Preview: Duke at Clemson
With another hurdle cleared on its way to the College Football Playoff and another ACC Atlantic Division crown secured, second-ranked Clemson turns its attention to visiting Duke on Saturday. The Tigers have won four straight meetings with the Blue Devils, but the teams have not met since 2012.
Clemson posted a dominant 56-20 victory in the most recent matchup, but coach David Cutcliffe has built the Blue Devils into a respectable program in the interim. “They have four road wins, including at Northwestern, and Northwestern won their division and will play for a conference championship,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney told reporters. “Duke went to Northwestern and won, and that gives you some insight into what they’re capable of doing.” In fact, Duke has won 20 of its last 32 road games. The Blue Devils have recorded back-to-back overall triumphs, including a 20-12 road victory over a Miami team that was just a week removed from being ranked in the top 25.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. LINE: Clemson -28.5
ABOUT DUKE (7-3, 3-3 ACC): The Blue Devils have a dynamic and balanced offense led by quarterback Daniel Jones, who racked up a school-record 547 yards of total offense in last week’s 42-35 win over North Carolina – passing for 361 and three touchdowns while rushing for 186 and a score. Running back Deon Jackson also has been on a tear, totaling 646 all-purpose yards over his last three games – including 353 on 41 carries. The secondary also is excellent, holding opponents under 200 passing yards per game, but the defense is susceptible to the run.
ABOUT CLEMSON (10-0, 7-0): The Tigers passed their toughest test in more than a month with a 27-7 win at Boston College last week in which they recorded a 424-113 advantage in total yards. Clemson’s defense, which ranks among the top 10 in the nation in every major category, continued its dominant play by holding the Eagles to a single-digit total in rushing yards. Freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence was solid while playing in nasty weather on the road, going 29-of-40 for 295 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
1. Clemson leads the ACC in red-zone defense, allowing points on 73.9 percent of opponents’ trips inside the 20, while Duke (74.1 percent) is second.
2. Duke WR T.J. Rahming has caught three or more passes in 17 consecutive games while Clemson WR Hunter Renfrow has at least one reception in 38 straight contests, which ties him with Artavis Scott for the school record.
3. Clemson has matched a school record by scoring at least 27 points in 10 straight games.