No. 3 Clemson faces ACC showdown with undefeated ’Cuse
Syracuse (4-0, 1-0 ACC) at No. 3 Clemson (4-0, 1-0), noon (ABC)
Line: Clemson by 22.
Series record: Clemson leads 4-2.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
A surprise battle for the top of the ACC’s Atlantic Division with the winner leaving in the driver’s seat. Clemson is 4-0 for the fourth straight season while Syracuse is 4-0 for the first time since joining the league and just the fifth time since the end of World War II.
Syracuse QB Eric Dungey vs. Clemson’s defensive line. If the Orange hope to succeed, Dungey will have to keep the offense moving at the same up-tempo pace it did in its first four games. Syracuse is sixth nationally in offensive snaps per game this season. It will be up to the Tigers NFL front four — ends Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, tackles Dexter Lawrence and Christian Wilkins — to make Dungey uncomfortable.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Syracuse: RB Dontae Strickland has five rushing touchdowns this season which leads the ACC and is 12th nationally. He’s part of a group that ran for 346 yards last week in a win over UConn, the Orange’s highest single-game total in four years.
Clemson: QB Trevor Lawrence gets his first chance to shine as a starter. Lawrence was elevated to No. 1 on the depth chart after a four-touchdown performance in beating Georgia Tech last week. Lawrence has thrown for 600 yards and nine TDs in splitting duties with senior Kelly Bryant. Bryant announced his intention to transfer earlier this week.
FACTS & FIGURES
Syracuse’s first win over Clemson was the 1996 Gator Bowl when future NFL standouts in receiver Marvin Harrison and quarterback Donovan McNabb led the way in a 41-0 victory. Clemson has won four of the five matchups since. ... The Tigers lone regular-season loss last year came in a 27-24 defeat at Syracuse. They have not lost to the same team in consecutive seasons since losing three straight to Florida State from 2012-14. ... Syracuse has scored 37 points off turnovers this season compared with seven for its opponents. ... Clemson TB Travis Etienne leads the ACC, averaging 8.5 yards per carry ... Clemson has not lost its ACC home opener since a 30-21 loss to Miami in 2010.
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