No. 1 Clemson has what might end up being its toughest test of the regular season when the Tigers meet No. 12 Texas A&M on Saturday, Sept. 7. Check out our prediction, preview and how to watch information below.
The two played a thriller a season ago, so it wouldn't be that surprising to see the Aggies push the Tigers into the fourth quarter again.
Clemson-Texas A&M: Prediction, preview
This is the first of two top-12 matchups on Saturday: No. 6 LSU-No. 9 Texas in Austin is the nightcap.
Of the two, this one might have a better chance of not coming down to the final moments. And that's no slight on A&M — the Aggies almost beat Clemson in 2018, after all.
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But Death Valley will be LOUD, Clemson is the No. 1 team in the country and the Tigers have two strong Heisman contenders in QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne. That's...a lot to overcome.
||Tale of the Tape||Texas A&M
|No. 1||AP Ranking||No. 12|
(Record at school, career)
(1981, 2016, 2018)
168 yards (1 TD, 2 INT)
|Top passer||Kellen Mond
194 yards (3 TD, 1 INT)
205 yards (3 TDs)
|Top rusher||Isaiah Spiller
98 yards (TD)
|Top receiver||Quartney Davis
85 yards (TD)
|Top defender||Roney Elam
5 tackles, sack, INT
|def. Georgia Tech, 52-14||Last week||def. Texas State, 41-7|
Clemson faces only one currently ranked team the rest of the regular season: No. 21 Syracuse (and that's next week). So this might be the Tigers' toughest test going into a possible ACC Championship Game-College Football Playoff stretch.
The Tigers would love to get pressure on Kellen Mond, who passed for 430 yards and three touchdowns in last season's meeting. If they can, Texas A&M likely won't be able to keep pace. Though Etienne rushed for only 44 yards and a score on eight attempts against the Aggies a year ago, he ran for 205 yards in Week 1 against the Yellow Jackets. If he gets to 100-plus (or more), that could mean trouble for A&M.
Prediction: This time last year, unranked Texas A&M almost shocked the No. 2 Tigers at home.
Kelly Bryant started for Clemson in College Station, with Lawrence coming off the bench. Now Lawrence is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation and Bryant is at Missouri. Both teams could be just as good if not better — the Aggies certainly think so.
Here's Aggies OL Jared Hocker, courtesy of the Houston Chronicle's Brent Zwerneman.
Texas A&M OL Jared Hocker said the No. 12 Aggies will beat No. 1 Clemson on Saturday: ‘There will be an upset’ pic.twitter.com/1PSpFYNL8G— Brent Zwerneman (@BrentZwerneman) September 2, 2019
The one negative from Clemson's season-opening rout of Georgia Tech is Lawrence threw two interceptions. But doesn't that mean he's due for a huge, basically error-less game? He had only four interceptions all of last season.
In the end, Texas A&M might not be ready quite yet to knock off one of the sport's elite programs.
|The Pick||Clemson 35,
Texas A&M 20
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Clemson-Texas A&M: How to watch, time, TV channel
You can watch the Clemson-Texas A&M game at 3:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Sept. 7. The game is on ABC. It's also available on WatchESPN.
Clemson-Texas A&M: Series history
|Sept. 7, 2019||TBD||TBD||TBD||Clemson, South Carolina|
|Sept. 8, 2018||No. 2 Clemson||28-26||Texas A&M||College Station, Texas|
|Sept. 3, 2005||Clemson||25-24||No. 17 Texas A&M||Clemson, South Carolina|
|Sept. 18, 2004||Texas A&M||27-6||Clemson||College Station, Texas|
|Sept. 14, 1974||Texas A&M||24-0||Clemson||College Station, Texas|
|Oct. 6, 1973||Texas A&M||30-15||Clemson||Clemson, South Carolina|