ACC BUZZ

Watson prepared to start

Deshaun Watson is ready to return to the lineup.

Just in time for Georgia Tech.

The freshman quarterback from Gainesville dressed out, but didn’t play in Clemson’s 34-20 victory over Wake Forest on Thursday while still recovering from a broken bone in his right (throwing) hand.

The plan is for Watson to start for the Tigers when they play at Georgia Tech on Saturday.

“Our goal was to try to not play him if we could,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said after Thursday’s victory. “He’ll be ready to go come Monday.”

The Tigers (7-2, 6-1) have won six consecutive games, with both Watson and Cole Stoudt starting at quarterback.

Watson was injured in the win over Louisville on Oct. 11 and has missed the past three games. He’s completed 67 percent of his attempts for 1,176 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions.

Happy returns

Jamison Crowder receives most of the attention for catching passes, but he’s not bad at returning punts.

Crowder’s 52-yard punt return in the fourth quarter broke a 10-10 tie against Syracuse and sparked Duke’s 27-10 victory. It was the third time in his career that Crowder has returned a punt for a score.

Crowder also caught nine passes for 58 yards and has 256 for his career, just 27 from tying former Duke receiver Conner Vernon (283 passes from 2009-12) for the ACC’s career mark.

Numbers game

18 Career wins as a starter for Duke quarterback Anthony Boone, the most in school history. He is 18-1 for the Blue Devils and passed Jerry Barger, who won 17 games from 1951-54.

31.4 Wake Forest's average rushing yards per game, last among 125 FBS teams. The Demon Deacons have rushed for 283 yards — 118 behind the next team (Washington State) — this season and are averaging 1 yard per carry this season.

He said it

"It hurts. It's a difficult situation cause that's one of those goals we wanted to come back and reach. But we didn't, so what are you going to do, cry over spilt milk? You adjust and you overcome. We'll be fine." — Syracuse coach Scott Shafer after Duke's win over Syracuse

"Every phase of our team contributed to this win." — Duke coach David Cutcliffe after the Blue Devils improved to 8-1 for just the fourth time since 1940

Standings

Atlantic; ACC; All

Fla. State;5-0;8-0

Clemson;6-1;7-2

Boston Coll.;3-2;6-3

Louisville;4-3;6-3

N.C. State;1-5;5-5

Syracuse;1-5;3-7

Wake Forest;0-5;2-7

Coastal; ACC; All

Duke;4-1;8-1

Ga. Tech;5-2;8-2

Miami;3-2;6-3

N. Carolina;2-3;4-5

Virginia;2-3;4-5

Pittsburgh;2-3;4-5

Va. Tech;1-4;4-5

(Through afternoon games)

Saturday’s schedule

Clemson at Georgia Tech, TBD

Virginia Tech at Duke, noon, ESPNU

Pittsburgh at North Carolina, 12:30 p.m., WUPA

Wake Forest at N.C. State, 12:30 p.m., FSSO

Florida State at Miami, 8 p.m., ABC