TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A little over two hours before kickoff, Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, offensive coordinator Chad Morris, and coach Dabo Swinney were wandering around midfield at Doak Campbell Stadium in their suits and ties, checking out the scene. The Clemson offense will try to make itself at home tonight against a defense that has allowed only one team (North Carolina in 2010) to score more than 20 points in this stadium in the past nine home ACC games. It will be a season-defining game for the ACC and the Atlantic Division standings.
This is the first true test for both teams (Clemson's win over Auburn seems to get less impressive every week, but the same can be said for the Wake Forest defense). The Seminoles are trying to go 2-0 in the ACC for just the third time in the past nine seasons (2005, 2010).
The pregame scene here was comparable to that of the Oklahoma game last year, with fans tailgating for blocks in every direction around the stadium. Fans were out on Tennessee Street, and the students were lined up at their gate long before it opened. It seemed as if every car on I-10 West was covered in FSU decals. ESPN's "College GameDay" crew is on campus, this game is a sellout, and it should be one of the best game-day atmospheres of the season in the ACC.
The only question left is whether or not it will be one of the best games.