Pregame notes from Death Valley

CLEMSON, S.C. -- There are no lineup changes here in Death Valley for either team, but backup quarterback Marc Verica did not travel with the Cavaliers because of a head injury. Riko Smalls would be the backup quarterback if need be.

It's another chance for C.J. Spiller to make a push for the Heisman. Spiller has scored a touchdown in all 10 games this season. He and Boise State WR Austin Pettis are the only players in the FBS to have scored a touchdown in every one of their team’s games. Heisman ballots were mailed to voters on Tuesday and are due back by Dec. 7. There are 926 electors this season, including 55 living Heisman winners. Each must rank his/her top three players. Eight of the nine Heisman winners this decade have been quarterbacks (Reggie Bush was the exception).

A few other notes ...

  • Dabo Swinney’s seven wins this year are the most by a Clemson coach in his first full season since Ken Hatfield went 10-2 in 1990.

  • Clemson is 3-0 in ACC home games this season. The Tigers have not been perfect in conference home games since 2003.

  • Virginia has not lost eight games in a season since going 3-8 in 1986. The Cavaliers have already secured their second straight seven-loss season -- their first such streak since 1980-82.

If UNC holds onto its 28-13 lead over BC in the fourth quarter, it won't matter what Clemson does on the field here at Memorial Stadium. The Tigers will have clinched the Atlantic Division thanks to BC's loss. That's certainly one way to avoid an upset.