Undefeated Tigers try not to be derailed by Georgia Tech

Potent offenses clash at sold-out Bobby Dodd Stadium when No. 6 Clemson visits faltering Georgia Tech.

The Tigers (8-0 overall, 5-0 ACC), who are No. 5 in the BCS standings, have launched themselves into national championship discussion behind an offense averaging 40.6 points (12th nationally). Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd, a Heisman Trophy candidate, produced 375 yards of total offense in last week’s 59-38 victory over North Carolina.

The Yellow Jackets (6-2 overall, 3-2 ACC), who rank 17th with 38.4 points per game, were held to a season-low 211 yards in last week’s 24-7 loss at Miami.

Boyd’s 24 touchdown passes are tied for the most nationally with Boise State’s Kellen Moore. Freshman wide receiver Sammy Watkins leads the ACC with 54 catches, nine of which have gone for TDs, and running back Andre Ellington averages 93.1 yards on the ground.

The Tigers have scored at least 56 points in consecutive games for the first time in school history. The defense is mediocre, allowing 25 points per game (51st nationally). Clemson is 8-0 for only the fourth time.

Georgia Tech quarterback Tevin Washington has thrown four interceptions over the last three games and was briefly replaced in the loss at Miami. Georgia Tech’s blocking up front has deteriorated, leaving less room for Washington to throw and make option reads.

Starting center Jay Finch injured his lower leg on the first play from scrimmage last week and seems unlikely to play. A-back Orwin Smith (12.3 yards per carry) and wide receiver Stephen Hill (31.2 yards per catch) need more touches.

Defensively, Tech did a better job against the run last week (3.0 yards per carry) than in previous ACC games (5.5 yards per carry). The Jackets have nine interceptions after snagging eight last season.

TV: ABC, 8 p.m. LINE: Clemson -3.5.

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