No. 4 Clemson visits Wake Forest looking to remain atop ACC
No. 4 Clemson (5-0, 2-0 ACC) at Wake Forest (3-2, 0-1), 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Line: Clemson by 17.
Series record: Clemson leads 65-17-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Looking for their fourth straight 6-0 start, the Tigers wouldn’t mind a full game for QB Trevor Lawrence, after the freshman was knocked out of his first college start with what turned out to be a neck strain just before halftime against Syracuse. Wake Forest wants to make up for its embarrassing defensive showing two weeks earlier against another top-10 team — No. 6 Notre Dame — at home.
Clemson offense vs. Wake Forest defense. The Tigers can dial up a big play from just about anywhere on the field — they have 30 plays that gained at least 20 yards, and 10 that went for 40 or more yards — with Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne. Eliminating those explosive plays has been a challenge for the Demon Deacons, who gave up 10 touchdowns of at least 20 yards in the first four weeks before stabilizing things last week against Rice. They have to keep Clemson’s playmakers in check if they’re going to pull the upset.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: Etienne ranks second in the league in rushing (118.8 ypg), is coming off a career-best 203-yard performance that helped lead the second-half rally to beat Syracuse and could be in line for a big day against a Wake Forest team that allowed league leader AJ Dillon of Boston College to rush for a season-best 185 yards.
Wake Forest: WR Greg Dortch, who has been consistently double-teamed all season, broke out last week with 11 catches for 163 yards and matched his own school record with four touchdowns in a victory over Rice.
FACTS & FIGURES
Wake Forest has not beaten Clemson since 2008, but that game was an important one in Tigers history: Terry Bowden stepped down in the wake of that loss, and the school tapped a relatively unknown assistant — Dabo Swinney — as his interim replacement. … Swinney is 9-0 against Wake Forest, one of five ACC schools that has never beaten one of his teams. … The Demon Deacons are still looking for their first victory against a top-10 opponent since 1946, and are 1-61 against them.