NC State vs. Clemson fearless prediction and game preview.
Date: Saturday, October 20
Game Time: 3:30 ET
Venue: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, SC
NC State (5-0) vs. Clemson (6-0) Game Preview
One Reason Why NC State Will Win
Okay, Ryan Finley. This is your chance to be the best pro prospect in college football.
Trevor Lawrence might be in the mix to be the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2021, but Finley is near the top of all the rankings for the 2019 NFL Draft. With the NC State running game not doing enough this year to hold up its end of the bargain, this has been Finley’s team and his year so far.
He threw two picks against Boston College, but he’s been close to flawless so far in the unbeaten season, hitting 70% of his passes and with four 300-yard games in five dates.
And he’s used to dealing with Clemson.
He was great last year in the 38-31 loss, throwing 338 yards and three scores, and while he struggled as a sophomore, he wasn’t awful in another seven point loss. Playing the Tiger D won’t phase him.
But he’s not doing it all alone. The NC State offensive line so far has been fantastic in pass protection. It’s not doing much for the ground game, but it’s keeping the franchise passer upright. That lets him do his thing, that’s why NC State leads the nation in third down conversion, and that’s why the team tops the ACC in time of possession.
One Reason Why Clemson Will Win
The Tigers are coming off a near-perfect game in a 63-3 win over Wake Forest, and two weeks off to rest up for the second half of the season.
Considering how Trevor Lawrence was banged up against Syracuse, now the offense has had a little more time to settle in with the new starting quarterback, and the defense that doesn’t need any help got some rest to handle Mr. Finley.
Granted, playing option teams in Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech are part of it, but so far, Clemson has allowed under 100 passing yards in four of the six games.
Also getting time to rest up is one of the nation’s hottest runners. Travis Etienne took over when needed in the win over Syracuse, and after ripping though Wake Forest for 167 yards and three scores on just ten carries, he’s on a run of four straight 100-yard performances.
With the offensive line doing a great job, and Etienne taking over when needed, Lawrence has been excellent. There weren’t any issues coming off the Syracuse game, hitting 20-of-25 passes for 175 yards and two scores. He hasn’t needed to turn it loose yet.
What’s Going To Happen
NC State is terrific. It has the lines, it has the quarterback, and it has the toughness to pull this off.
But Clemson is about to show why it really is one of the four best teams in college football.
The Tiger offense will be balanced, the rested defensive front will take over and be amazing from the start, and Finley will finally be under a little bit of pressure.
This is a great NC State team. Clemson is going to show it really does have the talent to be a national championship-caliber team to all but close down the Atlantic.
Fearless Prediction & Line
Clemson 37, NC State 23
Line: Clemson -17.5, o/u: 58.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Must See Rating: 4
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