Could this be an ACC title game preview? The race just got very interesting, and it could get thrown another curveball on a Thursday night. Check out the Clemson vs. Georgia Tech fearless prediction and game preview.
Clemson (3-0) vs. Georgia Tech (3-0) Game Preview
Date: Thursday, September 22nd
Game Time: 7:30 pm
Venue: Bobby Dodd Stadium, Atlanta, GA
Why Clemson Will Win
There we go. It was only against South Carolina State, but after a mediocre first two games, the Tigers needed to get the offense going and it finally started to look the part with Deshaun Watson hitting 12-of-15 passes for 152 yards and three scores.
While it might not seem like a big deal, he was on again and the offense got a real scrimmage to get the timing down again. The Tigers seemed out of sync over the first two games, and there’s a chance they might have just needed to tune it all up again.
It might not have seemed like it so far, but the offense is so good and so talented that it could put this out of reach right away. Two early scoring drives would make the Georgia Tech offense press, and then it’s all on the Tiger D. The Clemson linebackers should take over with the experience and talent to keep everything bottled up and get off the field in a hurry.
How do you beat Georgia Tech? Own third downs. Clemson is third in the nation in third down conversion D allowing just eight in the first 45 tries while allowing just 2.6 yards per carry.
Why Georgia Tech Will Win
The Yellow Jackets can bring a little bit of defense, too.
Yeah, they’ve faced three desperately challenged offensive teams in Boston College, Mercer and Vanderbilt to start the season, but the D has still been a force allowing just 31 points so far and absolutely nothing on the ground.
The relatively young Yellow Jackets have emerged in a hurry, and while they’re not getting enough of a push into the backfield, they’re stuffing everything on the inside. It’s been a fight so far for Clemson to get the offensive line going, and it’s not going to happen against this group.
The biggest question mark might simply be time. South Carolina State wasn’t anything to sweat over, and it was a positive to get an easy game like that for a struggling offense, but Clemson has to deal with the Georgia Tech option on a short week. Good defenses are able to get past this – the comp is 2013 Virginia Tech, who had to face the Yellow Jackets on a Thursday night in Week Four and pulled out a 17-10 win – but it’s still playing with fire.
The Georgia Tech running game is clicking just fine, getting past a rough first day against a brutal Boston College defense to roll over the last two games including a big day against a great Vanderbilt D last week.
What’s Going To Happen?
Along with Louisville beating Florida State, this has been the call for the last eight months – it sets up perfectly for the Georgia Tech upset. It’s not time to bail on the pick now considering the Yellow Jacket defense is better than expected and Clemson isn’t really back up to snuff quite yet.
The college football season is way overdue for a weird Thursday night upset – Cincinnati looked the part for about 50 minutes against Houston last week before wetting the bed.
Either this is the statement moment for Watson and Clemson breaks out on national TV, or Georgia Tech is insane at home in a short week.
Again, the pick has been eight months in the making, so …
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Prediction
Final Score: Georgia Tech 24, Clemson 23
Line: Clemson -10, o/u: COMING
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ATS Confidence: 5: Xmas in September – 1: Get out now … 3
Must See Rating: 5: The Magnificent Seven – 1: The Voice … 4