Injury report, five game storylines, five questions with Xavier Dye and more.
Clemson: DE Da'Quan Bowers (sprained MCL) is out; S Spencer Adams (flu) and CB Coty Sensabaugh (toe) are probable.
N.C. State: KR T.J. Graham (stress fracture), DE Jeff Rieskamp (hernia), OL R.J. Mattes (ACL), CB Rashard Smith (ankle), RB James Washington (knee), TE Mario Carter (knee), LB Nate Irving (leg), S Javon Walker (knee), OL Denzelle Good (shoulder), LB Ryan Cheek (hip), QB Everett Proctor (shoulder) and FB Colby Jackson (knee) are out.
FIVE GAME STORYLINES
It is a two-horse race between Clemson and Boston College for the Atlantic Division title. The Tigers can clinch by winning their next two games today against the Wolfpack and against Virgina, or with one win and a loss by the Eagles. It is the latest chance to see how Clemson handles prosperity.
N.C. State is no different than Florida State - good quarterback, prolific passing game, a defensive sieve. But the Wolfpack perhaps present a tougher challenge because they do not seem to have been granted by same credibility by Clemson as given the Seminoles. Dabo Swinney said he thought the team rebounded well in practice during the week. We will see how if the Tigers have the same intensity today as they did last week.
Ticky tack toe
C.J. Spiller's Heisman Trophy candidacy rides on Clemson's success and the attention an ACC title push would generate. Which, of course, is a two-way street. The Tigers' best chance of winning the league crown rides on Spiller continuing to supply game-changing performances, such as consecutive contests of 300-yard all-purpose games in spite of a bothersome turf toe.
Curb his enthusiasm
Clemson coaches acknowledge the team's fate has ridden on the right arm of quarterback Kyle Parker. Parker has made some big throws the last month, but he has not reduced the number of cover-your-eyes throws. As young and as N.C. State's secondary is, Parker cannot allow the Wolfpack to build confidence through his mistakes.
Pick and choose
N.C. State quarterback Russell Wilson set the NCAA record for consecutive passes without an interception (379). Clemson is tied with Iowa for the national lead in interceptions (25), with both its safeties ranking among the top six individually. Someone has to give - or take, as the case may be. The Tigers hope that Wilson's extended wind-up gives them a chance to jump the passing lanes.
FIVE QUESTIONS WITH XAVIER DYE
Dye, a junior receiver, has grown into a lineup fixture since briefly quitting the team after the second game.
What brought you back?
I had to go back and look at myself. I've put a ton of time in this program, they've been loyal to me, and they've done a lot for me. It's hard just to walk out and start something new at another place where you don't know anybody. I have a great network here. It's a great place to be in and doesn't get much better than this.
What did you do to earn a spot on the ACC's good works team this year?
It's stuff I like doing. I didn't really know anything about the award or team. I go out and talk to elementary schools, Boy Scouts. I've been on mission trips to New Orleans. They're all great experiences, and some of the stuff you see is very eye-opening. You can change somebody's life just by speaking with them.
When did you go to New Orleans?
Spring of my freshman year. A couple of other guys went, too. It was with the FCA on campus. We had about 400-something students and took 30-some vans down there. We had a great time. I was actually working down in the Ninth Ward where some of the levies were broken. We helped build a house and stuff like that.
With the controversy that brewed when you transferred from Greenwood to Byrnes, what's it like to go back home?
My dad and my grandmother live there, and a lot of my family's still there. I go there all the time and eat with my dad and his wife. It's fine. I go back and see a lot of my friends. My brother actually plays for Greenwood High. So it's really no big deal.
Who possesses the best hands among the receivers?
I think we're all pretty good, but I have to say I've made some of the craziest catches. But the best hands on the team belong to Durrell Barry, tight end. He catches balls one-handed like they're nothing. But I don't really try that. It's not something you want to do unless you have to.
GAME WITHIN A GAME
N.C. State TE George Bryan vs. Clemson S Rashard Hall
About Bryan: The 6-foot-5, 265-pound sophomore has developed into quarterback Russell Wilson's safety blanket. Bryan, who chose N.C. State over Clemson, leads the team and ACC tight ends in catches with 35. He is also second in the conference in touchdown catches (six) behind teammate Jarvis Williams (seven).
How he'll win: Florida State showed how vulnerable Clemson's linebackers are against underneath coverage. The Tigers' safeties figure to pay close attention to vertical routes by N.C. State's wideouts, freeing Bryan to work off single coverage.
Key number: 24. N.C. State touchdown passes, fifth-most of 120 FBS teams
About Hall: The redshirt freshman technically is listed as the second-string free safety behind Marcus Gilchrist, but Hall has started five games as Clemson typically uses its nickel defense as its base set. He is tied for sixth nationally in interceptions (five) and has tied a program-record with a pick in four consecutive games.
How he'll win: While teammate DeAndre McDaniel relies on instinct and athleticism, Hall is regarded by coordinator Kevin Steele as perhaps the defense's most cerebral player. If the Wolfpack have shown any offensive tendencies, Hall will be aware of them.
Key number: 9. Interceptions forced by Clemson in its past three ACC games, which have come against three of the league's four highest-rated QBs in pass efficiency (Wilson is second).
PREDICTION: CLEMSON 29, N.C. STATE 27