Football Bowl Subdivision
            === Tigers set to pounce on Wolfpack in Death Valley ===
 Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Holding out hope for an ACC Atlantic Division
 title, the 11th-ranked Clemson Tigers close out their conference slate this
 weekend when they welcome the NC State Wolfpack to Death Valley.
 The defending ACC champions are tied with Florida State atop the Atlantic
 Division standings at 6-1 (9-1 overall). However, it is the Seminoles that
 hold the tie-breaker by virtue of a 49-37 win over the Tigers on Sept. 22.
 Since then, Clemson has won six straight games, including last weekend's 45-10
 rout of Maryland.
 Dabo Swinney knows that despite the accomplishments to this point, the season
 is far from over.
 "I've told my players that now is the time when top 10 teams separate
 themselves from the pack. The end of November is when it matters. We need to
 play our best football down the stretch."
 Tom O'Brien's Wolfpack ended a two-game skid last weekend with a 37-6 victory
 over Wake Forest at home. With the win, the team moved to 6-4 on the season
 and became bowl eligible for the fourth time in O'Brien's six seasons at the
 helm in Raleigh.
 Clemson leads the all-time series against the Wolfpack, 51-28-1. NC State has
 not won a game in Death Valley since 2002, with Clemson holding a 19-11 edge
 in games played there.
 Mike Glennon may only be starting for his second season, but he has already
 left his mark on the school record books, ranking fourth all-time in several
 statistical categories.
 This season Glennon has completed 57.3 percent of his passes, for 2,910 yards
 with 22 touchdowns. Wideouts Quintin Payton (42 receptions, 669 yards, one TD)
 and Bryan Underwood (40 receptions, 588 yards, 10 TDs) have been reliable
 targets, although Underwood has been much more productive in terms of getting
 into the end zone.
 The NC State defense has shown flashes of strong play like last weekend
 against Wake Forest, but consistency has definitely been an issue. The team is
 allowing nearly 400 yards per game (396), including almost 260 yards passing.
 Safety Earl Wolff has been one of the nation's most active defenders, leading
 the Wolfpack with 104 total tackles. Fellow safety Brandan Bishop is a distant
 second with 88 tackles. All-American cornerback David Amerson (38 tackles),
 leads the team with four interceptions to continue the strong play in the NC
 State secondary.
 O'Brien commented on his defense and the challenge that Clemson will bring.
 "That's the challenge: playing a really explosive Clemson football team.
 They've got playmakers at every spot on offense - a really tough challenge for
 the defense to defend. That's what's great about the challenge. You've got to
 go on the road and play a top team, so it's an exciting time."
 There aren't many offenses putting up the kind of numbers that Clemson can on
 a weekly basis. The Tigers are sixth nationally in scoring (42.9 ppg), 12th in
 passing (322.6 ypg) and seventh in total offense (513.8 ypg).
 The orchestrator of the offense is junior QB Tajh Boyd, who is having another
 phenomenal season, completing 68 percent of his passes, for 2,941 yards, with
 28 touchdowns. It certainly helps to have some of the nation's top receiving
 talent in the form of DeAndre Hopkins (66 receptions, 1,096 yards, 14 TDs) and
 All-American Sammy Watkins (42 catches, 561 yards, two TDs).
 While the passing game is front and center for Clemson, the ground game can
 also dominate at times thanks to tailback Andre Ellington (835 yards, 5.1 ypc,
 eight TDs).
 The Clemson offense has masked any deficiencies the defense has had in 2012.
 The team have posted modest numbers at best, allowing 22.4 ppg and 389.1 yards
 of total offense.
 The strength of the unit is in the linebacking corps, with the top three
 tacklers being LBs Stephone Anthony (74 tackles, 4.5 TFLs, one sack), Jonathan
 Willard (70 tackles, 7.0 TFLs, two sacks) and Spencer Shuey (68 tackles, 5.0
 TFLs, one sack). Safeties Rashard Hall (54 tackles, three INTs) and Jonathan
 Meeks (47 tackles, two INTs) highlight the play in the secondary.
 11/14 11:06:41 ET