Three numbers to track as the Deacs host No. 5 Clemson at 7 p.m. Saturday at BB&T Field.
The Deacs have just one win all-time against teams ranked in the AP Top-10, while losing 57 such encounters. That was a 1946 19-6 win over Tennessee in Knoxville, which means Wake has NEVER defeated a Top-10 ranked team in Winston-Salem. Needless to say, an upset over Dabo Swinney's Clemson Tigers Saturday night would be historic.
The Clemson Tigers are averaging 346.2 yards per game passing, a worrisome number when considering the Deacs depth issues at safety this week. Senior safety Ryan Janvion is out for sure, and last reports had Cam Glenn questionable, leaving Jessie Bates and Josh Okonye as the starters. Okonye and Bates played every snap last week at Louisville, but Dez Wortham is listed as 2nd string behind both of them. Behind Wortham? Who know?
Clemson starting quarterback Deshaun Watson is 256-for-387 passing this season for 3,077 yards and 27 touchdowns. Watson has thrown 13 interceptions this year, however, and Wake has picked off 11 passes — led by five for redshirt freshman Jessie Bates, which ties him for fifth in the nation.
One of the top edicts going into the season for the Deacs was winning turnover margin — it was a top focus going back to spring camp. Thus far, that focus has held true, as the Deacs are 10th in the nation in turnover margin at +9. Ball security and ball disruption were focus points on the offensive side and defensive side of the ball respectively, with daily consequences set in practice for failing to take care of the football.
Clemson has lost just six of its 14 fumbles this season. For the Deacs to have a chance to shock the world, they will have to create some turnovers and then capitalize with touchdowns.