Another week, addition top-10 aggregation comes to Winston-Salem.
For the additional time in three weeks, Wake Forest will comedy host to a top-10 aggregation aback Clemson arrives at BB&T Field on Saturday. The fourth-ranked Tigers are 5-0 and accept developed into a civic powerhouse, acutely apprenticed to cycle through the ACC on the way to a fourth beeline College Football Playoff berth.
The Deacons can derail that angle — and anticipate they accept the adeptness to do so.
Here are bristles things to apperceive about the Tigers:
1. Clemson’s arresting band is as acceptable as advertised
If the Deacons’ breach is to accept any success adjoin the Tigers, it’ll alpha with affective their NFL-quality arresting band off the ball. Ends Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant and accouterment Christian Wilkins all bypassed affairs to leave early, aing accouterment Dexter Lawrence, to anatomy this accomplished unit.
“What’s alarming is alike afterwards those four they’ve got acceptable players. I mean, they are good, they’ve got depth,” Coach Dave Clawson of Wake Forest said. “These kids comedy acutely hard; they’re talented, and they comedy with a abundant motor. And they’re able to do that because they accept abyss and they cycle guys in there.
“Even watching these guys on PAT/field-goal block, which a lot of times if you’re anytime activity to booty a rep off — aloof watching how adamantine Wilkins and Lawrence and Bryant and Ferrell and these guys go — and again they’ve got guys abaft them that flash.”
Freshman Xavier Thomas had a sack on Syracuse’s final control aftermost week. Sopre Justin Foster, from Shelby, was the top-ranked recruit in North Carolina.
2. It doesn’t matter
who’s at quarterback
All break are that apprentice Trevor Lawrence will comedy afterwards adversity a close ache aftermost anniversary adjoin Syracuse. He was the top-ranked recruit in the country and, admitting not starting until aftermost week, leads the ACC in casual ability for players with at atomic 20 completions.
So, there shouldn’t be a charge to alarm on Chase Brice to start; he’s the advancement who directed Clemson’s fourth-quarter improvement adjoin the Orange.
Not that it affairs to the Deacons.
“I mean, we apperceive the advancement is there for a reason. He’s apparently not as acceptable as the starter, but he’s still a able guy aback there,” said Deacons chief assurance Chuck Wade Jr. “I mean, he came aback and got them the win aftermost week. We’re aloof practicing for either one, I mean, aforementioned d plan for whoever is in there.”
3. Stopping Etienne is
more important, anyway
Running aback Travis Etienne leads the ACC with nine absolute touchdowns and is additional to Boston College’s A.J. Dillon in hasty yards per d (118.8). Etienne is a alloy of ability and speed, at 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, and is complemented by Tavien Feaster and Adam Choice, who accept accumulated for 329 yards.
“I anticipation a year ago that (Etienne) ability accept been their best active aback as a freshman. He’s aloof gotten bigger and better,” Clawson said. “He’s elusive, he’s fast, he’s already run for 600 yards, eight touchdowns and averages over eight yards per carry. And again Feaster is an outstanding aback as well.”
4. Receiver depth
If you’ve got a apprentice quarterback, it helps to put a abounding armory of weapons at his disposal. Wake Forest knows this, and Clemson does too.
Amari Rodgers is Clemson’s arch receiver with 21 catches. Tee Higgins has 13 catches and leads the aggregation with 252 accepting yards. Justyn Ross has the accomplished average, his nine catches accept gone for 212 yards (23.6 yards per catch).
And there’s still Hunter Renfrow, the reliable aperture receiver who bent the civic championship-winning canyon two seasons ago.
That’s alone the top allotment of a nine-receiver circling for the Tigers.
5. Addition top-tier abhorrent line
Boston College and Notre Dame brought in accomplished abhorrent lines, and so does Clemson. The Tigers accept one of the best larboard tackles in the country, chief All-American Mitch Hyatt.
But Clawson is afflicted with the absolute unit.
“The abhorrent band I anticipate has bigger every year. Certainly Hyatt is one of the best tackles in the country, but both tackles are absolutely good,” Clawson said. “The guards and centermost are physical.”
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