A look at this week’s game that will likely have the biggest impact on the road to the college football semi-final on December 31 at the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl.
No. 5 Clemson (3-0) in 21st Wake Forest (3-0)
time/television: 9 a.m. Saturday / ABC
Line: Clemson -8½
ACC in the spotlight: Three weeks later, there are 33 unbeaten teams in major college football and eight of them play against each other on Saturday including the early ACC Test. Clemson starts a two-week period that could allow him to dominate the Atlantic Division race. The Tigers play North Carolina No. 12 next week. Wake Forest is the first division champion, but the Deacon has lost 13 games in a row to Clemson.
Reality check: At 0-8 in the series, Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson described Clemson as the conference’s measuring stick. Deacons Demons needed to go to the last minute to beat Liberty 37-36 last weekend at home. “I said to these guys Sunday: ‘We won the game,'” Clawson said. “We’re not going to walk around here with our head down after we win. Let’s fix the mistakes, see what we didn’t do well – but we won.” …the only Power Five opponent so far is the mischievous Georgia Tech Team. Overall, positive QB DJ Uiagalelei signs and offense are better than last year, but how much is that?
Matching keys: Clemson defense against Wake Forest attack. Demon Deacons had one of the best offenses in the Bowl Subdivision ranks last year and is third in the ACC to score (42.0) in three games. But the Tigers grabbed the top three of their opponents with 42 points and an average of 312.7 yards per game.
pick: Even winning the ACC Atlantic title last year, Wake Forest couldn’t handle Clemson in what was a downside year for the Tigers. Clemson’s last four losses were averaging 38 points, including a 48-27 home loss in November. Clemson initially started 3-0. Can Wake provide a better view of the tiger’s roof? Clemson 31-21.
Other games to watch:
No. 10 Arkansas vs No. 23 Texas A&M: in Arlington, Texas. Could it be that a shaky Arkansas defense, ranked last in the Southeast Conference in yards allowed per game (353) and per pass (8.5), energized an Aggies attack that struggled to stay on the field? Texas A&M won nine consecutive times, although most of them close, in the series before the Razorbacks broke the slide last season… Texas A&M 26-21.
Wisconsin at No. 3 Ohio: The Buckeyes have won eight straight games overall and the Badgers haven’t won in Columbus since 2004… Ohio State 38-21.
No. 7 Southern California in Oregon: The Beavers are designed to exploit USC’s problems up front in defense, but can they keep up with QB Caleb WIlliams, WR Jordan Addison and the Trojans’ attack averaging 7.96 yards per game (fourth in the nation)? USC 35-28.
No. 20 Florida in No. 11 Tennessee: Once in the SEC’s most important competition, the Gators won 16 of 17… Tennessee 34-26.
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