Countdown to Kickoff: Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson

Countdown to Kickoff: Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson

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Countdown to Kickoff: Charlotte at No. 1 Clemson

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Top-ranked Clemson returns home for its third home game in the first four weeks of the season on Saturday, when the Tigers host the Charlotte 49ers at Memorial Stadium.

Game Information

Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, South Carolina

Records: Clemson 3-0, 2-0 ACC; Charlotte 2-1, 0-0 Conference USA

When: Saturday, 7:30 p.m.

TV: ABC (Dave O’Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George)

Radio: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, C.J. Spiller, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather) Sirius 134, XM 193, Internet 955.

Latest Line: Clemson minus-42 points

Series History: First meeting

Three story lines

In the midst of the 150th season of college football, Saturday’s contest will be Clemson’s 150th game under the leadership of head coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney’s 149 career games as head coach are the second-most in school history, trailing the 295 games coached by College Football Hall of Famer Frank Howard across the 1940-69 seasons.

Clemson attempting to win its 19th consecutive game, dating to the start of the 2018 season, to extend the longest winning streak in school history and second longest winning streak in ACC history.

Clemson attempting to win a 14th consecutive game by 14 points or more, which would tie for the third-longest streak in the AP Poll era (since 1936).

Charlotte’s three players to watch

Benny LeMay, RB: A Doak Walker candidate and preseason all-C-USA selection, has rushed for 100+ yards in all three games and scored five touchdowns. With five TDs, LeMay moved past Hasaan Klugh for 3rd all-time with 20 in his career.  He has rushed for over 100 yards in five straight games, dating back to last year, and has 10 such games in his career.

Chris Reynolds, QB: He leads C-USA and ranks 15th in the FBS with a 178.4 passing efficiency. His 7 touchdown passes rank 2nd in C-USA; 21st in FBS. His 9.32 yards/pass attempt are 23rd in the FBS.

Alex Highsmith, DE: A Bednarik Award candidate and preseason all-C-USA choice, Highsmith ranks second in the nation with 1.3 sacks per game. He matched the 49ers single-game record with 2.0 sacks in each of the first two games. With 4.0 sacks, Highsmith is within 1.0 sacks of the single-season school record at Charlotte.

Prediction:

Clemson is clearly the better team, but the 49ers do have some playmakers on offense, and they will challenge the Tigers’ defense for a little while. But overall, Clemson has too much talent on defense for Charlotte to consistently move the ball down the field. The 49ers will score, but it will not be as easy as it has the past three weeks. Clemson has already had two games in which it went over 600 yards, Saturday should be a third. Look for the Tigers to roll early and then play a lot of its young players in the second half.

Score prediction: Clemson 49, Charlotte 17

–Clemson Athletic Communications contributed to this story

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