Clemson didn't play an ACC team ranked in the top 10 during the last three regular seasons on its way to making the College Football Playoff. That won't be the case this year.
No. 7 Miami (Florida) visits the top-ranked Tigers in the first defining game of the ACC campaign. That it's the Hurricanes providing the first big challenge for Clemson is a surprise. It was expected that Notre Dame would be the toughest opponent for the Tigers when they travel to South Bend, Indiana, in November. But Miami, which was unranked in the preseason Amway Coaches Poll, has been one of the season's early successes with three impressive wins. Another victory Saturday would stamp the Hurricanes as playoff contenders.
Clemson wide receiver Frank Ladson Jr. (2) runs the ball during the team's game against Virginia at Memorial Stadium. (Photo: Ken Ruinard, USA TODAY Sports)
There's also a major showdown set for the SEC with No. 3 Georgia hosting No. 12 Tennessee. The Bulldogs impressed last week with solid play from quarterback Stetson Bennett and a ferocious defense overwhelming Auburn. The Volunteers have won eight in a row dating to last year and are looking to take a major step toward national relevance with an upset victory.
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Another ACC matchup of ranked opponents has No. 9 North Carolina getting a visit from No. 18 Virginia Tech as the Tar Heels hope to build off last week's close win at Boston College. The Hokies have been slowed by COVID-19 off the field, but they've beaten North Carolina State and Duke. Now comes their first real test that should reveal if they have enough to beat of the conference's upper-echelon teams.
Wrapping things up, No. 20 Texas A&M gets its second shot at a top five win when No. 3 Florida comes to town. The Aggies faltered at Alabama last week, but would get a boost from beating the Gators, who have established themselves as playoff contenders.
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