Clemson and Wake Forest will battle in a top 25 matchup in Winston-Salem on Saturday afternoon.

This series has been dominated by the Tigers for decades, with Clemson holding a 69-17-1 all-time advantage.

Wake Forest’s most recent win in this series comes with a fun bit of history: the Demon Deacons defeated Clemson 12-7 in 2008. Then-Clemson coach Tommy Bowden resigned a few days later, and Dabo Swinney was installed as the interim.

Swinney has since rattled off 13 consecutive wins — among more-than-a-few other notable accomplishments — over Wake Forest. He’ll go for No. 14 on Saturday at Truist Field.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest preview

Clemson’s defense and Wake Forest’s offense will receive the majority of attention in this matchup.

The Tigers are loaded up front and have potential NFL players at nearly every position on that side of the ball. But Wake Forest’s offense with Sam Hartman under center has proven to be one of the most explosive attacks in the country.

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Even with a slow start this season, Wake Forest is still averaging 42 points per game — second in the ACC only to North Carolina. Though he has only played in 2 games, Hartman has already thrown for 625 yards and 7 touchdowns.

Defensively, Clemson has been banged up in recent weeks. Key players like Tyler Davis, Tre Williams, Xavier Thomas, Nate Wiggins and Andrew Mukuba did not play in Week 3 vs. Louisiana Tech due to injury. However, Swinney said earlier this week that the Tigers are in better shape health-wise than they were last week.

Offensively, Clemson has been inconsistent to start the year. The Tigers are still looking for explosive playmakers at receiver. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been improved to start the season — he has a 5-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio through 3 games.

Wake Forest’s defense has played well to start the year, but struggled a bit in Week 3. The Demon Deacons gave up 36 points in a narrow win over Liberty last week. Clemson’s offense has the talent to exploit Wake Forest on this side of the ball.

Recent history suggests Clemson should win this game comfortably. Clemson hosted a ranked Wake Forest team last season in a highly-anticipated matchup, but the Demon Deacons didn’t live up to expectations. Wake turned the ball over several times and Clemson ended up winning a blowout, 48-27.

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Wake Forest is 0-24 this century when facing AP Top 10 teams. Clemson’s last win over Wake Forest by fewer than 14 points came in 2011. The Tigers have 10 straight wins of more than double digits over Wake.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest prediction

Wake Forest continues to make strides as a program, but Clemson has too much talent. Even with this game being played on Wake Forest’s home turf, the Tigers should be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Hartman would have to play exceptionally well for the Demon Deacons to have a chance in this one. It’s not impossible, but Clemson’s dominant defense will make that very difficult.

Prediction: Clemson 31, Wake Forest 21