The Clemson Tigers, despite coming off an appearance in the National Championship, have looked like a shadow of their former selves. Notably, the offense has looked abysmal, and nothing like the team that moved the ball effectively on Oklahoma and Alabama in the playoff. Offense wasn’t their problem against Alabama, they just couldn’t stop anything the Crimson Tide threw at them. With their starting quarterback, Deshaun Watson, back in 2016 they were expected to put up video game numbers.
However, that hasn’t been the case, at least not yet. Clemson is playing like a team that is, well, hungover. They look like they are still beaten down and upset over their loss to Alabama. It’s time to move on for Clemson, who could find themselves back in the playoff playing Alabama again.
For as lethargic as they’ve been thus far, a loss would devastating and set them back in the rankings significantly. They’ve avoided the upset up to this point, but came really close to letting it happen. The Tigers got by Auburn, 19-13, which isn’t a bad win on the road. But their effort against Troy was pretty worrisome, as they escaped with a 30-24 victory at home. That isn’t the same team we saw last season.
The good news for Clemson is that it’s early in the season, and any mishaps they have now will be forgotten in December. As long as they avoid the upset bug now, they will be in a prime spot for some revenge on Alabama in January. I do think that Clemson will ultimately open things up, but is it going to happen on the road at Georgia Tech?
The Yellow Jackets were known to be a thorn in the side of Jameis Winston, who were close to upsetting FSU in the ACC Championship a few years back. Against Clemson, though? No it hasn’t been the case at all, with Clemson routing Georgia Tech for the greater part of their series. But the Yellow Jackets have won five in a row at home over Clemson. We’ll see if they can continue their good fortunes at home Thursday night.
Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets NCAAF Betting Odds:
vs. Georgia Tech +10(-110)
Odds provided by Bovada.lv
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Pick:
Georgia Tech would fly up into the national rankings if they beat Clemson this evening. The Yellow Jackets run the difficult to stop triple-option offense. If it’s rolling, there is little a defense can do to stop it. Defenses already know what’s coming, but some have a heck of a time trying to stop it. Georgia Tech’s win over Vanderbilt might not look like much, but if you look closely it was an impressive victory. While Vanderbilt hasn’t had an offense to lean on since Jay Cutler’s been in town, they’ve had an excellent defense. Because of their anemic offense, there defense has never been able to get the credit they deserve. Nevertheless, Vanderbilt always possesses one of the top defenses in college football.
Georgia Tech was able to make quick work of them, putting up 38 points in a 38-7 win. The Yellow Jackets mixed up the pass and run beautifully, throwing for 2 touchdowns and another 3 on the ground. Along with Georgia Southern, they can make this offense look like poetry in motion. The Yellow Jackets held Vanderbilt to just 149 yards passing and held BC to 119 yards in their opener. The Yellow Jackets have a major strength in the secondary. I’m just going to ignore Mercer, but they shut them down as well. On the season, they have allowed an average of 10 points per game. While you might be expecting Clemson to finally explode on offense, this may not be the defense they are going to do it against.
The short week should play in Georgia Tech’s favor in this matchup. A triple-option like the Yellow Jackets employ is a tough one to prepare for. Add in a short week and it should present an additional challenge for the coaching staff. There a few reasons for the big spread here in this game. First, like I mentioned earlier, Clemson has done well against Georgia Tech, but only at home which is something for us to note. Second, Clemson has the brand name that the public will gravitate to. Everybody knows they were just in the National Championship. Lastly, there are expectations of them breaking out of their slump any week now, especially against an unranked team like Georgia Tech. I think the Yellow Jackets are better than their unranked status states, though. Catching double-digits at home looks like a must play on Georgia Tech here. The Jackets should look like a team inspired to knock Clemson off on their home turf, where they have historically played Clemson tough.
PICK: GEORGIA TECH +10 (-110)