Dan Scott Prediction: Clemson-Wake Forest


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Back on the winning track a week ago, and missed the exact score by just two points. Am I getting better? Or just lucky? I guess we'll find out this week.

WAKE FOREST AT CLEMSON

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

The Tiger offense is clicking now that the running game has caught up with Cullen Harper and company. As the offensive line has improved, James Davis and C.J. Spiller suddenly are finding better holes to run through. Defensively Wake Forest is opportunistic, with seven fumble/interception returns for touchdowns so far this season. But if form holds, Clemson won't turn it over much if at all.

ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

WHEN WAKE FOREST HAS THE BALL

Riley Skinner and Co. will run that misdirection-oriented, reverse-heavy, funky blocking system they do - a system that has driven Clemson crazy since Jim Grobe took over the Deacons' program. They rarely make mistakes, especially with Skinner at the helm making his usual good decisions. Having said that, Clemson's defense continues to play well. Guys like Michael Hamlin have been making big play after big play. They'll need to keep it up Saturday.

ADVANTAGE - EVEN

SPECIAL TEAMS

With a punt returner and kick returner who are among the best in the country, Wake will challenge Clemson's improved coverage units. Plus, Sam Swank isn't likely to miss two field goals in the same game again.

ADVANTAGE - WAKE FOREST

INTANGIBLES

Normally in this game between these teams, in recent years anyway, this would be a category Wake Forest would win going away. However, with what's on the line for Clemson I have a hard time believing Tommy Bowden's team won't be ready to play. Plus, it looks like the fans finally understand this era of Wake Forest football isn't like their awful past.

ADVANTAGE - CLEMSON

BOTTOM LINE

Clemson hasn't had this much on the line in November since 1991, the last time the Tigers won the ACC. An omen, perhaps? We'll see. But as for Saturday...

THE PICK

Clemson31, Wake Forest 24

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