PENN 7
 
1st
RUTG 7
PETE 10
 
1st
BGU 10
SEMIZ 2
 
1st
LAS 5
Terriers 2
 
1st
UVA 15
TENST 2
 
1st
KENT 8
TXARL 5
 
1st
FSU 5
CITA 6
 
1st
PBY 2
TOCC 4
 
7:00pm Tonight
COOK
TENNM
 
1st
WMARY 11
WILL 9
 
1st
USB 11
WKENT 11
 
1st
HIGH 12
WMPEACE 8
 
7:30pm Tonight
PSU
AKR
7:30pm Tonight
SMU
ARK
7:30pm Tonight
ARMY
BING
 
7:30pm Tonight
CSOU
CARK
 
7:30pm Tonight
UMBC
HOW
 
7:30pm Tonight
ARZ
KYST
7:30pm Tonight
OREG
VCU
8:00pm Tonight
SCST
CIU
 
8:00pm Tonight
CREI
EILL
8:00pm Tonight
ALAAM
JVST
 
8:00pm Tonight
ABCHRIST
JCHR
 
8:00pm Tonight
TXSA
LOYC
8:00pm Tonight
NDST
MNCROOK
 
8:00pm Tonight
NEB
NEOM
8:00pm Tonight
VANDY
NORST
 
8:00pm Tonight
STLU
NCAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
NARZ
8:00pm Tonight
TTU
NWST
 
8:00pm Tonight
TULA
SOUTH
 
8:00pm Tonight
ILLCH
STXAVIER
 
8:00pm Tonight
TEX
RFLSH
8:00pm Tonight
BRAD
TAMCC
 
8:00pm Tonight
SMISS
TROY
8:05pm Tonight
DRAK
IUPUI
8:05pm Tonight
ARKST
LAM
 
8:30pm Tonight
FLGC
USF
9:00pm Tonight
COL
AFA
9:00pm Tonight
IDAHO
BSU
9:00pm Tonight
GRCN
BUF
 
9:00pm Tonight
ORU
LALAF
9:00pm Tonight
CHAR
MIAMI
9:30pm Tonight
ISU
MD
9:30pm Tonight
UMO
NW
10:00pm Tonight
SDST
PITT
10:00pm Tonight
MICH
VILL
10:05pm Tonight
SACST
BRISTOL
 
11:00pm Tonight
USC
CSFU
11:00pm Tonight
STAN
DEL
1st
CLB 1
WIN 1
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
LOS
8:00pm Tonight
STL
OTT
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
EDM
9:00pm Tonight
ARI
COL
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CAL
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
NJD