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Game Preview: Tigers travel to potential upset at Wake Forest

Coming off of a clutch 27-23 win against Syracuse, Clemson heads to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to play Wake Forest.

Last week, Clemson found a way to beat Syracuse without starting quarterback Trevor Lawrence as he was forced to leave the game with a strained neck and concussion symptoms. Although backup quarterback Chase Brice got the job done, Clemson is relieved to have Lawrence back this weekend.

Head Coach, Dabo Swinney commented on Trevor’s injury saying “I love his effort, but there’s a time for that and a time to live for another play.” It is safe to say that Trevor will continue to extend plays by running the ball, but he will probably slide a little earlier next time.

Although he practiced all week and Dabo says he looks good, this is still only Lawrence’s second start, and last week he only played one half. Wake Forest will be a good test for him. Lucky for Lawrence, he is surrounded by reliable wide receivers like Tee Higgins and Hunter Renfrow, and running back Travis Etienne, who rushed 203 yards against Syracuse.

They may be 3-2, but Wake Forest is a very talented team that will make the Tigers work for a win. Wake Forest’s offense averages 38 points per game. Their quarterback, Sam Hartman, and top wide receiver Greg Dortch are a dangerous pair. Hartman ranks third in the ACC in passing yards and passing touchdowns while Greg Dortch leads the ACC in receiving yards and punt return yards. In last week’s win against Rice University, Hartman and Dortch connected for 4 touchdowns. To combat Wake Forest’s offense, Clemson’s defense has to remain disciplined and keep up with their fast paced style.  Outside linebacker Isaiah Simmons, who has struggled recently, will be tasked with keeping Dortch away from the end zone.

Both teams being in the ACC, Clemson and Wake Forest are very familiar with playing each other. Last year, Clemson beat Wake Forest 28-14 in the Tigers’ homecoming game. Historically, Clemson has come out on top, and they are expected to do so again this year. Game time is set for 3:30 pm EDT.

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