CLEMSON, S.C. – Having reclaimed one of the coveted top four spots in the College Football Rankings, No. 3 Clemson will try to stand its ground — and run its winning streak to 26 games — when the Tigers host Wake Forest on Saturday. It looked as though the game might decide the ACC Atlantic title until the Demon Deacons slipped up with a 36-17 loss at Virginia Tech last week.
TV: 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC. LINE: Clemson -34.5.
It’s a matchup of two of the ACC’s top offenses, but only the Tigers have a defense to match. Clemson has allowed more than 14 points only once — in a 21-20 win at North Carolina — and has surrendered only 55 points in its past five contests. The Tigers clinched their fifth consecutive trip to the ACC Championship Game with a 55-10 win at North Carolina State last week coupled with the Demon Deacons’ loss at Virginia Tech. Wake Forest slipped out of the top 25 after the lopsided defeat at the hands of the Hokies, who snapped the Demon Deacons’ streak of 10 consecutive games with at least 400 total yards.
ABOUT WAKE FOREST (7-2, 3-2 ACC)
The Demon Deacons are on pace to shatter several program records for passing, as Jamie Newman has completed 64.5 percent of his passes for 2,297 yards with 22 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Newman and receiver Sage Surratt (66 catches for 1,001 yards and 11 TDs) have been a lethal combination, but Surratt was lost for the season to a shoulder injury and now the Deacons have to face a dominant Clemson secondary. Wake Forest’s defense played well in a win over NC State two weeks ago but was torched for 470 yards — including 228 on the ground — against Virginia Tech.
ABOUT CLEMSON (10-0, 7-0)
The Tigers are the total package, ranking second in the nation in total offense and fourth in total defense. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence has surpassed 2,300 passing yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions, and Travis Etienne has rolled up 1,214 rushing yards with 13 touchdowns. Clemson’s defense has been especially tough against the pass, in large part because of its pass rush led by Isaiah Simmons, who leads the team in tackles (69), tackles for loss (11.5), and sacks (six).
1. Etienne has 50 career rushing touchdowns and needs three more to break the ACC record set by Pitt's James Conner (2013-16).
2. Wake Forest has outscored opponents 68-20 in points off turnovers.
3. Clemson’s Dabo Swinney (126) ranks 18th in wins among active coaches, while Wake Forest’s Dave Clawson (125) is 19th.
PREDICTION: Clemson 41, Wake Forest 14