FREE SIGN UP Clemson vs Wake Forest Football Start time, live stream, TV schedule, and 3 things to knowslipped, but didn’t tumble, in this week’ 12, No. 4 Clemson slipped, but didn’t tumble, in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings. The Tigers moved only slightly backward from No. 2 after a tough home loss against Pitt, and they should still control their own postseason fate. With Louisville having completed ACC play, Saturday’s Clemson result at Wake Forest decides the ACC Atlantic. If the Tigers win, they’re in the league title game. And if they win that, they’re in the Playoff. It’s awfully simple.
So, Clemson has its work cut out for it. How much the Tigers win by against the Deacons doesn’t matter - only that they get it done and move forward. If they don’t, they will miss the Playoff, and an excellent season will have gone all the way into the toilet in just a week’s time. Assuming he goes pro, Deshaun Watson’s college career would be ending on a terrible note, no matter what happened in Clemson’s bowl game. It’s best for the Tigers that they don’t let that happen.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN. The broadcasters are Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, and Allison Williams.
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Clemson is favored by just more than three touchdowns.
Make friends: Get to SB Nation’s team blog chats for this game at Shakin The Southland(for Clemson fans) and Blogger So Dear (for Wake fans).
Three big things to know
1. Clemson’s defense needs to be significantly better. The Tigers’ front is young, and the secondary’s been shaky for much of the year. Pitt quarterback Nathan Peterman picked this group apart last week, but the passing D shouldn’t be a huge problem against a Wake Forest offense that can’t move the ball through the air. The Deacs aren’t especially good at running, either. What you get here is a pretty good chance for a defensive bounce back.
2. The Clemson offense has to cut mistakes. Watson is brilliant, but he threw three interceptions last week against Pitt, including an inexplicable one in the fourth quarter deep inside Pitt territory and with an eight-point lead. That led to the Tigers losing the game. Wake’s defense is solid all the way around, but it’s not good enough to beat Clemson unless the Tigers assist by beating themselves.
3. Louisville, of course, will watch with bated breath. If Clemson loses, the Cardinals are in the ACC title game, and they’d be favored to win such a game and advance to the Playoff. There’s some chance the Cardinals could get in anyway, but they’ve currently got their faces pressed up against the Playoff window. Another Clemson loss changes that in a hurry