No. 4 Clemson (9-0, 6-0 ACC) at North Carolina State (4-4, 1-3), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EDT (ABC).
Line: Clemson by 32 1/2.
Series record: Clemson leads 58-28-1.
WHAT'S AT STAKE?
The reigning national champion Tigers are still rolling, both to a fifth straight Atlantic Coast Conference championship and another trip to the College Football Playoff. A stumble against the struggling and injury-riddled Wolfpack could wound the playoff pursuit.
Clemson's WRs against N.C. State's secondary. For the second straight week, the Wolfpack's secondary has to overcome significant injury trouble against receivers putting up elite numbers for a ranked opponent. Last week it was against No. 22 Wake Forest. Now they face a group led by Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins. Sophomore De'Von Graves and redshirt freshman Malik Dunlap have started the past two games at cornerback, where N.C. State is already down Chris Ingram, Teshaun Smith and Taiyon Palmer for the season and hasn't had Nick McCloud since the opener.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: RB Travis Etienne has played like the reigning ACC player of the year for the past month. The 5-foot-10 junior has gained 640 yards and six TDs in the last four games. His yards have come on just 56 carries (he's out by early in the third quarter) for an average of better than 11 yards a rush.
N.C. State: QB Devin Leary had plenty of struggles in his first college start at Wake Forest, completing just 3 of 19 passes after halftime and none of his eight tries in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss. Coach Dave Doeren said the redshirt freshman is competitive and coachable, but that the biggest challenge now is improving his throw-to-throw consistency.
FACTS & FIGURES
The Wolfpack gave the Tigers two tough games in 2016 and 2017, missing on a road upset in the first on a missed short field goal to end regulation and then losing a tough fourth-quarter fight at home. But last year, Clemson beat N.C. State 41-7 at home. ... Since hanging on for a 21-20 win at North Carolina on Sept. 28, the Tigers have won four games by a combined 163 points (40.8 average). ... The Tigers can clinch the ACC Atlantic Division title with a win and a loss by the Demon Deacons at Virginia Tech.
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