College Sports

Saturday’s area college football games: Here are 10 matchups to watch

Clemson tackle Dexter Lawrence (right) will lead the Tigers’ defense on Saturday at N.C. State. The game will feature two of college football’s best defensive lines.
Clemson tackle Dexter Lawrence (right) will lead the Tigers’ defense on Saturday at N.C. State. The game will feature two of college football’s best defensive lines. gmelendez@thestate.com

Saturday’s area college football games to watch:

No. 6 CLEMSON (7-1, 5-1 ACC) at No. 20 N.C. STATE (6-2, 4-0)

Carter-Finley Stadium, Raleigh, 3:30 p.m., WSOC

Wolfpack running back Nyheim Hines (ankle injury) is expected to play, and that will take pressure off quarterback Ryan Finley. This game features two of college football’s best defensive lines.

WAKE FOREST (5-3) at No. 5 NOTRE DAME (7-1)

Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Ind., 3:30 p.m., WCNC

Former Deacons defensive coordinator Mike Elko has the same job at Notre Dame; his Irish defense has a 101-10 edge in points off turnovers this season. The Irish, FBS playoff contenders, must avoid looking ahead to next week’s game against unbeaten Miami.

SOUTH CAROLINA (6-2, 4-2 SEC) at No. 2 GEORGIA (8-0, 5-0)

Sanford Stadium, Athens, Ga., 3:30 p.m., WBTV

The Gamecocks’ run defense has been strong the past few weeks, and they probably would like to force Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm to throw the ball. This is the Bulldogs’ first test since they gained the No. 1 ranking in the FBS playoff race.

EAST CAROLINA (2-6, 1-3 American Athletic) at HOUSTON (5-3, 3-2)

TDECU Stadium, Houston, noon, ESPNU

Houston QB D’Eriq King accounted for 220 yards of total offense last week when the Cougars knocked off previously unbeaten South Florida. This week, he faces an ECU defense that ranks last in FBS (578 yards a game, on average).

CHARLOTTE (1-7, 1-3 Conference USA) at OLD DOMINION (2-6, 0-4)

S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk, 3:30 p.m.

The 49ers’ offense, averaging 14.5 points a game, faces an ODU defense that has surrendered 30 or more points in six straight games. If kicking is an issue, the 49ers are 4-of-10 on field goals this season; the Monarchs are 8-of-9.

APPALACHIAN STATE (5-3, 4-0 Sun Belt) at LOUISIANA-MONROE (3-5, 3-3)

Malone Stadium, Monroe, La., 3 p.m.

The Mountaineers lead the league in interceptions, but Warhawk QB Caleb Evans has the Sun Belt’s fewest picks (two). Appalachian DL Antonius Sims is tied for the league lead in sacks (eight).

COASTAL CAROLINA (1-7) at ARKANSAS (3-5)

Razorback Stadium, Fayetteville, Ark., 4 p.m., SEC Network

The Chanticleers have lost seven straight after opening with a victory over Massachusetts. The Razorbacks, perhaps expecting a big win, have invited a large number of recruits to the game, according to published reports.

CHARLESTON SOUTHERN (4-4, 1-1 Big South) at GARDNER-WEBB (1-7, 0-2)

Spangler Stadium, Boiling Springs, 1:30 p.m.

The Buccaneers are dangerous with the long pass, and WR Kameron Brown leads the league in yards per catch (22.9). That could be bad news for Gardner-Webb, which is last in Big South pass defense.

CAMPBELL (5-4, 4-2 Pioneer Football) at DAVIDSON (2-6, 0-5)

Richardson Stadium, Davidson, 1 p.m.

Former Carolina Panthers safety Mike Minter coaches the visiting Camels, who will move up to the Big South Conference next season. Campbell’s Daniel Smith leads the league in rushing, and Davidson’s Wesley Dugger is second. Both are freshmen. ...The game will be televised on Antenna TV, one of WCCB’s digital channels (1261 for Spectrum customers).

JOHNSON C. SMITH (1-8, 1-5 CIAA) at LIVINGSTONE (0-9, 0-6)

Alumni Memorial Stadium, Salisbury, 1 p.m.

The Golden Bulls and host Blue Bears close their seasons in a rivalry that began 125 years ago. Bulls quarterback Terrance Ervin has passed for more than 1,100 yards this season after a slow start. Livingstone had a season-high 447 yards of total offense in a last-second, 28-26 loss last week to Fayetteville State.

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