No. 1 Clemson visits No. 4 Notre Dame in rare top-5 ACC game

No. 1 Clemson (7-0, 6-0 ACC) at No. 4 Notre Dame (6-0, 5-0), Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST (NBC).

Line: Clemson by 5 1/2.

Series record: Clemson leads 3-1.

WHAT’S AT STAKE?

In what could be the first of several meetings between the two this season, the winner puts itself in the driver’s seat for a berth in the ACC title game and the College Football Playoff.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson’s top 10 offense against Notre Dame’s top 10 defense. Even with Trevor Lawrence sidelined by COVID-19, the Tigers rallied from 18-points down to beat Boston College 34-28 behind true freshman D.J. Uiagalelei. Clemson averages 46.1 points, 341.4 passing yards and 508.0 total yards per game. Led by S Kyle Hamilton, LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah and DE Daelin Hayes, the Irish are allowing just 10.3 points , 173.5 passing yards and 267.2 total yards per game.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Clemson: RB Travis Etienne. The senior, whose 62-yard TD run closed out Clemson’s 30-3 victory over the Irish in 2018 CFP Cotton Bowl semifinal, is the ACC’s all-time leading rusher with 4,644 yards and has become more of a dual-threat this season with 606 yards rushing and 424 receiving yards.

Notre Dame: QB Ian Book. The fifth-year senior is 26-3 as a starter. He has thrown for 511 yards and three touchdowns in road victories over Pittsburgh and Georgia Tech the last two weeks. He has thrown 129 consecutive passes without an interception.

FACTS & FIGURES

This is sixth matchup of AP top-5 teams in ACC history. The lower ranked team has won four. … The only Irish victory in the series, 21-17, came at Clemson during their 1977 national championship season. … Notre Dame’s 12-game winning streak is the longest in the FBS. … The Irish’s 22-game home winning streak is tied for second among active streaks behind Clemson’s 27. … The Tigers have won 39 straight non-bowl games and are 20-1 in November games since 2015. … Saturday’s game is Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s 100th ACC regular-season game (83-16). … Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly is seeking his 99th coaching victory at Notre Dame; only Knute Rockne (105) and Lou Holtz (100) have more. … No. 1 teams are 5-2 at Notre Dame. The last time was 2005 against USC, the “Bush Push” game. The last Irish victory was against Florida State in 1993.

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