Back in the picture

Though Maryland now sits in the driver's seat for the ACC Atlantic, Clemson is among several teams ready to duke it out for shotgun.

Tajh Boyd, who guided Clemson to win No. 5 just hours earlier, watched as N.C. State knocked off previously unbeaten Florida State on Saturday night.

"I remember watching half of it at the tailgate after the game. I was thinking, ‘Oh, man.' Then, later that night, after [Florida State] wasn't scoring, I thought this could get interesting," Boyd said, while speaking with reporters on Tuesday.

"Mike Glennon threw a pick and I was like [dang]. Then, next thing you know, things started going -- it was a crazy game, honestly. It was up and down. It was fun watching."

Assuming Clemson doesn't lose another game in conference play, another Florida State loss would vault the Tigers into first-place in the Atlantic.

But there's no time to start counting chickens. Plenty has to happen before any eggs start to hatch for Clemson.

"We just have to continue to do what we can as a program and continue to be consistent, and do what we can control," Boyd said.

This week's task is pretty easy to control.

Up next for Clemson is a bye. And, according to Boyd, it couldn't come at a better time.

"Sometimes, I think an open date can come too early. I think it can come too late. In this case, it came right on time," he said. "Definitely great to have this time to get a lot of guys healthy, just to make sure we finish this second half of the season strong, to get us mentally prepared."

Clemson returns to action on Oct. 20 when Virginia Tech visits for a noon game in Death Valley. After a quick, five-day turnaround trip to Wake Forest, the Tigers will head to The Triangle to play Duke.

From there, Clemson closes out the ACC regular season with home dates versus Maryland and N.C. State.

"We've just got to make sure that we control what we can," Boyd said. "Honestly, you never know what's going to happen in college football, week to week.

"Some things kind of worked out in our favor over the weekend and put us in a situation where things could potentially happen the way we wanted to. So we've got to continue to keep doing what we can as a program, continue to try and win at a high level. Everything else should fall into place."

The redshirt junior quarterback will utilize the bye week to hone his craft.

"This is a big emphasis on footwork and things of that nature -- just make sure I'm mentally prepared every week," he said. "When you've got work weeks like this when you don't have a game, it just makes it to the point when you can work on the small things that much more, because you don't have to get ready for a game." Top Stories