PAGING WATSON: Swinney says QB Deshaun Watson is healthy enough to play and will dress for the game, but may not use the talented quarterback unless he's needed. Watson missed two games with a broken bone in his hand but Swinney says his condition improved during the Tigers' week off. He is expected to start against Georgia Tech the following week. "It would be good for us," Clawson said, "if they feel like they have to play him."
CLEMSON D: It's been tough for Wake Forest's worst-in-the-FBS offense to move the ball on anyone. It could be especially tough against a Clemson defense that ranks No. 2 in yards allowed, giving up an average of just 268.6. The Demon Deacons average just 213.5 total yards — about 35 fewer yards per game than the nation's second-worst team, SMU. An offensive line full of freshmen and sophomores will have a huge challenge in keeping Clemson DE Vic Beasley away from Wolford. "They've got big-time players at every level," Clawson said.
WAKE D: The Demon Deacons will have to count on their defense to keep them in the game. Wake Forest has the ACC's third-best D against the pass, giving up 180 yards per game. Clemson has averaged just 16.5 points in the two full games Watson has missed and Cole Stoudt became the starter again. "It's going to be a good challenge from a defensive perspective," Wake Forest DB Kevin Johnson said.
DABO VS. DEACONS: Wake Forest has a 4-1 record in ESPN-televised Thursday night games with the lone loss coming in Clemson's visit in 2012. That 42-13 defeat was one of the Tigers' four blowout wins in the series under Swinney. The only close game Wake Forest has played against his Tigers came in 2011 when Clemson won 31-28 on a last-play field goal.
WAKE VS. TOP 25: Wake Forest has lost 10 straight against Top 25 opponents since upsetting No. 22 Florida State in 2011. The Demon Deacons have not beaten a ranked Clemson team since 1945.
WHAT TO WATCH: Clemson at Wake Forest
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