By Will Vandervort
Here is an inside look at the Clemson-Wake Forest series as the third-ranked Clemson Tigers host Wake Forest at Memorial Stadium Saturday in Clemson. The game will be televised by ESPNU at 3:30 p.m.
About the Wake Forest Demon Deacons: Jim Grobe’s team has some veteran players led by wide receiver Michael Campanaro, who has an ACC best 8.3 receptions per game so far this year. He has 25 catches for 354 yards and two scores. He had 16 receptions in one game against Louisiana Monroe and that is the most receptions in a game this year nationally.
The Wake Forest offense: Veteran quarterback Tanner Price has thrown for 214 yards per game, seventh best in the ACC. The top running back is senior Josh Harris, who has 151 yards in four games, but he is coming off his best game of the year when he had 19 carries for 96 and two scores against Army.
The Wake Forest defense: The defense is led by linebacker Mike Olson with 34 tackles and nose guard Nikita Whitlock, who has 31 stops. Whitlock is similar in stature to Clemson’s Grady Jarrett. The Wake Forest senior leads the ACC in tackles for loss with nine in just four games. He also has three sacks.
The Wake Forest Special Teams: Campanaro had a long punt return on the Tigers two years ago and will be returning punt again on Saturday. Wake place kicker Chad Hedlund is 5-8 on field goals this year, while punter Alexander Kinal averages 39.3 yards per punt.
Records: Clemson 3-0, 1-0 ACC; Wake Forest 2-2, 0-1 ACC
Series record: Clemson leads 60-17-1
Last meeting: Clemson won 42-13 at Wake Forest last year
Last Wake Forest win: 12-7 at Wake Forest in 2008
Last Wake Forest win in Clemson: 29-19 in 1998
Stat worth noting: Clemson has won six straight games in Death Valley against Wake Forest
Second stat worth noting: Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd needs two total touchdowns (running or passing) to become the first Clemson player and only the second player in ACC history to record 100 touchdowns in a career.
Third stat worth noting: Clemson has a 36-4-2 record on Homecoming games since 1971. That calculates to a .904 win percentage.
Memorable game: Clemson won the 2006 game at Wake Forest, 27-17. The late Gaines Adams had a game changing 66-yard fumble return on a botched field goal attempt in the fourth quarter to cut the Demon Deacons lead to 17-10. The Tigers scored 24 points in the fourth period to gain the victory. Former running back C.J. Spiller, now with the Buffalo Bills, had a 72-yard run in that game for a score.