Is it a trap game, or just a lucky quirk in the ACC schedule? Either way, No. 1 Clemson is probably feelings pretty confident headed into a showdown with 3-7 Wake Forest this weekend.
The Tigers will finish out their regular season with a pair of matchups against sputtering offenses, starting this weekend against Wake and finishing on Nov. 27 against South Carolina. The Demon Deacons are averaging only 17.5 points per game this season. At that pace, it would take them more than 13 quarters to match the scoring damage that Clemson did to Miami in a 58-0 rout back in October. History isn't on Wake Forest's side, either. They've lost their last six matchups in this Carolinas rivalry, and only two of those defeats came by fewer than 20 points.
Those factors have led to a nearly 30-point spread between these two ACC Atlantic foes, and Wake fans who are brave enough to make the trek to Death Valley are either tremendous optimists or masochists. The outlook isn't sunny for the Demon Deacons, but they play these games for a reason. Wake Forest has a penchant for winning games with scores like 3-0 or 6-3 (in two overtimes), and a similar result on Saturday could be enough to make Lou Holtz start reverse-aging like Benjamin Button and burn the College Football Playoff to the ground.
And who, other than Clemson fans, wouldn't want that?
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 3:30ET, ESPN2
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Clemson is favored by 29 points...good lord.
Three big things to know
1. Deshaun Watson's Heisman campaign could be in for a boost Saturday afternoon. Voters will take his performance against the Demon Deacons with a grain of salt, but a big statistical day could pump up his overall numbers and help drive him into the top three candidates this winter. Look at what he's done to the Atlantic's other cellar-dwellers this season; 452 total yards and four touchdowns against Boston College and 473 total yards and three TDs versus Syracuse. Another big performance against an underwhelming team may not look like much on its own, but it will add to a stellar stat sheet that could sway Heisman pollsters in December.
2. Are we witnessing the beginning of the end for Dave Clawson? Wake Forest hired Clawson away from Bowling Green only two years ago, but his time with the program may be short if he can't show improvement by the end of the season. The Deacons have two games left, against Clemson and a suddenly free-falling Duke, to avoid posting back to back three-win seasons for the first time since 1990-91. Winston-Salem is a patient place, but no FBS programs wants the double whammy of a team that loses often and wins ugly.
3. The Clemson defense gets an early Thanksgiving. The Tigers rate seventh in the nation in total defense. On Saturday, they'll play a Wake Forest team that ranks 111th among FBS programs when it comes to moving the ball. Demon Deacon quarterback John Wolford has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns in five different games this season. If he doesn't start, he'll be replaced by Kendall Hinton, who barely completes more than half his passes and has five interceptions to go with three passing touchdowns this season. Not a single WFU running back gains more than four yards per carry. Their leading rusher averages fewer than 35 yards per game.
That's a lot of deficiencies that Clemson can exploit. If the 2015 season to date has been any indication, they'll hit on all of them.