Clemson-Wake Forest headlines Week 12 in ACC
Here are some things to watch in the Atlantic Coast Conference for Week 12:
GAME OF THE WEEK: No. 5 Clemson at Wake Forest. The Tigers (9-1, 6-1, No. 4 CFP) can clinch a spot in the ACC championship game and get back on track after a home loss to Pittsburgh spoiled their perfect season but ultimately didn't knock them out of the playoff picture. They'll have to contend with a Wake Forest team that led No. 3 Louisville for three quarters before falling apart in the final 15 minutes of a 44-12 loss. ''Obviously there's a lot on the line for us,'' Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said.
BEST MATCHUP: Pittsburgh run defense vs. Duke offense. The Panthers have been tough to run upon, allowing 105 yards rushing per game to rank seventh nationally and holding Clemson to 50 yards on the ground in last week's upset of the Tigers. The Blue Devils have found ways to make their ground game effective, with QB Daniel Jones and RB Shaun Wilson, rushing for at least 225 yards in their last three games.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Pitt has made close games its trademark, both this season and throughout its brief tie in the ACC. Six of the Panthers' games this season have been decided by a touchdown or less, with three losses coming by a total of 11 points. Pitt has played four road games in four years against Atlantic Division teams and won them all with the average margin of victory just three points.
UPSET WATCH: Keep an eye on The Citadel against North Carolina. This might set up as a trap game for the Tar Heels, coming after last week's loss at rival Duke and before a short week that precedes another rivalry game against N.C. State. The Citadel enters with a 10-0 record, the experience of having already beaten an FBS opponent - the Bulldogs knocked off South Carolina last year - and a ground game that could cause problems for the worst run defense in the ACC. ''I can assure you The Citadel is not going to come in here and feel intimidated by any means,'' UNC coach Larry Fedora said.
IMPACT PLAYER: Florida State RB Dalvin Cook could put up some big numbers against Syracuse's leaky defense. Cook averages 124 yards rushing - second only to Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson of Louisville in the ACC - and will look to post some big numbers against an Orange defense that allows 197 yards per game on the ground.
Compiled by AP Sports Writer Joedy McCreary in Raleigh, North Carolina.
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