That roar heard in upstate South Carolina around 11:10 PM Thursday night coincided with Clemson’s hopes of winning the ACC’s Atlantic Division getting a huge boost. It was at that moment that Florida State quarterback Christian Ponder lost a fumble at the NC State eight yard line as the Wolfpack defeated the Seminoles 28-24. Ponder appeared to be ready to throw a game winning touchdown pass but lost the handle on the football as he started to step up in the pocket.
That victory not only boosts State’s division chances, it gave new life to Clemson’s. The Tigers needed help to have a chance to win the division for the second straight year, and this was almost all the help they needed. Now, the Tigers will when the division if they win the rest of their league games and Maryland loses one more league game.
Clemson plays at Boston College Saturday then returns home to host State. The following weekend the Tigers go to Florida State and then close out their ACC schedule at Wake Forest.
NC State also has Wake Forest, North Carolina and Maryland to play. Florida State also has North Carolina and Maryland left on the ACC schedule. And Maryland still has to play Wake Forest, Miami, Virginia, Florida State and NC State.
There’s every reason to believe Maryland will lose at least one more league game meaning Clemson, if it takes care of its own business, once again will rebound from a 2-3 start and win the division and earn a spot in the ACC Championship game which will be played in Charlotte in December.