CLEMSON VS. WAKE FOREST GAME NOTES
CLEMSON NOTES (SPORTS INFORMATION)
CLEMSON OPENS 125TH SEASON SATURDAY AT WAKE FOREST After an offseason of unexpected twists and turns, Clemson will kick off the 125th season in program history on Saturday, Sept. 12, when the team faces the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Kickoff at Truist Field is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Clemson’s prolific run in the last decade has illuminated a pathway to a number of historical feats that can be accomplished in 2020, but the road to those accomplishments begins with the team’s first stated goal: “Win the Opener.” Clemson has won the opener in 10 of Dabo Swinney’s 11 full seasons as Clemson’s head coach, including each of the last five since 2015. This year marks Clemson’s first time opening a season on the road since 2016, when second-ranked Clemson defeated Auburn, 19-13, at Jordan-Hare Stadium to kick off an eventual national championship campaign. Members of Clemson’s program wore shirts in camp bearing the term “2020 Vision” on the front (with the zeroes represented by All In chips) and “Double-Double Mission” on the back, signifying Clemson’s pursuit of a 10th straight 10-win season. With 10-plus wins this year, Clemson would join Florida State and Alabama as the only programs ever to accomplish the feat. The feeling was different at Clemson’s first camp practice on Aug. 6. While a workmanlike mentality often permeates camp, the joy of players and coaches being able to do what they love again — after having it ripped away for several months — imbued practice with a noticeable sense of joy. “As weird as it is, I’ve never had more fun in a football camp than this one,” Swinney said on Aug. 10. “And I’ve never seen a bunch of guys have more fun practicing football than this team. I think that’s a reflection of a deeper appreciation that we all have to do what we do.” Clemson’s 2020 offense received an unexpected boost in January when All-America running back Travis Etienne elected to return for his senior season. In the College Football Playoff National Championship Game last year, Etienne (4,038) became Clemson’s all-time leading rusher and moved into seventh all-time in ACC history. Etienne is the two-time defending ACC Player of the Year, becoming Clemson’s first repeat winner since 1977- 78. If Etienne were to earn the award again in 2020, he would become the first player in conference history to win ACC Player of the Year honors three times and would join Herschel Walker (1980-82 SEC Player of the Year) as the only Power Five conference players to win conference player of the year honors in three straight seasons.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR IN 2020 – Clemson, which is already the first team in ACC history to win five consecutive outright titles, attempting to become the first team in ACC history to win six consecutive ACC titles outright. (Note: Florida State earned at least a share of nine consecutive ACC titles from 1992-2000 but never earned more than three consecutive titles outright.) – Clemson attempting to become the first team in any active conference to win six consecutive outright conference titles. Clemson’s five consecutive outright titles from 2015-19 are tied with the 1971-75 Alabama Crimson Tide and 2015-19 Oklahoma Sooners for the longest streak of outright conference championships of any current conference. – Clemson attempting to become the first program to win 20 ACC titles. Since helping form the conference in 1953, Clemson leads the ACC with 19 titles all-time, including 18 outright. – Clemson attempting to become the first team in the BCS Championship and College Football Playoff eras to play in three consecutive national championship games. (Note: USC played for three consecutive national championships from 2003-05, but finished No. 1 in the AP Poll in 2003 after playing in the Rose Bowl instead of the Sugar Bowl, which had been designated as the National Championship). – Clemson attempting to become the first team ever to earn six consecutive College Football Playoff berths. Clemson’s five-year streak is the longest active streak and is tied with Alabama’s five-year streak from 2014- 18 for the longest all-time. – Clemson attempting to win 12 games for a sixth straight year, which would give Clemson sole possession of the second-longest streak of 12-win seasons in major college football history (and the longest in the modern era). The record is held by Penn in the 19th century (seven from 1892-98). – Clemson attempting to win 10 games for a school record 10th consecutive season. Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 10 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (12 from 2008- 19). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 10 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State’s 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles’ tenure in the ACC. – Clemson (41 from 2017-19) winning 14 games to tie the 2018 and 2019 Clemson senior classes as the winningest classes in school and ACC history while matching the 2018 and 2019 Clemson and 2018 Alabama seniors as the winningest class in major college football history. – Clemson attempting to finish a third consecutive season undefeated in ACC play for the first time since 1981-83, when the Tigers went 6-0, 6-0 and 7-0 against ACC opponents. Clemson has won 19 consecutive ACC regular season games (22 including postseason play). – Clemson needing seven consecutive conference wins to tie or eight conference wins to break Florida State’s record of consecutive wins against ACC opponents by an ACC program (29 from 1992-95). Clemson enters 2020 having won its last 22 games against ACC opponents, including postseason play. – Clemson (23 from 2017-19) needing seven regular season ACC wins to match or eight regular season ACC wins to pass the 2018 and 2019 seniors (30 each) as the winningest class in school history in regular season conference play. Eight regular season conference wins would tie the four-year conference record of 31, set by multiple Florida State classes from 1995-2000. – Clemson (21 from 2017-19) winning all six home games to allow the 2020 senior class to tie the school record for most home wins by a senior class held by the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seniors and become the first Clemson class in the modern era to post a perfect four year record at home. (Note: Clemson was undefeated at home in a four-year span from 1900-03 but only played a total of five home games in that four-year window). – Clemson’s 2020 seniors attempting to become the first FBS senior class to post a perfect career record at home since the 2010 Boise State (26-0) and Oklahoma (25-0) seniors (25-0) seniors. – Clemson attempting to go undefeated at home for the sixth time in seven years. It would mark the school’s first time accomplishing the feat (including ties) since 1935-41, when the team was 15-1-1 in its final seven seasons at Riggs Field prior to the opening of Memorial Stadium in 1942. – Clemson attempting to win all its home games in four consecutive seasons for the first time under Head Coach Dabo Swinney. – Clemson attempting to win at least six home games to add to its active nine-year streak of winning at least six games at Memorial Stadium. – Clemson attempting to add to its program-record home winning streak (22 from 2016-19). A perfect home record in a five-game home slate for Clemson
in 2020 would push Clemson’s streak to 27 and put Clemson three home wins shy of producing the 24th 30-game home winning streak in FBS history. – Clemson playing four home games in the month of October. It will represent the seventh time Clemson has played four home games in a single month, joining the 1920, 1987, 1989, 1993, 2008 and 2011 campaigns. In all six of the previous instances, Clemson posted a winning record in those contests. – Clemson entering the season with an active winning streak of 12 in true road games, tied for the school record with a 12-game streak across the 2015-17 seasons. A win in the season opener would be the program’s record-setting 13th consecutive road victory. – Clemson attempting to post a perfect record in true road games for a third straight season for the first time in school history. It would make Clemson undefeated in true road games for the fifth time in six years for the first time in school history. – Clemson entering the season with an active winning streak against every team on its schedule. Clemson has active winning streaks against Wake Forest (11), The Citadel (17), Virginia (four), Miami (two), Georgia Tech (five), Syracuse (two), Boston College (nine), Notre Dame (three), Florida State (five), Pitt (one) and Virginia Tech (five). Clemson boasts an active winning streak against every school ever to compete in ACC play, including all current members, temporary members (Notre Dame) and former members (Maryland and South Carolina). – Head Coach Dabo Swinney attempting to win his seventh ACC championship to move past Clemson’s Frank Howard and Duke’s Bill Murray (six each) for sole possession of the second-most ACC titles by a head coach all-time (Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, 12). – Swinney (77-16 in ACC regular season play) needing eight regular season conference wins to tie or nine regular season conference wins to pass Virginia’s George Welsh (85) for the second-most regular season conference wins in ACC history. – Swinney (16) sitting two bowl games (including CFP National Championship Games) shy of tying Bobby Bowden’s ACC record (18) for the most career bowl appearances leading an ACC program. – Swinney (and Duke Head Coach David Cutcliffe) becoming one of 11 head coaches ever to coach 13 or more seasons as head of an ACC program, joining Virginia’s George Welsh, Florida State’s Bobby Bowden, North Carolina and Wake Forest’s Bill Dooley, NC State’s Earle Edwards, Clemson’s Frank Howard, Virginia and Wake Forest’s Al Groh, Wake Forest’s Jim Grobe, Duke’s Bill Murray and Virginia Tech’s Frank Beamer. – Swinney (161 career games) attempting to become only the fifth person ever to coach an ACC team in 175 career games (Bobby Bowden, George Welsh, Bill Dooley and Al Groh). Clemson would need to play all 11 of its scheduled games plus three postseason contests for him to reach that milestone Clemson playing a 10-game conference schedule for the first time in school history. Clemson will once again play at least 10 Power Five teams in 2020. Clemson has won 76 games against Power Five opponents since 2013, seven more than any other program in the country. – Clemson carrying a 298-143-6 all-time regular season record against ACC opponents according to conference records. Two regular season wins in conference play this year would make Clemson the first team to be credited with 300 regular season wins in ACC play all-time, including postseason play. – Every game on Clemson’s regular season schedule being scheduled on Saturday. Clemson has won 43 consecutive Saturday games, with its only three losses since the start of the 2017 season coming on a Friday and two Mondays. – Clemson facing only one of the four other ACC charter members from the 1953 football season still in the conference (Duke, North Carolina, NC State and Wake Forest). Barring any postseason meetings, the 2020 season will represent the first time Clemson has not played at least one of the trio of Duke, North Carolina or NC State since 1955. – Clemson entering the season as only the third program in FBS history to return a passer with 6,000 career passing yards (Trevor Lawrence, 6,945) and a rusher with 4,000 career rushing yards (Travis Etienne, 4,038). – Running back Travis Etienne, the 2018 and 2019 ACC Player of the Year, attempting to become the first player in conference history to win ACC Player of the Year honors three times. Etienne would join Herschel Walker (1980-82 SEC Player of the Year) as the only Power Five conference players to win conference player of the year honors in three straight seasons. – Etienne (4,038) needing 565 rushing yards to pass NC State’s Ted Brown (4,602) for the ACC’s career rushing record. – Etienne (17) needing three more 100-yard rushing games to become the ninth player in ACC history to record 20 career 100-yard rushing games, joining Ted Brown, Lamar Jackson, Amos Lawrence, Montel Harris, Warrick Dunn, Dalvin Cook, Joe McIntosh and AJ Dillon. – Etienne entering the season with 62 career total touchdowns, only 26 shy of the NCAA record held by Keenan Reynolds (88). – Etienne (26 total touchdowns in 2018, 23 in 2019) attempting to become the first player in ACC history to score 20 or more total touchdowns in three different seasons. He would join Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon (2012, 14-15) as the only FBS players since 2000 to accomplish the feat. – Etienne (at least one rushing or receiving touchdown in 36 of his 43 career games) sitting two touchdowns shy of matching or three touchdowns shy of passing FBS records held by Florida’s Tim Tebow (38 games from 2006-09) and Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon (38 from 2012-15). – Etienne entering the season with 18 career multi touchdown games (rushing and receiving). The FBS record is 25, set by Miami Ohio’s Travis Prentice (1996-99) and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (2009-12). – Etienne attempting to rush for 1,500 yards for a third straight season to join Pitt’s Tony Dorsett (1973, 1975-76), Georgia’s Herschel Walker (1980-82), Miami Ohio’s Travis Prentice, (1997-99), Northern Illinois’ Garrett Wolfe (2004-06), Oregon’s LaMichael James (2009-11), San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey (2014-16) and Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor (2017-19) as only the eighth player in FBS history to reach 1,500 rushing yards in three different seasons. He would be the first member of the ACC to do it, as Dorsett accomplished the feat prior to Pitt’s membership in the ACC. – Etienne (7.80) entering 2020 with the second highest yards-per-carry average among any FBS player with a minimum of 400 carries since 1956. He and Colin Kaepernick are the only two FBS players since 2000 to average at least 7.0 yards on 100+ carries in three different seasons. – Etienne (156 in 2018) attempting to become the first player in ACC history with multiple 150-point seasons. In 2018, his 156 points tied Pitt’s James Conner (2014) for second-most in a season in conference history, one point shy of the record set by Florida State’s Roberto Aguayo (157) in 2013. – Etienne (567) needing 433 more receiving yards to reach 1,000 career receiving yards. He would become only the 12th player in FBS history to record at least 4,000 rushing yards and at least 1,000 receiving yards, joining Stanford’s Darrin Nelson, Colorado State’s Steve Bartolo, Miami Ohio’s George Swarn, Florida’s Errict Rhett, Boise State’s Brock Forsey, Tulane’s Mewelde Moore, North Texas’ Lance Dunbar, San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey, Louisiana Elijah McGuire, Southern Miss’ Ito Smith and New Mexico State’s Larry Rose III. – Etienne (372) needing 33 points to break Chandler Catanzaro’s school record for career points (404 from 2010-13). – Etienne (30 career starts) needing 13 starts to tie or 14 starts to pass James Davis (43 from 2005-08) for the most starts by a running back in Clemson history. – Quarterback Trevor Lawrence entering the season with a 25-1 record as a starting quarterback. He is seven wins shy of tying or eight wins shy of passing the school record of 32, shared by Rodney Williams (1985-88), Tajh Boyd (2010-13) and Deshaun Watson (2014-16). – Lawrence (3,280 in 2018, 3,665 in 2019) attempting to become the second quarterback in Clemson history to post three 3,000-yard passing seasons, joining Tajh Boyd (three from 2011-13). – Lawrence (76) needing only 24 combined passing and rushing touchdowns to become only the fifth player in ACC history to be responsible for 100 career touchdowns, joining Tajh Boyd (133), Lamar Jackson (119), Deshaun Watson (116) and Philip Rivers (112). – Lawrence (66) sitting nine passing touchdowns shy of becoming the sixth player in ACC history to throw 75 career touchdown passes, joining Tajh Boyd (107), Philip Rivers (95), Deshaun Watson (90), Chris Weinke (79) and Russell Wilson (76) – Lawrence (6,945) needing 3,055 passing yards to become only the sixth 10,000-yard career passer in ACC history, joining Philip Rivers, Tajh Boyd, Ryan Finley, Deshaun Watson and Thaddeus Lewis. – Lawrence (7,685) needing 2,315 combined rushing and passing yards to join Tajh Boyd and Deshaun Watson as the only players in school history to accrue 10,000 yards of total offense. – Lawrence entering the season having thrown 239 consecutive passes without an interception, the fifthlongest streak in ACC history. He is 61 passes without an interception shy of joining Russell Wilson (379 from 2008-09) and Ryan Finley (339 from 2016-17) as the only players in conference history to throw 300 consecutive pass attempts without a pick. – Lawrence entering the season wih a 162.21 career pass efficiency rating, roughly one point shy of the ACC record held by Jameis Winston (163.28). – Linebacker James Skalski (47) entering 2020 only 12 game appearances shy of tying or 13 game appearances shy of breaking the Clemson record for most career games players of 59, held jointly by Cannon Smith, Christian Wilkins, Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace. – Punter Will Spiers (44) needing only three more starts to set the Clemson record for career starts by a punter, currently held by Cole Chason (46 from 2003-06). He is 13 starts from tying and 14 starts from breaking the Clemson record across all positions, currently held by tackle Mitch Hyatt (57 from 2015- 18).
WHAT TO WATCH FOR THIS WEEK – One year after playing the earliest season opener in school history (Aug. 29, 2019 vs. Georgia Tech), Clemson playing its latest season opener since 1986 (Sept. 13, 1986 vs. Virginia Tech). – Clemson opening the season against an ACC opponent for only the 14th time since the conference’s founding in 1953. Clemson is 10-2-1 against ACC opponents in Week 1 contests all-time, including a 52-14 home win against Georgia Tech last season. – Clemson opening conference play on the road the for the seventh time in eight years. Clemson has won each of its last five conference openers since 2015, tied for the longest conference-opener winning streak in school history (five from 1980-84). – Clemson opening the season against Wake Forest this year, after opening against Georgia Tech last season, representing the first time Clemson has opened with an ACC foe in back-to-back years since a five-season stretch of in-conference season openers across the 1965-69 seasons. – Clemson attempting to improve to 94-23-8 all-time in season openers, regardless of site. Clemson has won 28 of its last 35 openers, including a 10-1 mark in openers under Dabo Swinney and victories in each of the last five season debuts. – Clemson opening a season on the road for the first time since 2016, when second-ranked Clemson defeated Auburn, 19-13, at Jordan-Hare Stadium to kick off an eventual national championship campaign. – Clemson seeking its 13th consecutive victory in true road games, which would break the school-record 12-game streak set across the 2015-17 seasons. – Clemson attempting to improve to 68-17-1 all-time against Wake Forest. Clemson’s current 67 all-time wins against Wake Forest are its second-most against any opponent in school history, trailing the Tigers’ 71 wins against South Carolina. – Clemson attempting to win its 12th consecutive game against Wake Forest, dating back to 2009. It would mark Clemson’s second 12-game winning streak in series history, trailing a 15-game streak from 1977-91. Clemson’s current 11-game winning streak against Wake Forest is the Tigers’ longest active winning streak against an ACC foe. – Clemson attempting to earn a sixth straight road victory against Wake Forest, dating back to 2010. Clemson’s last loss in Winston-Salem came in 2008, leading to Dabo Swinney being named Clemson’s Interim Head Coach four days later. – Clemson attempting to record a six-game road winning streak against a single opponent for the eighth time in school history. It would be Clemson’s first such streak since 1989-99, when Clemson won six straight against South Carolina in Columbia.
– Clemson attempting to defeat its 23rd consecutive ACC opponent, including postseason play, dating to October 2017 against Georgia Tech. Clemson’s 22 consecutive victories against conference opponents (including postseason play) is already the longest such streak in school history. – Head Coach Dabo Swinney attempting to improve to 12-0 as a head coach against Wake Forest. Wake Forest is one of five ACC schools against whom Swinney is undefeated as head coach, a list that also includes Duke (3-0), Louisville (6-0), Virginia (4-0) and Virginia Tech (5-0). Swinney is also 2-0 vs. temporary ACC member Notre Dame. – Though 2020 will technically be played sans divisions, Clemson attempting to defeat a traditional ACC Atlantic Division opponent for a 15th straight time and for the 35th time in 36 opportunities. – Clemson attempting to push its winning streak in Saturday games to 43 to extend the longest Saturday winning streak in school history. Clemson’s current 43-game run of consecutive Saturday victories is the longest active streak in the country. – Clemson attempting to hold Wake Forest to three or fewer points for a third straight meeting (63-3 in 2018, 52-3 in 2019). It would be Clemson’s first time holding a single opponent to three or fewer points in three straight meetings since doing so in three games against The Citadel in 1978, 1986 and 2000. It would be Clemson’s first time doing so against an FBS opponent and ACC opponent since a four-game streak against Maryland from 1993-96 in which the Tigers produced three straight shutouts from 1993-95 plus a 35-3 win in 1996. – Travis Etienne (17) rushing for 100 yards to break Wayne Gallman’s Clemson record for career 100-yard rushing games (17 from 2014-16). – Etienne (56) needing four more rushing touchdowns to become only the 12th player in FBS history to record 60 career rushing touchdowns, a mark reached only by Navy’s Keenan Reynolds (88), Wisconsin’s Montee Ball (77), Miami (Ohio)’s Travis Prentice (73), Texas’ Ricky Williams (72), Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon (72), Florida Atlantic’s Devin Singletary (66), Indiana’s Anthony Thompson (64), Texas’ Cedric Benson (64), Wisconsin’s Ron Dayne (63), San Diego State’s Donnel Pumphrey (62) and Oregon’s Royce Freeman (60). – Etienne entering the game with two career 100-yard games against Wake Forest (167 in 2018, 121 in 2019). With another 100-yard game against the Demon Deacons, he can tie the school record held by Kenny Flowers (vs. Duke, 1983-85) and Wayne Gallman (vs. South Carolina, 2014-16) for career 100-yard rushing games against a single opponent. – Etienne (288 career rushing yards against Wake Forest) needing 151 rushing yards to break Cliff Austin’s school record for career rushing yards against a single opponent (438 vs. Duke from 1980-82). – Etienne (372) needing eight points to pass placekicker Greg Huegel (379 from 2015-18) for second on Clemson’s career scoring leaderboard. Doing so would also move him into eighth in ACC history. – Etienne attempting to rush for a touchdown in a 10th straight game, dating to last season, to move past Lester Brown (1978), Terry Allen (1988-89) and James Davis (2005-06) for sole possession of the longest such streak in school history. – Etienne attempting to score a touchdown on any kind in a 13th consecutive game to pull within one game of the school record held by C.J. Spiller (14 straight games in 2009). – Etienne (5,122) gaining eight all-purpose yards to pass Sammy Watkins (5,129) for second on Clemson’s career all-purpose yardage leaderboard. C.J. Spiller holds the Clemson and ACC record at 7,588. – Etienne (5,122) needing 142 all-purpose yards to enter the Top 10 in career all-purpose yards in ACC history. – Quarterback Trevor Lawrence (66) sitting one passing touchdown shy of entering the Top 10 in career passing touchdowns in ACC history. He is within striking distance of No. 10 Thaddeus Lewis (67), No. 9 Darian Durant (68), Nos. 7 Brad Kaaya and Lamar Jackson (69) and No. 6 Jacory Harris (70). – Lawrence (seven) attempting to join Tajh Boyd (18), Deshaun Watson (13) and Charlie Whitehurst (eight) as the only players in school history to record at least eight career 300-yard passing games. His next 300-yard game would tie him with Whitehurst for third in school history. – Lawrence entering the game having thrown 239 consecutive passes without an interception.
SERIES HISTORY VS. WAKE FOREST Clemson owns 67 all-time wins over Wake Forest, its second-highest victory total against any opponent (71 wins vs. South Carolina). Clemson has a 57-9-1 lead in the series since the formation of the ACC in 1953, an .858 winning percentage. Clemson is 25-10-1 all-time against Wake Forest in games played in Winston-Salem since 1936. Clemson has played Wake Forest in football 67 consecutive years, as the last year the two schools did not play was 1952. Only South Carolina has a longer string of consecutive seasons played against the Tigers, a string that will come to an end in 2020 after 111 years. Clemson has won 11 in a row in the series, all under Head Coach Dabo Swinney, by a combined score of 442-127. That represents an average victory margin of 28.6, and Clemson has scored at least 28 points in all 11 games. This will be the 10th straight year that Wake Forest has faced a Top 20 Clemson team, including six years in a row facing a Top 5 Clemson squad.
WAKE FOREST NOTES (SPORTS INFORMATION)
STARTING OFF THE SEASON STRONG • DEACS SEASON OPENERS: Over the last decade, Wake Forest is 8-2 in season openers including a 5-1 record in head coach Dave Clawson’s tenure. This will mark just the fourth time since the start of the 2009 season that the Deacs will start the season on the road. • SEPTEMBER STRONG: Since the start of the 2016 season, Wake Forest holds a record of 13-3 in September. Since Coach Clawson has arrived on campus, the Deacs have had at least two wins in September. • LAST SEASON AGAINST AN ACC FOE: The Demon Deacons opened up the 2020 against an ACC opponent for the first time in 16 years. The last time Wake Forest started the season against a conference opponent came on Sept. 4, 2004 when the Deacs fell at No. 15 Clemson 37-30 in double overtime. RETURNING TALENT BACK TO WINSTON • DEACS RETURN 10 STARTERS ON DEFENSE: The defensive talent abounds for the 2020 season including every starter returning in the front seven of the defense. Along the defensive front the Deacs will have 11 upperclassmen for the 2020 season. • BACK UNDER CENTER: After starting nine games during his true freshman campaign, Sam Hartman is back under center for the start of the 2020 season. • BUDDING STAR ON THE OUTSIDE: Redshirt freshman wide receiver Donavon Greene came into Wake Forest as one of the highest rated recruits in program history. After earning his redshirt, Greene suited up in the final four games of the season, pulling down 13 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns. This included a breakout performance against Syracuse when he had seven catches, 172 yards and a score.
DEACS AMONG NATION’S BEST • BASHAM UP: One of three returning Wake Forest All-ACC selections from 2019, Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr. has received plenty of preseason accolades heading into the upcoming season. After a breakout campaign that included 11.0 sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss, has earned preseason All-America honors from a multitude of publications while also being named to the Lott IMPACT Trophy Watchlist, the Chuck Bednarik Award Watchlist and the Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watchlist. • GOLDEN LEG: In the third phase of the game, Wake Forest might have the best kicker in all of college football according to many. Last season, Nick Sciba converted 24-of-25 attempts while hitting on his first 23 attempts of the season. He also set the school record with 119 points scored. He is on the Lou Groza Award Watchlist to start the season. • PRESEASON WATCH LISTS: Prior to the start of the 2020 season, Wake Forest had players on a total of nine national preseason watch lists. Joining Basham and Sciba were Brandon Chapman on the John Mackey Award Watch List, Sam Hartman on the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Watch List and Kenneth Walker III on the Doak Walker Award Watch List. SET. THE. STANDARD. • IN THE RECORD BOOK: The Demon Deacons have engineered an offense that has rewritten the record books at Wake Forest. The Deacs have set over 300 school records including marks for points scored, total offensive yards, first downs and passing yards over the past three seasons. • OUR HEAD COACH: Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson co-owns the school record for bowl victories, has climbed to the third-most wins in school history, and has led Wake Forest to a four-year period (2016-19) of success that had been unmatched since the 1940s.
NOTING THE TIGERS:
Clemson has won at least 10 games in nine consecutive years and has won the ACC Championship in the past five seasons. They come into 2020 off the heels of a National Championship game loss to LSU. • Clemson will be without its top two receivers from last season after losing Tee Higgins to the NFL and Justyn Ross to a season ending spinal injury in June. • The two-time defending ACC Player of the Year Travis Etienne returns as the Tigers leader in both rushing and receiving yardage. Etienne is the program’s all-time leading rusher with 4,038 yards (7.8 avg.) with a school- and ACCrecord 56 rushing touchdowns. • Along the offensive line, Clemson is looking to replace four starters from a season ago. Only left tackle Jackson Carman is back up front. • Clemson has finished in the top 10 nationally in total defense for the six straight years. Last season, the Tigers gave up 288.3 yards per game, which ranked sixth nationally. They ranked third in the country in points allowed per game with a mark of 13.5 per game. • The Tigers will be looking to replace their leading tackler in Isaiah Simmons who racked up 104 total tackles last season while adding 16.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Clemson became the first school with back-to-back 650-point seasons since Yale in 1888-89. Last season, the Tigers set a program record with 664 points, averaging 43.9 points per game. That average ranked fourth nationally in 2019. • Clemson’s secondary will have to replace three of its starters from 2019, losing all three to the NFL Draft. Derion Kendrick is the only returning starter in the secondary. He earned second team All-ACC honors last season. • Clemson posted a 117-23 record in the 2010s, and the program’s 117 wins trailed only Penn (124 in the 1890s) and Alabama (124 in the 2010s) to tie for the third most in a decade in major college football since 1890. • At 130-31, Swinney (.807) enters the 2020 season as the winningest active coach by percentage in the FBS among coaches with at least five seasons of head coaching experience. • Trevor Lawrence enters 2020 having completed 527-of-804 career passes for 6,945 yards with 66 touchdowns and 12 interceptions in 1,610 snaps in 30 career games. He also has 967 rushing yards and 10 rushing touchdowns on 163 career carries. In 26 career starts, Lawrence holds a 25-1 career record as a starter. He is coming off his lone loss • Clemson is just the third program in FBS history to return both a 4,000 yard career rusher and a 9,000 yard career passer. Clemson has won the previous 11 meetings in the series including the last five matchups in Winston-Salem. • The last three Wake Forest victories in the series have come at Truist Field with the last coming on Oct. 9, 2008 when the Deacs won 12-7. • This marks just the third time the Demon Deacons and Tigers meet to open the season with the previous two matchups kicking off the 2004 and 1960 seasons.