Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei (5) passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Clemson Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, in Clemson, S.C. (Josh Morgan/Pool Photo via AP)

ACC Powerhouses Collide

Week 5 of the college football season will showcase No. 10 NC State against No. 5 Clemson as its marquee matchup. Both ACC teams are undefeated and Clemson hasn’t lost a home game since November 12, 2016. This game will have a huge impact on which ACC team contends for a playoff spot.

Clemson’s Top 5 Start

The Clemson Tigers are coming off of a nail-biting victory over Wake Forest. They barely escaped the Demon Deacons in double overtime, 51-45. Wake Forest is one of those teams with enough talent to be around at the end of the season and cause a potential upset. That victory not only proved Clemson can win on the road, but also that they could compete with any ACC contender.

The Tigers starting quarterback Dj Uiagalelei has had some promising performances in these past few weeks. He’s thrown for 10 touchdowns and only 1 interception. He was named the ACC quarterback of the week. On the defensive side of the ball, Clemson allowed Wake Forest to score 45 points. The Tigers’ defense will need to step against a dynamic Wolfpack offense. A dominant defensive presence will put less pressure on Uiagalelei and their offense.

The Unbeaten Wolfpack

The NC State Wolfpack has been living up to its preseason expectations. They were projected to be a CFP contender and challenge Clemson for the ACC title. They’re undefeated so far and have won a majority of their games convincingly. Their week one performance against East Carolina is the only exception. The Wolfpack won the game by one point in a road environment that seemed to affect their play.

Quarterback Devin Leary and the Wolfpack offense have put up some impressive numbers. Although they have played mediocre teams, they have looked efficient and capable of winning high-scoring games. The defense though has looked great. They’ve held their opponents to an average of 11.7 points per game. NC State needs this kind of physical performance against Clemson to win the game.

ACC Matchup Projection

With this matchup taking place in Clemson, the Tigers home field advantage will be huge. With Clemson’s offense looking average at best this season, NC State needs to ensure their offense puts some points on the board. This can create a tight game that could come to the last possession. The winner of this game will be in first place in the ACC, but also a likely top-7 seed in the national AP Poll, competing for a CFP spot.

About Daniel Haviv

Hello, my name is Daniel Haviv and I'm a junior sports journalism student at the University of Florida. As a sports writer, I have published content on a multitude of different sports across all levels. Additionally, I was a beat reporter for the Gators Men's Basketball team for the 2022-2023 season. Game-day previews and post-game articles are featured.

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