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Clemson Boston College Football

Clemson's Amari Rodgers scores a touchdown on a punt return against Boston College in the second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018, in Boston. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

CLEMSON -- The No. 2 Clemson Tigers and their fans will get what they have been asking for all season — a night game.

When the Tigers welcome the Duke Blue Devils (7-3, 3-3 ACC) to Death Valley Saturday, they will do so under the lights for the first time this season. A 7 p.m. kickoff on ESPN was announced by the ACC early Sunday morning.

The night game at home will be the Tigers' first of the season, though Clemson has played two night games on the road.

While head coach Dabo Swinney does not care about the time of the game, his players do. Swinney says his job is to have the Tigers ready regardless of the time.

“Clemson fans don't want to hear my say it. I don't care (when we play),” Swinney said. “Just tell me when to show up. I know from a fan standpoint, it's difficult because it's hard getting in here and people travel a long way. Why am I going to worry about something I have zero control over? That is a waste of my time. I have zero control.

“We played 16 straight night road games. 16 in a row. Night. That means we're home at 6 a.m. I don't worry about it. All I know is we get seven home games. Now if they called me and told me I'd be getting six home games, I'd be mad. I'll play at 6 a.m., noon, midnight.”

Tigers best playoff candidate

According to ESPN’s Playoff Predictor, following their 27-7 victory over No. 17 Boston College Saturday night, the Tigers have the best chance of every FBS team to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season at 95 percent.

The Tigers also have the best chance to reach the national title game at 64 percent, followed by Alabama at 62 percent.

"The way you beat Alabama and slow down this offense is to get after (Alabama quarterback) Tua (Tagovailoa),” ESPN’s Jonathan Vilma said. "Clemson has the defense that can do that, plus on offense they has the running game that can get after that Alabama defense and a passing attack that can get the ball downfield.

"They can give Alabama a lot of trouble on both sides of the ball. But that offense can really test Alabama's defense.

Tigers in the polls

The Tigers remained No. 2 in both the Associated Press and USA Today Coaches polls this week.

The College Football Playoff rankings are scheduled to be released Tuesday night (7 p.m., ESPN).

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Zach Lentz is a Clemson University alumnus who got his start working with the Tigers basketball team from 1999-2004. Now a resident of Orangeburg County, he reports on Clemson sports as a correspondent for The Times and Democrat. He also serves as a co-host of Solid Orange, seen at 11 p.m. Wednesdays on WACH FOX 57 in Columbia.


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