The stars have aligned for an epic matchup between ACC Atlantic Division rivals Clemson and N.C. State on Saturday night in Memorial Stadium.
Here’s a first look at this weekend’s game between Top 10 conference opponents, which is getting national exposure thanks to ESPN’s “College GameDay” and a primetime ABC slot.
Clemson vs. NC State game, TV info
Who: No. 10 N.C. State (4-0, 0-0 ACC) at No. 5 Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC)
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson
Vegas odds: Clemson NC State point spread
Clemson opened as a consensus seven-point favorite against N.C. State, per VegasInsider. That’s the Tigers’ lowest point spread against the Wolfpack since 2011, according to Odds Shark’s database. Clemson was a 10.5-point favorite against N.C. State last season.
Clemson vs. NC State last meeting, trends
Last year’s Textile Bowl, played in Raleigh, was one of the most impactful ACC games of the season. In knocking off Clemson 27-21 in double overtime, N.C. State snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Tigers, took control of the ACC’s Atlantic Division and snapped what coach Dave Doeren plainly described as a “curse.”
Last year’s loss essentially eliminated the Tigers from College Football Playoff contention after four games, and it’ll add a new level of fire to this Saturday’s Top 10 matchup. Clemson leads the all-time series 59-29-1 and has won 15 of the last 17 and eight straight at home.
Last week for Clemson
Wake Forest, last year’s eventual Atlantic Division champion, gave Clemson everything it had and then some in a Saturday afternoon shootout at Truist Field. But quarterback DJ Uiagalelei turned in a signature performance (371 yards, five touchdowns) and Clemson broke up a pass on fourth down to escape Winston-Salem with a 51-45 double overtime win.
Wake Forest quarterback Sam Hartman picked on Clemson’s defensive backfield — which was missing three key contributors with injury — in a game that featured 1,006 combined yards of total offense and 62 combined points after halftime. In the end, a Tigers offense that was among the ACC’s worst last year came out on top.
Last week for NC State
N.C. State did exactly what it was supposed to do against UConn on Saturday: score early, score often and take care of business before its biggest road game of the year. Quarterback Devin Leary hit receiver Thayer Thomas for a 75-yard touchdown on the first play of scrimmage as the Wolfpack went up 31-3 at halftime and never looked back in a 41-10 victory.
Clemson vs. NC State players to watch
Clemson TE Davis Allen: The 6-foot-6 senior, one of many capable pass-catchers on this Clemson offense, is coming off his best game of the season. He caught four passes for 36 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 21-yard score from Uiagalelei in double overtime.
Clemson DT Tyler Davis: Davis was impactful — and clutch — against Wake Forest after missing Clemson’s previous two with injury. He had a tackle for loss and a sack on Wake Forest’s last drive of regulation (a punt) and a TFL and pass breakup on Wake Forest’s last drive of overtime (a game-ending turnover on downs).
NC State QB Devin Leary: The Wolfpack’s ACC championship hopes rest on the shoulders of Leary, the preseason ACC Player of the Year. After a rocky opener against East Carolina, he’s played with efficiency and excellence and was 32 of 44 for 320 yards and four touchdowns against UConn.
NC State LB Drake Thomas: Thomas is a fiery player, veteran leader and first-team all conference talent for a deep Wolfpack defense. He leads N.C. State with 24 tackles this season.