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CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Tigers big favorites to win 27th straight ACC game

CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Tigers big favorites to win 27th straight ACC game

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SPORTS LIBRARY, Clemson, football

Clemson has not lost a regular-season game since 2017 at Syracuse.

Since then, they've won 26 straight over ACC foes — and they're heavy favorites to keep things going against the Orange (46 points) Saturday at Clemson (noon, ACC Network). Syracuse is struggling to show signs of life and give the school reason not to jettison embattled coach Dino Babers.

Key matchup

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Clemson tailback Travis Etienne vs. Syracuse's defense. Etienne is the two-time defending ACC player of the year making a case for three in a row. He's rushed for 465 yards and five TDs despite spending much of the second half on the bench with scores out of hand. Syracuse enters dead last in ACC rushing defense, allowing 12 rushing touchdowns this fall.

Players to watch

Syracuse: LB Mikel Jones leads the Orange in tackles and in takeaways with three interceptions and two fumble recoveries. He is tied for the lead in the Football Bowl Subdivisions with his three picks.

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Clemson: QB Trevor Lawrence. Better look quick or Lawrence could be on the bench with the game out of hand in favor of the Tigers. Lawrence has thrown for 1,544 yards and 15 touchdowns this season with his near flawless play — although he did throw his first pick of the season last week.

Facts & figures

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Syracuse appeared to be a rising challenger to Clemson in the ACC after defeating the Tigers in 2017 and losing late in a 27-23 Clemson victory at Death Valley the following season. ... Tigers had 17 players with a reception in a 73-7 win at Georgia Tech last week, the most in coach Dabo Swinney's 12-plus seasons. ... Syracuse has won the turnover battle in 12 consecutive games. It has gone 3-9 in that stretch. ... Clemson has won its past 26 home games, dating to a Nov. 2016, 43-42 loss to Pitt. ... Clemson has scored at least 37 points in its first five games, the longest such streak in school history. ... Syracuse has started four freshmen on defense in each of its last two games.


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