When Mack Brown went into his office and started breaking down Clemson’s depth chart, the veteran coach felt like every player he looked at was a future first-round draft choice.
“They have the best program in the country. They have the best head coach and coaches in the country. They have the most depth in the country,” Brown said to the North Carolina media on Monday.
The Tigers, ranked No. 1 in the country, visit Brown and the Tar Heels (2-2, 1-0 ACC) this Saturday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The game is scheduled to kick off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised nationally on ABC.
“They are for real,” Brown said.
Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) has won 19 straight games coming into Saturday’s contest, the second-best mark in the history of the ACC and the longest active winning streak in the country. The Tigers have won 21 straight regular season games and have won each of their last 14 games by at least 14 points, the third longest such streak in the 83-year history of the Associated Press Poll.
“From our standpoint, we want to be the Clemson of the Coastal (Division),” Brown said. “They are the best team in the country. They are the best team in the ACC. They are dominating the ACC and all of us are trying to catch them.”
No one in the ACC has caught Clemson since Syracuse did it in Week 7 of the 2017 season. The Tigers have since won 14 straight games against conference foes and most of them have not even been close.
“One of the good things this weekend for our players is that when you play the best in the country, it is a great challenge for you. But with challenge is an opportunity to see how we stand up to them,” Brown said.
The Tigers already own a 38-point win over Georgia Tech and a 35-point win at Syracuse to start the ACC season. It will be the Tar Heels’ second ACC game this year. They rallied to beat Miami in Chapel Hill on Sept. 7. Their game against Wake Forest on Sept. 13 was a non-conference game.
“The other thing is, if you are going to win this league, you have to beat them,” Brown said. “It sends a message to our players and our coaches as to what the best team in this league looks like and what you have to do to compete to win an ACC Championship.”
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