No. 3 Clemson Tigers (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) vs. North Carolina State Wolfpack (5-2 SU, 5-2 ATS)
College Football Week 9
Date/Time: Saturday October 31st, 3:30PM EST
Where: Carter-Finley Stadium Raleigh, N.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: CLEM -10.5/NCSU +10.5
Over/Under Total: TBA
The Clemson Tigers obliterated the Miami Hurricanes last week in a 58-0 massacre in what was expected to be a rather competitive football game. Instead Clemson flexed their muscles by handing Miami their worst loss in school history while keeping their undefeated streak alive. The commanding victory vaulted Clemson to no. 3 in the AP Poll and now the Tigers are the overwhelming favorite in the ACC thanks to Florida States loss to Georgia Tech last week as well. Now Clemson could be on the verge of something even bigger as they are legitimate contenders for the playoffs if they can keep their momentum going. The road to the playoffs goes through Raleigh this week as no. 3 Clemson meets North Carolina State at Carter-Finley Stadium.
Clemson could be a legit National Championship contender because of how well they are playing on both sides of the ball. The play on both sides of the ball was ever apparent last week as they dominated Miami in every aspect of the game at Sun Life Stadium. The Clemson defense dominated up front and put pressure on Brad Kaaya which resulted in 3 turnovers. The offense was equally strong with QB DeShaun Watson and RB Wayne Gallman leading the charge. I am not sure that many argue with the fact that Clemson is playing some of the best football in the country right now. However the question that looms around this program, is can it continue?
Clemson has a reputation and even an adjective to describe losing games they are not supposed to. Most sports fans have heard of the dreaded word Clemsoning and now it is on Clemson to not fall into their own demise. North Carolina State fits the bill of one of those teams that could upset the Tigers this Saturday. The Wolfpack have one of the best defenses in the country that should be able to keep Clemson from running wild like they did last week in Miami. In fact, the Wolfpack defense ranks 3rd in the FBS holding opponents to just 251 yards per game.
North Carolina States defensive challenges this Saturday will be keeping the big play in front of them. Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson can make big plays with his feet and can also make big plays down the field with his arm when he is given extra time to throw the football. Additionally, Clemson tailback Wayne Gallman is starting to separate himself as one of the better runners in the ACC. I think the main goal for North Carolina State is staying disciplined this Saturday. Clemson has too many playmakers to move the football. The Wolfpack have to stay on their assignments and refrain from giving up the big plays. Clemson is going to move the football and they are going to make first downs. However, North Carolina State can still limit their points by preventing the big play threats.
On the other side of the ball, Clemson also has one of the better defenses in the country though not statistically quite as strong as North Carolina State. However, the Wolfpack do have playmakers as well to combat Clemsons offensive prowess. North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett has been solid throwing the football completing 67% passing with 10 touchdowns and just 1 pick on the season. While running back Matthew Dayes has been the work horse carrying the football 125 times for 793 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. The Wolfpack love to ride Dayes and the running game which could be a good thing against Clemson. If North Carolina State can slow the pace of the game down, keep the chains moving, and get the effort from their acclaimed defense, then they should be able to contend in this football game. The only problem is that is a lot of ifs.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like North Carolina State in this game. The Wolfpack actually matchup well in this game and I think they could be in contention late in the 2nd half. Take North Carolina State +10.5
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