The Tigers (1-1) are coming off a 66-17 win over Charleston Southern last week after dropping their season opener at Duke on Sept. 4. Meanwhile, FAU came up short against Ohio last week, losing 17-10.
The only time Clemson and FAU have met was in 2006, when the Tigers won 54-6.
As ACC play looms, Clemson will look to gain momentum against the Owls in what is the team’s first night game at home of the season.
That said, here are five Clemson players to keep a close eye on:
Cade Klubnik, Quarterback
Klubnik has yet to play a clean game this season, recording two turnovers in last week’s game against Charleston Southern, one of which was a bad 67-yard pick-six. He responded well to his mistakes, ultimately finishing with 315 passing yards and four touchdowns. But with Florida State coming to town next week, there isn’t much more time for the sophomore signal-caller to learn. Playing against an FAU defense that gave up 354 total yards to Ohio last week, Klubnik should be able to capitalize and have a turnover-free game.
Justin Mascoll, Defensive End
Two games into the 2023 season, Mascoll has nine total tackles and zero sacks. While head coach Dabo Swinney said Mascoll and Xavier Thomas remain the starters at defensive end, true freshman T.J. Parker has played very well and has earned significant snaps. Parker may not surpass Mascoll on the depth chart this season, but the Tigers will need a significant pass rush as they dive into ACC play, and Mascoll has a great chance to record his first sack on the year against the Owls on Saturday.
Beaux Collins, Wide Receiver
Collins had arguably his best game as a Tiger last week, recording a career-high seven receptions for 137 yards and one touchdown. As Clemson looks to elevate its offense, Collins has solidified himself as the No. 1 option on the outside. While the Tigers have two capable slot receivers in Antonio Williams and true freshman Tyler Brown, Collins must continue to be a reliable weapon in the passing game on the perimeter. If Clemson can’t make plays down the field, the offense may struggle as the season prolongs.
Robert Gunn III, Kicker
Week 1 against Duke may have been a fluke, but the reality is the sample size for Gunn has been far too small to make any conclusion on whether or not he is the Tigers’ best option at kicker. After getting both of his field goal attempts blocked vs. the Blue Devils, Gunn converted on his lone field goal attempt last week, making a 23-yarder. He also made all seven extra-point attempts. Still, Gunn has yet to convert from 30-plus yards, and Clemson will need a reliable kicker when it takes on tougher opponents. There’s no better time than Saturday to make some long kicks.
Tristan Leigh, Left Tackle
Through two weeks, Clemson has rotated its starting offensive line, namely at left tackle, where Leigh and redshirt freshman Collin Sadler have split playing time. Swinney said that he hopes to see one guy stick out sooner rather than later, but as of this week, the plan is still to give both Leigh and Sadler a shot. Since Leigh has been running out onto the field first, he presumably has the advantage. But as the Florida State game approaches, having a full-time starter at left tackle could prove effective.