Wake Forest Demon Deacons (3-7 SU, 5-5 ATS) vs. No. 1 Clemson Tigers (10-0 SU, 5-5 ATS)
College Football Week 11
Date/Time: Saturday November 21st, 3:30PM EST
Where: Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
by Jay, NCAA Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: WF +29/CLEM -29
Over/Under Total: 48
The Clemson Tigers are currently the top team in the college football playoff rankings with a perfect 10-0 record with key wins against Florida State and Notre Dame this year. With just 2 games remaining against inferior teams, the Tigers are knocking on the door of their first undefeated season since their 1981 National Championship campaign. Could that be reminiscent of things to come? There is little doubt that Clemson is one of the best teams in the country and they look to keep the momentum going this week as big favorites over the visiting Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
The Demon Deacons will enter this Saturdays contest as rather huge 29 point underdogs. Wake Forest appears to be the least likely team to throw Clemson off this weekend but is there a chance they could cover the 29 point spread? Well that is not exactly promising either. The problem is that the Demon Deacons have been awful on the offensive side of the ball. Wake Forest has averaged just 17.5 points per game as one of the worse teams in the country ranking 119th in the FBS. The offense has only scored more than 20 points once this season since their opener against Elon from the FCS.
We could sit here and list all of Wake Forests issues but that is not going to do us any good in breaking down this Saturdays game against Clemson. The Tigers hold a huge talent gap over Wake Forest on both sides of the ball. Clemsons defense has played really well which should continue to force issues against the Demon Deacons offense that has yielded just 3.1 yards per attempt on the ground. It would be different if Wake Forest was able to throw the football but neither quarterback (John Wolford and Kendall Hinton) has done much of value this year. Both quarterbacks have combined for 15 picks with just 10 touchdowns on the season.
As a result of the inept play at the quarterback position, Wake Forest will often keep the football on the ground for damage control if nothing else. The problems that presents this weekend is that plays into Clemsons defensive strengths and sets this game up as a potential blowout from the start. The Tigers defense is extremely talented among the defensive front and at the linebacker positions. I do not believe they will have much trouble finding ways to shut down the run and continuously put Wake Forest in passing situations.
If you are pulling for the underdog in this game, Wake Forest quarterback John Wolford is going to have to hit some passes to move the chains. If that does not happen, it is going to be a long afternoon. Clemsons offense has been clicking in recent weeks. The Tigers have posted numbers of 56 points, 23 points, and 37 points in their last 3 outings against ACC foes. The 23 points was in the showdown against Florida State in which the Tigers come out victories 23-13. In that game, it was the only time this season I have seen a defense slow down this Clemson offense and they could only do it for one half of football.
Quarterback Deshaun Watson is hitting a lucrative 70% of his passes with 23 touchdowns and 8 picks with an additional 5 scores on the ground. Running back Wayne Gallman has emerged as a huge running threat during the 2nd half of the season and Clemson also has one of the best receiver corps east of the Mississippi. The Tigers offense has so many weapons and ways to utilize those players that they can beat you in so many ways. I just do not see this Wake Forest team slowing this Clemson team down this week even if they get caught looking ahead to their rivalry meeting with South Carolina.
Jay’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: I like Clemson to take control early and continue to keep the pressure on all afternoon. Take Clemson -29
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