No. 6 Clemson Tigers (6-0 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. Miami Hurricanes (4-2 SU, 4-2 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date/Time: Saturday October 24th, 12:00PM EST
Where: Sun Life Stadium Miami, F.L.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM -7/MIA +7
Over/Under Total: 54.5
The Clemson Tigers continued their march towards an undefeated season last week with another convincing 34-17 victory over Boston College. The Tigers offense looked unbelievable against the nations number 1 defense as they racked up 532 total yards behind quarterback Deshaun Watson who threw for a season high 420 yards. The win was another solid outing for the Tigers as their bid for an undefeated season stays alive. This week things will be just a bit different as the no. 6 Clemson Tigers takes to the road for just the 2nd time this season for a meeting with the Miami Hurricanes inside Sun Life Stadium.
The Hurricanes snapped a two game losing skid this past week with a 30-20 victory over Virginia Tech. Quarterback Brad Kaaya also shined in that game completing 19 of 30 passing for 296 yards with 2 touchdowns. The win moved the Hurricanes to 3-0 this season at home. Clemson has only been away from the confines of Death Valley once this season and it resulted in a really close 20-17 victory over Louisville. Therefore I am eager to see how this Clemson team performs on the road not just this week but going forward because they clearly have the target on their back now as the top team in the ACC.
So far this season, Miami has posted pretty equal numbers as compared to Clemson on the offensive side of the football. The Tigers are averaging 448 yards per game compared to Miamis 443 yards per game as two of the best in the ACC. For this weeks matchup, it will be a battle between the quarterbacks of Clemsons Deshaun Watson and Miamis Brad Kaaya. Both offenses feed off the success of their quarterback play and that will be critical for both teams this weekend.
Kaaya has actually played very well this season completing 61% passes with 10 touchdowns and just 1 pick. The entire Miami passing offense has been dangerous averaging 307 yards per game (19th in FBS) through the air. Wide receivers Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters have combined for 55 catches for 834 yards and 4 touchdowns this season. The receiving corps for Miami should present a great challenge for the Clemson corners on the outside. The bulk of the Tigers defensive talent is among their front 7 so it will be interesting to see how the defense holds up against a different type of challenge this week. Expect running back Joseph Yearby to get plenty of touches as well as Miami tries to mix it up and keep the Clemson defense on their heels.
For Clemsons offense, it will be a similar story in finding ways to exploit the Miami defense. The good news for Clemson fans is that Miami does not have as much defensive talent on their defense. The Hurricanes defense has been pretty average giving up about 379 yards per game. Last week Clemson shredded the number 1 defense in college football and that has to give Miamis defensive coaching staff concerns this week. Deshaun Watson threw for 420 yards and I think his play will be very important again this weekend. Watson is completing an outstanding 68% of his passes this season and he has the running potential to make big plays with his feet as well.
The only downside to Watsons play this season is that he has given up at least 1 interception in every game since the 2nd outing of the season. Watson has thrown 6 interceptions in the last 4 games. If that continues to happen, Clemson may find it more difficult to make up for those mistakes on the road. I believe Clemson has all every opportunity to go undefeated this season but I am not convinced they are an elite football team. I think Clemson will struggle a bit on the road and I like the way Miami matches up in this game.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Miami +7
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