Ultimate ACC road trip: Week 12


Welcome back to the ACC’s ultimate road trip. In case you’re just joining us, this series is your ticket to each of the best games in the ACC every week. These are the games that -- if you had the money and the time -- you would want to be at this fall. The season is still a long ways off, but here in the blogosphere, it’s a November to remember. We’ve only got two weeks of the regular season remaining. Here’s a look at Week 12:

Saturday, November 17

  • South Florida at Miami

  • Virginia Tech at Boston College

  • NC State at Clemson

  • Duke at Georgia Tech

  • Florida State at Maryland

  • Wake Forest at Notre Dame, NBC, 3:30 p.m.

My choice: NC State at Clemson

Why: Because I have a feeling that NC State could be in the running for the Atlantic Division title this year, and this game could make or break those chances. It should be the most meaningful game of the week, it will feature two of the ACC's best quarterbacks in Tajh Boyd and Mike Glennon, and if you haven’t been to a game in Death Valley by now, this is one you won’t want to miss.

It’s the final league game of the season for Clemson, which will face rival South Carolina in the regular-season finale. For NC State, it’s the middle of a three-game stretch against Atlantic Division opponents, and this is the toughest test of the three. The Wolfpack were able to knock off then-No. 7-ranked Clemson a year ago. Despite that win, Clemson and Florida State will still continue to be the division favorites. Much of that can be attributed to the difference in recruiting classes, as NC State trails both programs.

That doesn’t mean that Tom O’Brien and his staff can’t surprise the front-runners with good coaching and player development. If O’Brien’s program is truly going to turn the corner, though, it must build off of last year’s success against the Tigers and do it again. And if Clemson is going to repeat as ACC champs, this could be a game the Tigers can’t afford to lose.

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