The No. 3 Clemson Tigers football team survived against N.C. State and now gets No. 12 Florida State in Doak Campbell Stadium.
Who: Clemson (7-0, 4-0 ACC) vs. Florida State (5-2, 2-2)
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Doak Campbell Stadium, Tallahassee, Fla. (79,560)
TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Samantha Ponder)
Radio: WZMJ-FM 93.1 FM in Columbia area, Clemson Radio Network
Satellite radio: SiriusXM 84
Series record: Florida State leads 20-9
Line: Clemson by 4.5
What’s at stake
Clemson has a de facto two-game lead in the ACC Atlantic Division, but a loss would remove the ability to control its own destiny in the playoff race. Florida State is trying to avoid three regular season losses for the first time since 2011 and has knocked off two solid conference foes after getting upset by UNC.
The teams, by the numbers
Opp. Yds Rush/Game
Opp. Yds Pass/Game
Opp. Total Yds/Game
Three Story lines
1. Big time atmosphere. This game has been close the past two years and hyped for the past five. It’s the top prime time game, and while Clemson has an objectively stronger team, the road trip against a high-powered offense could make things interesting.
2. Last big test? If the Tigers win this, the rest of the schedule is Syracuse, Pitt, Wake Forest and South Carolina. Pitt is feisty, but none of those teams is FSU. After that, there’s only an ACC title game against the likes of Virginia Tech or North Carolina.
3. Wayne Gallman status: Dabo Swinney says the junior back will play, but he was on the wrong end of a nasty hit and suffered a concussion against N.C. State. His season was picking up steam before that, so it remains to be seen how he comes out of it.
Three Clemson Players to Watch
1. Quarterback Deshaun Watson is still trying to work back toward his 2015 form, but his numbers have improved since October started. He’s thrown for 1,950, 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
2. Wide receiver Mike Williams broke out again after five games with 70 or fewer yards, posting 146 yards on 12 catches against N.C. State. He’s at 578 yards on 39 catches with four scores.
3. Safety Jadar Johnson leads the Tigers with three interceptions and is tied for the the team’s lead with six pass breakups. The defense is one of the 10 most efficient in the country.
Three Florida State Players to Watch
1. Quarterback Deondre Francois hasn’t set the world on fire like say a Jameis Winston, but the freshman has been very good. He has thrown for 1,876 yards with 10 scores and three picks, often carrying the load on third down, has been a big-play threat averaging 6.3 yards per non-sack carry.
2. Running back Dalvin Cook is among the most dynamic players in the country. Even after a rocky start, he’s at 900 yards on 5.7 per carry with seven scores and 381 yards through the air.
3. Defensive end DeMarcus Walker has been a terror this season, ranking second nationally with 8 1/2 sacks and forcing three fumbles.