The Tigers will make their first October appearance in Death Valley this season as they get set to host the 5-0 (2-0) NC State Wolfpack. Kickoff is set for 3:30 pm in Clemson Memorial Stadium.
After a win against Wake Forest two weeks ago, Clemson became the only team in ACC history to open four consecutive seasons with a 6-0 record. NC State is also the fourth consecutive team this season to enter a game in Death Valley undefeated (Furman 0-0; Georgia Southern 2-0; Syracuse 4-0).
Clemson is 10-2, under head coach Dabo Swinney, when coming off of a regular season bye week. They are 37-19 all-time coming off bye weeks throughout their history including 4-0 in those games played against the Wolfpack (1991, 2001, 2005, 2013).Clemson holds a 57-28-1 record all-time versus NC State (21-11 in Death Valley). The Tigers have won the previous six games against the Wolfpack and 13 of the last 14.
NC State's top offensive threat, besides Ryan Finley, is the stud at wide receiver in Kelvin Harmon. Currently, Harmon leads the ACC in receiving yards per game with 106.8 ypg with Wake Forest star Greg Dortch coming in at second with 98.7 ypg.
This season so far, Harmon has hauled in 33 receptions for 534 yards and TWO touchdowns. Quarterback Ryan Finley is 130/187 for 1621 yards, 10 touchdowns and THREE interceptions. Running back Reggie Gallaspy has ran for 324 yards on 89 carries and SEVEN touchdowns.
For Clemson, Trevor Lawrence is 69/100 for 868 yards, 11 touchdowns and TWO interceptions. Running back Travis Etienne has carried the ball 83 times for 761 yards and 11 touchdowns. The Tigers leading receiver currently is Tee Higgins who has hauled in 18 passes for 307 yards and THREE touchdowns.
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According to David Hale, in games vs teams that are ranked at the end of the season (or in current poll) since 2014, Clemson is 16-5 (3rd-best in Power Five) while NC State is 0-13 (6th-worst in Power Five).
Also, according to Clemson sports information legend Tim Bourret, this game will be the final meeting of undefeated Power Five teams in the regular season for 2018.
The Wolfpack have an offense capable of putting up points and stretching the defense but an upset in Death Valley will be quite a tall task but would be monumental for Doeren and his program.
The Tigers are currently a 17.5-point favorite over NC State.
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