The Patriots are at the game along with a number of their arch rivals. In addition to over a dozen NFL Scouts, a number of GM will be attending the game including Bill Polian of the Indianapolis Colts and Terry Bradway of the New York Jets. Ted Thompson, the Packers GM who dealt Brett Favre to the Jets is also expected to attend. Thompson could get his chance for a personal update from Bradway on how the trade is working out. Bradway's Jets are roaring with Favre while Thompson's ship is sinking with his choice of Aaron Rogers.
The Patriots have a spot reserved at the game for scout Nick Cesaria, New England's scout assigned to that region. Patriots personnel guru Scott Pioli relies on scouts like Cesaria to provide vital insights into players and their performances during the college football season so that the Patriots NFL Draft board can be assembled according to the scouting grades.
As for the game, Scout.com NFL Draft Analyst Chris Steuber shared this list of names to keep an eye on:
Another name not on the list is Demir "D.J." Boldin, younger brother of Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Anquan Boldin. Demir leads the Demon Deacons with 20 receptions headed into tonight's game.
Courtesy College Football News
ACC Game of the Week
Clemson (3-2) at Wake Forest (3-1)
7:30 EST, ESPN, Thursday, October 9
Why to watch: Although Clemsons loss to Maryland and Wakes stumble versus Navy has robbed this game of some of its appeal, itll still have a huge bearing on the battle in the ACC Atlantic. The Demon Deacons were looking like the frontrunner in the conference before turning the ball over six times in an uncharacteristically sloppy performance against the Midshipmen. They still might be the team to beat in the ACC, but to earn that title, theyll have to avoid a second loss in-a-row. Clemson has been one of the biggest disappointments of the first half, free-falling from a No. 9 preseason ranking to No. 39 in the latest Coaches poll. Any hopes that the Tigers had regrouped from their opening day loss to Alabama were squashed at home by the Terrapins. Their margin for error dissipating quickly, Clemson and Tommy Bowden have to have this game to remain viable in the league race.
Why Clemson might win: Wake Forests problems on offense will continue against a very talented Clemson defense. The Deacon running game, long a staple under Jim Grobe, has disappeared this fall, slipping to 112th in the country. The retooled offensive line has yet to gel, allowing more sacks than any unit in the league and failing to open holes for Josh Adams and Brandon Pendergrass. When Riley Skinner had to throw against Navy, he was picked off a career-high four times. The Tigers will be a much tougher challenge, bolstered up front by Dorell Scott and Jarvis Jenkins, and in the secondary with Michael Hamlin and Crezdon Butler.
Why Wake Forest might win: Clemson was so good on offense last year because it had balance and was unpredictable. This year? Not so much. Sure, the Tigers can still run it with James Davis and C.J. Spiller, but QB Cullen Harper has been an enigma. Hes thrown just three touchdown passes to five interceptions, creating a grassroots movement for backup Willy Korn to get his chance. For now, Bowden will stick with Harper, wholl try to avoid Deacon pick-pockets Alphonso Smith and Kevin Patterson. Without that threat at quarterback, Clemson has averaged just 18 points in three games with FCS opponents.
Who to watch: Clemson DE Ricky Sapp is going to present serious problems for that suspect Wake Forest offensive line. In his most extensive action since injuring his knee in the opener, he schooled the veteran Maryland tackles for three tackles for loss and a bunch of hurries. If the Deacons dont double him Thursday night, hes got the speed around the edge to make Skinners life miserable.
What will happen: Dont bother trying to get a good read on Clemson. Its bound to make you look foolish. Just when it looks like the Tigers have reached bottom, theyre capable of delivering a complete game. This is one of those cases. Unless it can force a bunch of turnovers, Wake Forest just isnt the same team when the offensive line is underperforming and the running game is stuck in neutral. Clemson will overwhelm the Deacon front with a straight-up rush and a mix of blitz packages, forcing Skinner out of his comfort zone. Harper wont be much better, but Davis and Spiller will compensate as the catalysts for a much-needed conference win.
CFN Prediction: Clemson 24
Wake Forest 20 ... Line: Wake Forest -2.5
Must See Rating: (5 The Girls Next Door: Season 5 - 1 2008 Chicago Cub Playoff Highlights) 4
From the Clemson Tiger site on Scout.com, here are a couple of links you should check out:.