Posted by Chip Patterson
For Clemson fans, the fall from the rank of the undefeateds felt devastating. The Tigers winning ways had them positioned as an outside national title contender, but it all came crashing down in the loss to Georgia Tech. But with a week off to get healthy and re-focus, the Tigers now set their sights on an ACC Championship.
Getting healthy was an important part of their preparation for the season's home stretch, with two division contests left to wrap up the ACC Atlantic title. Offensive coordinator Chad Morris said Monday that running back Andre Ellington (ankle) and tight end Dwayne Allen (turf toe) are expected to be ready to go for Saturday's contest with Wake Forest. A win against the Demon Deacons would clinch the division title, and give the Tigers a berth to the ACC Championship Game.
CBSSports.com's Travis Sawchik notes that Ellington, who sat out Clemson's loss against Georgia Tech, has either missed or been severely limited in six games since last October. In those games the Tigers are 2-4.
It might be too early to label Ellington as "injury prone," but when two costly turnovers were committed by his backups against Georgia Tech it was clear his absence played a pivotal role in the game. In addition to being the most effective runner, Ellington is the best pass blocking running back on the roster. Having him on the field keeps Clemson's offense dynamic, forcing opposing defenses to respect all aspects of Chad Morris' high-powered attack.
If Clemson does wrap up the Atlantic Division this weekend, they will likely end up facing either Virginia Tech (who the Tigers defeated 23-3 in Blacksburg earlier this season) or Georgia Tech. The two Coastal Division contenders will square off on Thursday night in Atlanta, with the winner taking the driver's seat in the standings.
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