- Associated Press - Thursday, September 29, 2016

No. 3 Louisville (4-0, 2-0 ACC) at No. 5 Clemson (4-0, 1-0), 8 p.m. ET (ABC)

Line: Louisville by 2.

Series Record: Clemson leads 2-0.


Control of the ACC Atlantic Division, a likely spot in the College Football Playoff and a path to the Heisman Trophy announcement in New York come December. If Louisville wins, it will have defeated expected ACC heavyweights Florida State and the Tigers and would need a meltdown to miss the league’s championship game, which is the front porch to the playoff. Either Louisville’s Lamar Jackson or Clemson’s Deshaun Watson should emerge as the leading contender for the Heisman.


Jackson against Clemson’s defense. The Tigers were supposed to be hobbled on defense early with seven missing starters from the group that reached the national championship game last season. But they’ve allowed only 218 yards and 11 points a game this season - or the kind of numbers Jackson puts up in a quarter. Jackson has accounted for 25 touchdowns in four games.


LOUISVILLE: RB Brandon Radcliffe. The senior has given the Cardinals a one-two rushing punch like Clemson showed last year with 1,000-yard rushers in tailback Wayne Gallman and quarterback Deshaun Watson. Radcliff has rushed for 427 yards total and 9.3 yards a carry.

CLEMSON: WR Ray-Ray McCloud. The sophomore might be best known for dropping the ball short of the goal line while cruising in for a punt return TD three weeks ago. Now, he’s getting noticed for his strong offensive performances. McCloud leads the Tigers with 21 catches for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He also tops the ACC in punt returns.


It’s the second matchup of top five opponents at Death Valley. No. 3 Florida State and quarterback Jameis Winston blew out the fifth-ranked Tigers 51-14 and would go on to win the national championship. … Louisville leads the Football Bowl Subdivision in scoring at 63.5 points a game. … Louisville is seeking to become the first ACC team to defeat both Clemson and Florida State in the same season since North Carolina accomplished it in 2010. … Clemson has a school record, 18-game home win streak dating back to its 2013 loss at Death Valley to No. 3 Florida State.

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