Clemson, SC (NWN) — Clemson did what he could to stand a chance to extend his run of the ACC Atlantic Division title.
Now the matter has gone out of Tiger’s hands. They will have to wait for the results of this weekend to see what happens next for them.
Clemson (8-3, 6-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) closed out league play on Saturday with his most impressive performance of the season with a 48-27 win. Over No 21 Wake Forest. A defeat would have ended the Tigers’ chances for a seventh consecutive ACC championship game.
With that win against Damon Deacon, Clemson will play for the league title again if Wake Forest and No. 24 North Carolina State lose this weekend.
Clemson tailback Will Shipley said players are aware of the situation but focused on winning their seventh straight game in the Tigers’ regular season finale in South Carolina (6-5) on Saturday night.
“Obviously, we want to make the ACC Championship,” he said. “But we have another goal to win the state championship.”
The Tigers are currently rolling, with wins in six of their last seven matches on September 2nd. He had his most complete performance in destroying Wake Forest, being unbeaten in the first conference.
Clemson’s coach Dabo Swinney was pleased that his players had found a way to remain a factor despite initial issues.
“For us to have any hope, we have to win the game to survive,” Swine said of the win against Wake. “We certainly didn’t want anyone to come here in the valley and get a trophy.”
Tigers offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said the coach would address the need for a single-minded focus on South Carolina. The Gamecocks, led by first-year coach Shane Beamer, became Bowl eligible with November’s victories over Florida and Auburn.
“We know they are extremely talented and they seem to be playing their best football here in November,” said Beamer. “It seems that he has continued to improve as the years go by.”
That might be enough to play for the championship, depending on how the Wolfpack fares against rival North Carolina on Friday and Damon Deacon’s result at Boston College on Saturday.
Receiver Beaux Collins said the Tigers never stopped grinding.
“We’ll be checking those scores all day,” said Collins, a freshman caught with a left-hander for a 58-yard touchdown in the wake victory. ,
Clemson has usually wrapped up the split race with his rivalry game. Losses to North Carolina State in September and Pitt set them back in the standings in October as Wake and the Wolfpack took control.
Elliott believes the focus players have shown since mid-season to remain in the mix will serve him well during the busy, Thanksgiving week of preparation.
After losing to Pitt, Elliott said players who committed the offense realized how close they were to playing like Clemson’s recent title-winning teams.
“They knew, ‘We’re good enough. We just have to go play,'” he said.
It was in full effect last week against Wake Forest. Quarterback DJ Uigalelli threw for 208 yards and a touchdown, tailback Kobe Pace ran for 191 yards and two scores, Shipley had 112 yards and two touchdowns and also passed for a 2-yard score from a straight snap.
Clemson’s defense put Wake Forest on a season-low 27 points, 17 less than his season average. The Tigers recorded eight sacks, pressured Damon Deacon quarterback Sam Hartman and kept him running for 36 yards.
Still, the Tigers can do little to improve their chances in the title chase this week – other than keep their fingers crossed and hope.
“We are relying on a little help right now,” Collins said.
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