Clemson vs. Wake Forest Pick – CFB Week 11

The Thursday night (7:30pm ET) game to watch for week 11 of the 2014 college football season features the 21st ranked Clemson Tigers (6-2) traveling to BB&T Field in Winston-Salem, NC to take on the Demon Deacons (2-6) of Wake Forest in ACC Conference play. Clemson was off last weekend, but the Tigers come into this game on a major roll after winning their last 5 in a row after losing at Florida St. (23-17) in week 4. The Tigers have won all of those games against ACC foes including Louisville (23-17) and North Carolina (50-35) in impressive fashion. Wake Forest was also off last week, on the other side of the spectrum; they have lost their last 4 in a row after last recording a win in week 4 over Army (24-21) at home. The Demon Deacons lost to Louisville (20-10) and Florida St. (43-3) on the road, and Syracuse (30-7) and Boston College (23-17) at home.

The Tigers rank 47th among FBS teams in scoring offense with 32.3 points per game and 48th in total offense with 432 yards per game. The key question for Clemson is whether or not dynamic, dual-threat quarterback Deshaun Watson will see action in this game. The Tigers have been more productive on offense when he plays, as opposed to when Cole Stoudt leads the offense. Coach Dabo Swinney refused to tip his hand as to whether Watson will play, despite the fact that he has been cleared for action. The Clemson defense ranks 10th nationally in points allowed with 18.3 per game and leads the ACC and ranks 2nd nationally in total defense with 268.6 YPG allowed.

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Wake Forest ranks 123rd among FBS teams in scoring offense with 14.8 PPG and 125th or dead last, in total offense with 213.5 YPG. Wake Forest has not just been the worst offense in the nation in terms of total production, they have been one-dimensional averaging a mere 34.5 YPG on the ground. The Demon Deacons rank 53rd nationally in points allowed with 24.6 per game and 40th nationally in total defense with 358.3 YPG allowed.

Clemson vs. Wake Forest Spread, Line and Betting Odds:


Clemson Tigers -21

@Wake Forest Demon Deacons +21

Game Total:

Over 42.5 (-110)

Under 42.5 (-110)

Betting odds taken from

Clemson vs. Wake Forest Pick:

The difference in terms of production in terms of having Watson in the lineup as opposed to Stoudt has not been dramatic enough to affect the forecast for this game. Clemson has averaged 476 YPG and 36 PPG in 3 games with Watson under center, and 407 YPG and 30 PPG in the 5 games in which Stoudt took the most snaps. Wake Forest has the worst offense statistically in the nation, and they are going up against one the best defenses statistically in the land. It doesn’t take a great deal of analysis to reach the conclusion that this is a bad match-up for Wake’s offense, and the Demon Deacons will need to play far above their heads to reach the end zone against Clemson.

The Demon Deacons inability to run the ball is not likely to change against Clemson’s 10th ranked run defense, therefore the Tiger’s pass rush led by Vic Beasely can tee off on QB John Wolford when he drops back to pass. Wolford has been sacked a whopping 28 times this season, and has been turnover-prone with 13 interceptions so the Tigers should be able to create points and scoring opportunities for their offense off of turnovers. This adds up to a huge mismatch in favor of the Tigers, the play here is Clemson and lay the points.

PICK– Clemson -21