Clemson football vs. NC State: Time, TV schedule, game preview, score

Tigers battle Wolfpack

Defensive lineman K.J. Henry #13 of the Clemson Tigers reacts as he runs off the field with teammates defensive end Xavier Kelly #22, safety Nolan Turner #24, and linebacker Jalen Williams #30 after the Tigers force a Furman Paladins fumble during the fourth quarter of the football game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)
Defensive lineman K.J. Henry #13 of the Clemson Tigers reacts as he runs off the field with teammates defensive end Xavier Kelly #22, safety Nolan Turner #24, and linebacker Jalen Williams #30 after the Tigers force a Furman Paladins fumble during the fourth quarter of the football game at Clemson Memorial Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Clemson, South Carolina. (Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images)

CLEMSON, S.C. – Third-ranked Clemson will try to hand an ACC rival its first loss of the season for the second time in its last three games when its hosts No. 15 North Carolina State on Saturday. The Tigers have won six straight meetings and 13 of the last 14, but the past two clashes have been decided by only a touchdown.

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -17.5

 

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Both teams are coming off byes, giving them an extra week to prepare for the ACC Atlantic showdown. "This is going to be a big game, man,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told reporters. “They're all huge, as we know, but there's not many undefeated teams left, and you've got two of them facing off in the Valley on Saturday. … We can't win the division this week, and neither can they, but the winner has the opportunity to control their own destiny, and that's really where you want to be.” The Wolfpack haven’t participated in a battle of unbeatens this late in the season since October 2000, also against Clemson. The Tigers find themselves in their second matchup of undefeated teams in less than a month after surviving a scare in a 27-23 win over Syracuse on Sept. 29.

ABOUT N.C. STATE (5-0, 2-0 ACC)

The Wolfpack's offense has been remarkably balanced – running the exact same number of passing plays as running plays – behind an impressive offensive line. Quarterback Ryan Finley has been sacked only twice while guiding the ACC’s top passing attack (335.4 yards per game), with the help of the conference’s leading receiver in Kelvin Harmon (106.8 yards). The defense has been steady, holding all five opponents under 400 total yards and 300 passing while allowing a stingy 16.8 points per contest.

ABOUT CLEMSON (6-0, 3-0)

The quarterback position has drawn a lot of attention with freshman Trevor Lawrence taking over and Kelly Bryant electing to transfer, but the ground game has carried the Tigers’ offense. Running back Travis Etienne (761 yards, 11 touchdowns) is having a breakout season, needing only six rushing yards to eclipse the career high he set last year. The Tigers’ defense has been dominant, allowing 261.2 yards per game (third-fewest in the FBS) while registering 58 tackles for loss and 20 sacks in six contests.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Clemson has won 14 of its last 16 games against top-25 opponents.

2. N.C. State leads the FBS on third-down conversions with a 60.9 percent success rate and is 4-for-5 on fourth downs.

3. Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow has caught a pass in 34 consecutive games.

PREDICTION: Clemson 31, N.C. State 20

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