No. 2 Clemson faces Texas A&M team looking to make statement
No. 2 Clemson (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0), Saturday, 7:05 p.m. ET (ESPN).
Line: Clemson by 12
Series record: Texas A&M leads 3-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Clemson looks for its first win in the state of Texas since beating TCU in the 1959 Bluebonnet Bowl against a Texas A&M team that has won 29 straight nonconference games at home, but has lost its last five overall against top 25 opponents. It will be the first test of the season for the Tigers after they handled Furman easily in their opener last week and a chance for new A&M coach Jimbo Fisher to see where his team stacks up against one of college football’s elite teams.
Clemson’s defensive front vs. Texas A&M’s offensive line. The Tigers have arguably the best defensive line in the country with first-team All-America end Clelin Ferrell and tackle Christian Wilkins and second-team All-America selection tackle Dexter Lawrence leading the way. The trio will be a big test for a Texas A&M line adjusting to the loss of Koda Martin, who transferred in the offseason.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Clemson: QBs Kelly Bryant and Trevor Lawrence. Last year’s starter Bryant started the opener, throwing for 127 yards and a touchdown and running for another before Lawrence, who is a freshman, took over and had 137 yards passing with three TD passes. The Aggies must prepare for both players with coach Dabo Swinney saying this week that both would play again on Saturday.
Texas A&M: RB Trayveon Williams. The junior will have to have a big game for the Aggies to have any hope of pulling off the upset. Williams was great in the opener, running for a career-high 240 yards and three touchdowns in just more than two quarters to surpass 2,000 yards in his career.
FACTS & FIGURES
Texas A&M has won both previous meetings in College Station with the last win coming in 2004. ... Clemson has won a school-record 16 straight nonconference games. ... Texas A&M LB Otaro Alaka needs two tackles to reach 200 in his career. ... Swinney is 14-9 against Southeastern Conference opponents. ... Swinney and Fisher are tied at 4-4 against each other, but Swinney’s teams have won the last three games.