Countdown to kickoff: No. 19

There are 19 more weekdays until NC State kicks off against Tennessee in Atlanta on Friday, Aug. 31. We’re counting down with 25 reasons to be excited about ACC football this year. This list features coaches, players, games, themes, position groups – 25 things for you to look forward to.

The countdown to kickoff continues with …

No. 19: Clemson’s offensive playmakers. If you like points, this one’s for you. This should be one of the most exciting groups in the country to watch, not only because of the talent and speed, but also because of how much better it could be in the second season under coordinator Chad Morris. Clemson returns three first-team all-ACC players to an offense that averaged a school-record 440.8 yards per game last year and scored a school-record 58 touchdowns and 470 points. And that was in Morris’ first season. It’s the first time since 1978 that Clemson returns three first-team all-conference players. That 1978 team went 11-1 and finished No. 6 in the final polls. Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, receiver Sammy Watkins, and running back Andre Ellington get most of the ink, but the Tigers also have receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Jaron Brown, and tight end Brandon Ford.

  • No. 20 The ACC's record chasers

  • No. 21 Larry Fedora

  • No. 22 One of the nation's top rushing offenses

  • No. 23 The last season before expansion

  • No. 24 Brent Venables

  • No. 25 A fresh start at Maryland