Here is what No. 3 Clemson hopes to accomplish when it plays Wake Forest at 3:30 p.m. at Memorial Stadium:
WAKE UP WATKINS
It’s probably unfair to tie Clemson’s relative sputtering on offense to its most talented wide receiver. After all, Sammy Watkins was extremely solid in the first half at N.C. State. But it’s time for Tajh Boyd’s greatest weapon to play like more than a decoy, and this is just the opponent to do it against. Watkins gashed the Demon Deacons for 202 yards and a touchdown in last year’s meeting.
HUNT THE GOOSE EGG
The Clemson defense would like to completely prove its renaissance with the toughest of defensive feats — a shutout. The Tigers last blanked an ACC opponent 15 years ago, but Wake Forest was shut out twice last year. Clemson’s playing well enough to pull it off. Obviously, it’s the wire-to-wire consistency that earns a Something-To-Zero victory.
GET OUT HEALTHY
Kind of an obvious statement, but you hate to win a game easily and lose key players in the effort. The offensive line has been hit with setbacks, and skill players Charone Peake, Roderick McDowell and Jordan Leggett have dealt with their own varying degrees of injuries. So far, Clemson’s defense has avoided serious losses.
No real reason to believe Clemson could lose the football game. This game is about shifting from first to second gear and beyond, because more talented teams down the road could give the Tigers trouble, and they’ll have to be at their best to avoid the unexpected defeat.
Clemson 56, Wake Forest 10