Welcome to the ACC

Even though it's still only September, hopes of winning the first-ever ACC Atlantic Division title will likely be over for either Boston College or Clemson.

The loser of Saturday's game will have two conference losses and for all practical purposes, two games behind Florida State and the winner between the two teams, since the winner will have the tie-breaker.

Neither the Eagles (2-1, 0-1 ACC) or Clemson (2-1, 1-1 ACC) have had an easy time of it. Boston College started its ACC life with a home game against Florida State and now has its first road game against the Tigers.

Toto, we're not in the Big East, anymore.

"We really picked a good first game to play at home and a real good first game to play on the road here in the ACC, but we look forward to the challenge," Boston College coach Tom O'Brien said. "There's a lot for us to accomplish this week if we're going to stay in the race for the conference title."

Hindering Boston College's chances of winning is the uncertainty of starting quarterback Quinton Porter, who suffered a sprained right ankle in the third quarter of the Eagles' 28-17 loss to Florida State. His team was leading 17-14 before missing the rest of the game due to the injury.

"If he's able to practice, we're shooting for (Thursday); if he gets on the practice field and can execute, then he'll have a chance to play," O'Brien said.

Porter is no longer on crutches, but was reportedly walking with a very noticeable limp Wednesday.

Should he be unavailable, sophomore backup Matt Ryan will get the start in a very unnerving atmosphere.

"What has to happen now is the people surrounding him have to play a little better and pick up their game," O'Brien said. "He's thrust into another very difficult situation, going on the road and playing in probably the most hostile venue in the ACC. There are a lot of challenges in front of him, but he's a very confident young man and our football team has confidence in him."

Regardless of who the signal caller is, the primary goal for Boston College is to hold onto the football as long as possible and not commit any turnovers, which killed it against the Seminoles.

"We don't want to turn the ball over and give anybody a short field," O'Brien said. "We want to be able to make them work at it. Florida State made one drive against our defense the whole night. We have to be able to do that and when we have opportunities to score points, we have to be able to do that."

If not, then the Eagles will begin their life in the ACC winless and all but out of the race for the title.

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