Clem­son-Louisville high­lights of top 10 matchups

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Steve Me­gargee

The fifth week of the col­lege foot­ball sea­son of­fers ar­guably the best lineup of games since the open­ing week­end. With so many top 10 teams fac­ing each other, this week could pro­vide some clues on which teams have le­git­i­mate Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off as­pi­ra­tions.


This week­end fea­tures two other matchups of top 10 teams as No. 7 Stan­ford vis­its No. 10 Wash­ing­ton on Fri­day night and No. 8 Wis­con­sin plays at No. 4 Michi­gan on Satur­day.

But the At­lantic Coast Con­fer­ence show­down of­fers the most in­trigue. The win­ner takes com­mand of a loaded At­lantic Di­vi­sion that also fea­tures No. 12 Florida State, which al­ready got blown out at Louisville two weeks ago.

Louisville is av­er­ag­ing 63.5 points to lead all Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion pro­grams.

Clem­son al­lows just 11 points per game and is tied for fifth na­tion­ally in scor­ing de­fense. The Tigers also have won 18 straight reg­u­lar-sea­son games and a school-record 18 straight home games.

Heis­man watch

That Louisville-Clem­son show­down also could have ma­jor Heis­man Tro­phy im­pli­ca­tions.

Clem­son quar­ter­back De­shaun Watson en­tered the sea­son as one of the Heis­man fa­vorites, but his thun­der has been stolen a bit by Louisville quar­ter­back La­mar Jack­son’s sen­sa­tional Septem­ber. Watson could re­assert him­self as a Heis­man front-runner by out­play­ing Jack­son in a Clem­son vic­tory.

“I know (Watson’s) the best player in the coun­try,” Clem­son re­ceiver Ray-Ray McCloud said. “For him to go out there against some­one who sup­pos­edly is the best player in the coun­try as well is just go­ing to get him to a whole other level.”

Num­bers to know

7 — Stan­ford has won seven con­sec­u­tive Pac-12 reg­u­lar-sea­son road games head­ing into Fri­day’s trip to Wash­ing­ton. No Stan­ford team ever has won eight straight reg­u­lar-sea­son con­fer­ence road games.

4 — The num­ber of wins for un­de­feated Wake For­est head­ing into Satur­day’s game at North Carolina State. The De­mon Dea­cons haven’t won more than four games in a sea­son since go­ing 5-7 in 2012.

8-4-2: Wis­con­sin won 30-6 last week over No. 17 Michi­gan State, which was ranked eighth at the time of their meet­ing. The Badgers visit No. 4 Michi­gan this week. Af­ter tak­ing next week off, they host No. 2 Ohio State on Oct. 15.

12-1 — No. 11 Ten­nessee has 12 fum­bles this sea­son but has lost only one of them.

35 — Ok­la­homa has won 35 con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar-sea­son games fol­low­ing a reg­u­lar-sea­son loss. The Soon­ers haven’t lost con­sec­u­tive reg­u­lar-sea­son games since Oc­to­ber 1999. The Soon­ers try to con­tinue that streak Satur­day when they visit No. 21 TCU af­ter los­ing to Ohio State in their last game.

Off the radar

Mem­phis had to re­place its coach and quar­ter­back as Vir­ginia Tech hired away Justin Fuente and the Den­ver Bron­cos drafted Pax­ton Lynch in the first round. But the new-look Tigers have done just fine so far, as they have outscored op­po­nents 155-27 in the first three games of Mike Norvell’s coach­ing ten­ure.

The Tigers face a much tougher test this week at No. 16 Mis­sis­sippi. The Rebels are seek­ing to avenge the 37-24 loss at Mem­phis last sea­son.

“We went up there and got em­bar­rassed last year,” Ole Miss de­fen­sive line­man John Young­blood said. “I don’t think we pre­pared well, and we didn’t have our mind­set good enough go­ing into the game.”

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