ACC Showdown: Clemson vs. Duke Clash – Season Opener Preview

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A highly anticipated ACC matchup is set to take center stage on Labor Day night as the No. 9 Clemson Tigers prepare to face the Duke Blue Devils. This game holds a special significance as it not only marks the season opener for both teams but also serves as their introduction to ACC conference play. The clash between these two programs is especially intriguing given that their last meeting took place in 2018.

For Clemson, this marks the second consecutive season where Dabo Swinney’s squad has had the privilege of playing on Labor Day. Additionally, it signifies the fourth straight year that the Tigers commence their season away from the familiar confines of Memorial Stadium. In 2022, they started their campaign impressively with a resounding 41-10 victory against Georgia Tech, hosted at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Adding to the excitement, the Tigers are commencing their defense of the ACC title against the Blue Devils. Duke, on the other hand, is riding the momentum of their best season in nearly a decade and is eager to make a statement with a prime-time victory.

Clemson’s past achievement:-

Clemson has dominated this series in recent years, winning the last five matchups dating back to 2005. Their historical advantage stands at 37 wins, 16 losses, and 1 tie. Coach Swinney, in particular, boasts an unblemished 2-0 record against Duke.

The annual matchup between Clemson and Duke, which ran from 1965 to 2005, was temporarily halted when the ACC underwent realignment into the Atlantic and Coastal divisions. However, with the ACC’s new 3-5-5 scheduling model replacing divisions, fans can look forward to these two teams facing off twice in the next four years, beginning with their Labor Day showdown.

How to Watch Clemson vs. Duke Live:

Date: Monday, September 4

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Location: Wallace Wade Stadium, Durham, North Carolina

TV: ESPN

Live Stream: fubo (Try for free)

Clemson vs. Duke: What You Need to Know

Clemson’s New-Look Offense:

Coach Swinney made a noteworthy decision in the offseason by seeking external assistance for his offensive coordinator position. This move was unprecedented since 2012 when he successfully recruited Brent Venables from Oklahoma to lead the defense. Now, Swinney has chosen Garrett Riley, an emerging former Big 12 coach, as his new offensive coordinator. Riley played a pivotal role in TCU’s 2022 College Football Playoff run, and there are high hopes that he can reinvigorate Clemson’s offense, which has struggled since Trevor Lawrence departed from the NFL.

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What Does Duke Do for an Encore?

Mike Elko exceeded all expectations in his first year as Duke’s coach, guiding the Blue Devils to an impressive 8-4 regular season and concluding with a dominant victory over UCF in the Military Bowl. This marked Duke’s first nine-win season since 2014, their first postseason victory since 2018, and their highest finish in the ACC Coastal standings (T-2nd) in eight years. Duke’s next goal is to secure its first ranking since 2013, which would only be the second such achievement since the turn of the century.

Streaks on the Line:

Coach Swinney boasts a remarkable 12-2 record in season openers, with his only losses coming against Georgia. Notably, he has never lost a season-opening game against an ACC opponent, and Clemson has emerged victorious in its last eight ACC openers, regardless of when they occur on the schedule. Conversely, Duke has struggled in season openers against nationally ranked opponents, currently holding a 0-13 record. A Duke victory in this game would not only break their streak of futility in season openers but also halt Clemson’s impressive streaks, with profound implications for both teams.

In predicting the outcome of the Clemson vs. Duke matchup, it’s crucial to acknowledge Duke’s remarkable success in their first season under Coach Elko. With an impressive 17 returning starters, more than any other ACC program, including star quarterback Riley Leonard, Duke is well-equipped for the challenge. Moreover, Duke’s timing is advantageous, as they face Clemson before they can establish a rhythm under Garrett Riley. While an outright upset against a highly talented Clemson team may be a stretch, the idea of Duke covering the spread seems like a reasonable bet.

The Labor Day showdown between Clemson and Duke promises to be an exciting clash between two ACC contenders. Clemson looks to defend their ACC title, while Duke seeks to build on their recent success and make a statement on the national stage. With streaks on the line and intriguing storylines, this game is one not to be missed by college football fans.

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