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Who: Clemson vs. NC State
Date: Saturday, Oct. 20
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Memorial Stadium — Clemson, South Carolina
Odds: Clemson is favored by 17 points.
Clemson vs. NC State Match info:
Saturday marks NC State’s biggest opportunity yet to change the perception surrounding its program.
Dave Doeren has slowly and meticulously constructed a contender at NC State. With each passing year his teams have become more talented. They’ve become deeper and they’ve become better, even if the record didn’t always reflect it. Now they are a top-25 program. NC State is undefeated and has won 16 of its last 20 games. Things are coming together.
Nobody cares though. Nobody cares because NC State still hasn’t given anyone a reason to. Should they care? Well, yes, because NC State is good. But at each key point on its line, it’s failed. With four separate opportunities in 2017 for a big win on a national stage, State only grabbed one of them, and it didn’t hold up for anything.
Is the still-alive Ray Guy haunting Clemson? (yes)
The Wolfpack have squandered a whole bunch of scoring opportunities this fall. Doing that against Clemson will ruin their unbeaten streak.
It didn’t seem like it at the time, but 10 years ago the Tigers made the leap from “good” to “great.”
Clemson cannot afford a loss Saturday
Outside of Clemson and NC State, the ACC has spent much of the 2018 season crumbling in upon itself like a house with graham cracker walls. That’s taken a pickaxe to the Tigers’ opportunities to notch quality wins. While that won’t be an issue if a 13-0 team claims the ACC title and pairs it with Swinney’s recent resume, a one-loss Tiger team could wind up on the chopping block if the CFP selection committee takes a look at the Clemson record and fails to see a single team that finished its regular season in the top 20 under the “wins” heading.
Clemson vs. NC State prediction:
Clemson hasn’t exactly overwhelmed in 2018 given their preseason expectations, but the Tigers are still the No. 2 team in this week’s S&P+ Rankings. 19. But Clemson is vulnerable, and may have only avoided last week’s wacky slate of upsets because it was their bye. The preseason predictor pegged this as a 21-point win for the home team — but let’s get weird and throw things back to 2011, when NC State beat No. 7 Clemson at home.