Thursday Night Football may mean NFL to most people, but when the Clemson Tigers travel to North Carolina to square off against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Thursday night on ESPN, the main event will be college football.
With Clemson climbing to No. 18 in the BCS Top 25 and Wake Forest looking to stun their ACC rival, this will be the best football game of the night.
Instead of wasting your time watching a Tampa Bay versus Minnesota NFL game with nothing on the line, get an early start to your weekend by enjoying the college football madness during the week.
When: Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. ET
Where: BBT Field, Winston-Salem, N.C.
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Free Football Radio
Betting Line (via Covers)
Over/Under: OFF, Spread: Wake Forest (+13)
While Wake Forest has a better team than it gets credit for, Clemson is the far superior football program and that will be reflected on the scoreboard. With a big offensive day, Clemson will cover the spread despite giving up 13 points.
Injury Report (via USA Today)
Darius Robinson, CB, Questionable
Justin Parker, LB, Out for season
Tony McNeal, QB, Out for season
Martin Jenkins, CB, Out for season
Airyn Willis, WR, Questionable
Antonio Ford, G, Out for season
Michael Campanaro, WR, Out until early November
Desmond Cooper, S, Out indefinitely
Matt James, WR, Out indefinitely
Neil Basford, TE, Out for season
While the Demon Deacons aren’t playing for anything but pride after starting the season 4-3, Wake Forest would love to play spoilers to Clemson and its hunt for BCS Top 25 glory.
Clemson has only lost one game this season—a tough loss to the No. 12 ranked Florida State Seminoles—and wants to prove once again by beating its tough ACC foes that the university deserves to climb the rankings.
A commanding victory over Wake Forest for Clemson would catapult the team into the Top 15 in Week 10’s BCS rankings.
Clemson Player to Watch: DeAndre Hopkins, WR
The biggest star on the Clemson team this year has been stand-out junior wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. With quarterback Tajh Boyd trusting in the star wideout, the Tigers have been amazing when Hopkins plays up to his abilities.
With 52 catches for 845 yards and nine touchdowns, the junior is on his way to making history as one of the most dominant wide receivers in school history.
Wake Forest’s secondary can be exposed, so Hopkins must take the team on his shoulders and have a great day in order to both win the game, and send a message to the BCS that Clemson deserves to climb the rankings.
Wake Forest Player to Watch: Tanner Price, QB
The Demon Deacons will live and die by the play of their junior quarterback, Tanner Price. With one of the most inconsistent starts to the season that a QB could ever imagine, it’s time for the young player to turn his game around.
With a terrible completion percentage of 50.7 (misleading because of one solid game), Price has been the team’s biggest liability. With only seven touchdowns and four interceptions, Wake Forest is in need of stellar QB play.
If the Demon Deacons don’t get the superior play from Tanner they must have to win the game, Clemson will destroy Wake Forest in its own building.
Prediction: Clemson 41, Wake Forest 21
Wake Forest has a solid 75th-ranked defense that has held its opponents to just 28 points per game, but has come up short against its toughest opponents.
The Demon Deacons' 52-0 loss to Florida State is a great example of how the team performs under pressure.
With Clemson winning its last three games and starting to play well on both sides of the ball, Wake Forest will get a few points, but not enough to make this a contest. The Tigers will win big.
Check back for more on the NCAA Football as it comes, and don’t miss Bleacher Report’s College Football page to get your fill of college football.