Saturday’s area college football games to watch:
WAKE FOREST (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at No. 2 CLEMSON (5-0, 3-0)
Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C., noon, ESPN2
Can the Deacons bounce back from a last-minute loss to Florida State? Will Clemson, which has beaten Wake Forest eight straight times, be flat after its big victory over Virginia Tech? The Deacons’ defense, which leads FBS with 50 tackles for losses this season, needs a big day.
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DUKE (4-1, 1-1 ACC) at VIRGINIA (3-1, 0-0)
Scott Stadium, Charlottesville, Va., 12:20 p.m., WBTV
The Blue Devils, coming off a 31-6 loss to Miami, face a surprising Virginia squad that is off to its best start in 10 years. Duke’s pass rush will aim to slow down Virginia quarterback Kurt Benkert, who has been sharp the past three games.
No. 21 NOTRE DAME (4-1) at NORTH CAROLINA (1-4)
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, 3:30 p.m., WSOC
The surging Fighting Irish, with cornerback Shaun Crawford (three forced turnovers this season), will test the injury-riddled Tar Heels’ passing attack, featuring local products QB Chazz Surratt (East Lincoln) and WR Anthony Ratliff-Williams (Butler).
ARKANSAS (2-2, 0-1 SEC) at SOUTH CAROLINA (3-2, 1-2)
Williams-Brice Stadium, Columbia, 4 p.m., SEC Network
Razorbacks QB Austin Allen has been shaky the past two games, but Arkansas has a strong ground game, including RB David Williams, a former Gamecocks player. South Carolina’s defensive line could hold the key to the game.
TEMPLE (2-3, 0-2 American Athletic) at EAST CAROLINA (1-4, 1-1)
Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, Greenville, noon ESPNU
The Pirates’ shaky pass defense faces a big test from the Owls, as QB Logan Marchi has thrown for nearly 1,000 yards this season. Pirates QB Thomas Sirk has thrown for 729 yards in the past two games.
MARSHALL (3-1, 0-0 Conference USA) at CHARLOTTE (0-5, 0-1)
Richardson Stadium, Charlotte, 6 p.m. WCCB
The Thundering Herd has been tough against the run, allowing an average of 138.3 yards a game. Charlotte RB Benny LeMay, with two 100-yard-plus efforts in his past three games, and QB Hasaan Klugh, who rushed for more than 100 yards last week, will test the Herd’s defense.
NEW MEXICO STATE (2-3, 0-1 Sun Belt) at APPALACHIAN STATE (2-2, 1-0)
Kidd-Brewer Stadium, Boone, 3:30 p.m.
It’s the Aggies’ league-leading offense (449.6 yards a game) against Appalachian State’s league-leading defense (302.8 yards per contest). New Mexico State QB Tyler Rogers has thrown for 1,757 yards this season.
GEORGIA STATE (1-2, 0-0 Sun Belt) at COASTAL CAROLINA (1-3, 0-1)
Brooks Stadium, Conway, S.C., 6:30 p.m.
This game features two of the Sun Belt’s top receivers. Georgia State’s Penny Hart leads in catches per game (7.7), and the Chanticleers’ Malcolm Williams is second in receiving yards per contest (88).
SHORTER (0-5) at GARDNER-WEBB (0-4)
Spangler Stadium, Boiling Springs, 1:30 p.m.
Division II Shorter has been outscored 226-52 this season. Gardner-Webb has won 17 straight games against non-Division 1 opponents. It’s homecoming for the Runnin’ Bulldogs.
DAVIDSON (2-2, 0-1 Pioneer Football) at JACKSONVILLE (3-1, 1-0)
D.B. Milne Field, Jacksonville, 1 p.m.
Davidson’s Trevor Smith kicked three field goals last week, but the Wildcats were hurt by turnovers in a 31-9 loss to Marist. Jacksonville leads the league in rushing (318 yards a game) and scoring (40 points a contest).
JOHNSON C. SMITH (0-5, 0-2 CIAA) at WINSTON-SALEM STATE (3-2, 1-1)
Bowman-Gray Stadium, Winston-Salem, 1:30 p.m.
The Golden Bulls held Chowan to 185 yards offense last week but gained only 100 themselves in a 10-7 loss. Winston-Salem State scored on a kickoff return, a punt return (both by Canard Brown) and a recovered fumble last week.