Clemons Tigers vs. Wake Forest Demon Deacons Preview and Pick

Clemson Tigers (3-2) 0-3 ATS +3 at Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-1) 2-2 ATS -3 Thursday, October 9 Winston-Salem, North Carolina BB&T Field (31,500) 7:30 p.m. EST

By Wilson of

This Thursdays game between the Clemson Tigers and #21 Wake Forest Demon Deacons was supposed to be a significant mid-season showdown of two top 25 teams. Well, only one of these teams remains in the top 25 after both suffered losses in their previous contests.

The Clemson Tigers lost at home to a tough Maryland team who has been a bit of surprise this season. Clemson dominated Maryland in the first half by literally running over them with their two dynamic running backs in James Davis and C.J. Spiller. Davis and Spiller combined for nearly 200 yards on the day but it was mostly all in the first half as the Terrapins held the two backs, known as thunder and lightning to just 31 yards total rushing in the last two quarters.

Clemson QB Cullen Harper was 15-of-22 for 151 yards and 0 touchdowns but also had one interception. The Tigers just seemed to fade away in the second half, and Maryland took advantage by stealing a win on the road. The Tigers will need to re-group quickly if they plan to go into BB&T Field and beat the Demon Deacons.

Most sportsbooks have the early line in Wake Forests favor at -3. If you click onto one of our list of recommended sportsbooks they will have the most current lines and totals for all of the college and pro football match-ups. Some lines are not out this early but most should be up by Monday afternoon or Tuesday morning.

Wake Forest will need to rebound in a major way after their disastrous loss to Navy at home two weeks ago 24-17. The loss to Navy was the first time Navy had beaten a ranked team in 23 years!

The Demon Deacons really destroyed themselves as they had six turnovers in the game. WF QB Riley Skinner was responsible for five of those turnovers as he threw four interceptions and also had a fumble. Riley came into this season as one of the nations most accurate passers, but he just couldnt get it going against a stingy, alert Navy defense. The mistakes were too damaging and Navy couldn’t have been more thrilled!

Both teams bring in similar numbers on either side of the ball. The Deacons are averaging 25 points per game to Clemsons 30.6. Defensively, the Tigers are allowing 16 points per game and Wake Forest is giving up 17. Both teams are coming off a loss, but I think Wake Forest has more issues than Clemson especially at quarterback as Skinner will feel a ton of pressure to overcome is poor performance against Navy, and it may seep into his mental game thus causing more mistakes.

If Clemson brings the heat and forces Skinner to make mistakes early, they might just have things go their way. The thunder and lightning running game should get back normal and I see Clemson winning their first away game of the year.

The Demon Deacons also have issues with discipline as left tackle Jeff Birdsong was ejected in the first half of the Navy game. Surely there is some concern with attitude and control which can be destructive for any team. The only plus for Wake Forest is the fact that they had a bye week to clean up their act and perhaps show the country that they can adjust and overcome a set back.

Wilsons Pick: I like Clemson straight up. I believe the thunder and lightning duo will eventually be too much for the Demon Deacons.