No. 1 Clemson looks for 20th straight win against Tar Heels
No. 1 Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) at North Carolina (2-2, 1-0), Saturday at 3:30 p.m. EDT (ABC).
Line: Clemson by 27.
Series record: Clemson leads 37-19-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Clemson is seeking its 20th straight victory, adding on to a school record it set two games ago by beating Syracuse. North Carolina is looking to avoid a three-game losing streak after dropping games to Wake Forest and Appalachian State.
Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence vs. North Carolina secondary: Lawrence played little more than a quarter in last week’s 52-10 win over Charlotte and has looked shaky at times. But Lawrence is still averaging better than 230 yards a game through the air and has way too many top-flight players like receivers Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross and tailback Travis Etienne. North Carolina is seventh in the ACC in pass defense and played strongly against Appalachian State despite losing 34-31.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: LB Isaiah Simmons is the Tigers’ Swiss Army Knife this season with his speed, length and knowledge of the game. He is able to flash to the quarterback from several yards away to create pressure and can sweep from side to side to stuff opponents.
North Carolina: QB Sam Howell has given first-year coach Mack Brown a bonafide talent to build his new program around. Howell has thrown for 1,024 yards this season and is fourth in the ACC in passing yards and total offense.
FACTS & FIGURES
North Carolina lost to Wake Forest two weeks ago, yet the Tar Heels are undefeated in ACC play? The North Carolina-Wake Forest contest was a nonconference game because the close by universities are in different divisions and would go several years between meetings. … Clemson has outscored its opponents 100-12 in the first half, while North Carolina is outscoring opponents 64-27 in the second half of games. … This is the first reigning national champion to play at North Carolina since Tennessee in 1951. … Clemson and North Carolina have not met in the regular season since the Tar Heels 21-16 victory in 2010. … This is just the second time since 1991 that North Carolina has played the Palmetto State’s two major teams, South Carolina and Clemson, in the same season. The last time the Tar Heels swept those schools was 1964.