No. 2 Clemson seeking 9-0 start against struggling Cards

Louisville (2-6, 0-5 ACC) at No. 2 Clemson (8-0, 5-0, No. 2 CFP), noon EDT (ABC)

Line: Clemson by 37.

Series record: Clemson leads 4-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

Every game now for Clemson is clear step toward securing a College Football Playoff berth. The Tigers were ranked second in the opening CFP rankings this week. Louisville is hoping to avoid its first six-game losing streak since 1998.

KEY MATCHUP

Louisville QB Jawon Pass vs. Clemson’s defensive line. Pass passed for a career best 358 yards and had 392 yards of total offense in a 56-35 loss to Wake Forest last week. He probably won’t have that much space against the Tigers’ front four of NFL prospects in ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and tackles Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. Clemson sits second in the ACC in sacks and in yards allowed.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Louisville: WR Jaylen Smith collected his seventh career game with 100 or more yards receiving when he caught eight passes for 107 yards against Wake Forest. It was Smith’s second 100-yard plus game this season.

Clemson: WR Amari Rodgers. The sophomore is settling into the role previously held by the school’s all-time reception leader Artavis Scott from its 2016 national champions. Last week, though, Rodgers caught scoring passes of 58 and 68 yards from QB Trevor Lawrence in a 59-10 blowout at Florida State.

FACTS & FIGURES

Louisville and Clemson has played three tight games from 2014-2016 — the three Tiger wins were decided by a total of 15 points — until last year’s Clemson blowout, 47-21. … Louisville will have faced the nation’s No. 1 and No. 2 teams this season. It opened with a loss to Alabama. … Clemson is looking to go 9-0 for the third time in the past four years. … Lawrence will attempt to tie a school mark with his third consecutive 300-yard game. He threw for career high 308 yards against North Carolina State, and then surpassed that with 314 yards at Florida State. … The Tigers will run down the hill at Memorial Stadium for the 400th time. The team has run down the hill each game at home since 1942 except for the 1970-71 seasons, the first four games of 1972 and the first game of 1973.