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Clemson-Wake Forest Preview Capsule

No. 14 Clemson (6-1, 3-1) at Wake Forest (4-3, 2-3), 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: Clemson by 12.

Series Record: Clemson leads 59-17-1.

WHAT'S AT STAKE

Clemson can't afford a slip-up in its pursuit of a second straight Atlantic Coast Conference championship. The Tigers have won three in a row since their only loss to Atlantic Division co-leader Florida State and probably need to win out and hope someone else beats the Seminoles. Wake Forest could use a rare win over Clemson to get to .500 in league play and enhance its bowl resume.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson RB Andre Ellington vs. Wake Forest's run defense. The Demon Deacons have been stout against the run lately, holding each of their last two opponents to fewer than 55 yards rushing. A few big runs by Ellington could open things up for the Tigers' big-play passing game, led by QB Tajh Boyd and WRs DeAndre Hopkins and Sammy Watkins.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Clemson: Boyd is looking to bounce back from a subpar 160-yard day against Virginia Tech — he averages 291 yards passing — and wants to duplicate his 343-yard, two-touchdown performance in last year's meeting.

Wake Forest: NG Nikita Whitlock is the most important player on the Demon Deacons' defense. In the two games he missed with an ankle injury, opponents averaged 407 yards rushing. With him in the lineup, opposing teams average 94 yards on the ground.

FACTS & FIGURES

Clemson has won five of the past six meetings. ... The Demon Deacons' last win also came on a nationally televised Thursday night game in 2008, the last Clemson game Tommy Bowden coached. Current coach Dabo Swinney took over on an interim basis a few days later. ... Clemson's 59 wins in the series are its most against any opponent except for South Carolina (65). ... Tigers are 1-9 in ESPN-televised Thursday night games while Wake Forest is 4-0 in them.