Clemson vs North Carolina ACC Championship prediction, game preview, odds, how to watch. Championship Week, Saturday, December 3
Clemson vs North Carolina ACC Championship Prediction Game Preview
Clemson vs North Carolina How To Watch
Date: Saturday, December 3
Game Time: 8:00 ET
Venue: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC
How To Watch: ABC
Record: Clemson (10-2), North Carolina (9-3)
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Why North Carolina Will Win
Here comes the passing game.
It struggled a wee bit over the last few games in losses to Georgia Tech and NC State, but Drake Maye and company should cranking it back up against a shaky Clemson secondary.
The ACC Championship and an Orange Bowl appearance are on the line. The offense will be pushing from the start.
Clemson might be loaded with NFL talent – the line has its share of next-level starters – but the pass defense couldn’t hold on against a hot South Carolina passing game last week allowing 360 yards in the stunning loss. It had a hard time against Louisville’s attack, got bombed on by Wake Forest, and got run over by Notre Dame.
Even with the problems of the last few games, North Carolina is still No. 1 in the ACC in total offense and scoring, averaging 481 yards and 37 points per game.
It’s doing this without a slew of turnovers – just two in the last five games – or penalties, and there’s a good chance the defense finally starts to take the ball away.
Forcing mistakes has been a problem for the Tar Heels, but Clemson can’t stop screwing up. The penalties have been kept to a bare minimum, but the O turned it over 15 times in the last five games.
If this is going to be a shootout, Clemson can’t blink.
Why Clemson Will Win
Even if the Clemson passing game struggles like it did against South Carolina, the running game should pick up the slack if needed.
DJ Uiagalelei didn’t get a whole lot of help from the receiving corps, but he wasn’t great completing just 8-of-29 passes for 99 yards with a touchdown and a pick in the loss. However, he ran for 51 yards, Will Shipley went off, and the round attack came up wit 237 yards averaging over six yards per carry.
Keeping the momentum going shouldn’t be a problem against the North Carolina defensive front.
The Tar Heels don’t get gashed too much, but they get picked apart with teams having no issues cranking up the carries because they can.
Six teams ran the ball 40 times or more against the UNC defensive front – all ran for 170 yards or more. Notre Dame was the only team that ran it more than 40 times against Clemson.
North Carolina is a dangerous team for Clemson because of the way it can throw and throw some more. On the flip side, it’s a great fit with no pass rush, no plays in the backfield, and almost no takeaways – the D hasn’t come up with multiple turnovers since mid-October.
The Tiger skill parts need all the time and room they can get. That won’t be a problem.
What’s Going To Happen
Clemson is back in the ACC Championship.
The loss to South Carolina might have been a massive disappointment with a possible College Football Playoff trip still in play, but after missing out last year, Clemson has a chance to make it seven ACC Championships in eight years.
Of course the bar is set at a whole lot higher for the program, but being that dominant in conference play is amazing no matter what.
It’s going to take a lot of points to get there, though. This won’t be quite like the 51-45 Clemson win over Wake Forest, but it might not be far off.
North Carolina will get to 300 passing yards, the defense will give up over 450 yards of total offense, and it’ll be an entertaining back-and-forth fight before the Tiger running game takes over in the fourth quarter.
Clemson vs North Carolina ACC Championship Prediction, Line
Clemson 44, North Carolina 34
Line: Clemson -7.5, o/u: 63.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
Clemson vs North Carolina ACC Championship Must See Rating (out of 5): 4.5