Inside the ACC

jgiglio@newsobserver.comNovember 22, 2013 

N.C. State, NC State, Wolfpack, Boston College, Eagles, ACC, foo

N.C. State running back Matt Dayes (21) gains yards during a long pass reception during the first half of N.C. State's game against Boston College at Alumni Stadium in Chestnut Hill, MA, Saturday, November 16, 2013.

ETHAN HYMAN — ehyman@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

Three to watch

1) No. 25 Duke at Wake Forest, noon (ESPN2)

The Blue Devils (8-2) have won six straight and control their fate in the Coastal Division race. The Demon Deacons (4-6) need to win out to get back to a bowl game.

2) East Carolina at N.C. State, 12:30 p.m. (WRAL)

The Pirates (8-2) can beat the Wolfpack (3-7) and UNC in the same season for the first time in school history. They are also in reach of the first double-digit win season since 1991.

3) Idaho at No. 2 Florida State, 3:30 p.m. (ESPNU)

It’s only Idaho (1-9) but it will be good to see the Seminoles (10-0) make a mockery of someone outside the ACC. The Noles have won their past six games by an average of 45 points per game.

Number to know

17-3 Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe’s home record against in-state Bowl Subdivision teams. Grobe has a 5-1 home mark against Duke.

Observations

•  East Carolina has had more success scoring at home than on the road this season. The Pirates have averaged 44.8 points in six home games, compared to 36.5 in four road games.

N.C. State, which has lost six straight, will take any break it can get. The Wolfpack hasn’t scored 30 points in a game since a 48-14 win over Central Michigan on Sept. 28.

•  Eighty thousand Clemson fans held their collective breath last Thursday night when quarterback Tajh Boyd left in the second half of a 55-31 win over Georgia Tech holding his left shoulder.

Boyd returned to the sidelines after x-rays on his collarbone were negative, but Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly finished the game. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said the ACC’s new career leader in touchdown passes is fine for Saturday’s game against The Citadel.

It should go without saying, Swinney needs to proceed with caution with Boyd when they face South Carolina next.

•  Either Pittsburgh (5-5) or Syracuse (5-5) will be bowl eligible after their game in upstate New York. The winner will give the ACC nine bowl eligible teams with UNC likely to make it 10 with a home game against Old Dominion.

The Tar Heels (5-5) won’t fall past the Belk Bowl in Charlotte in the ACC’s pecking order and it would make geographic sense to send one of the former Big East teams to the Military Bowl in Washington.

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