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Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Clemson Tigers: Preview and Pick
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Clemson Tigers: Preview and Pick
The Clemson Tigers started the year as being touted as one of the teams that could possibly win a championship. After a demoralizing loss against the Florida State Seminoles, all seemed loss for the Tigers. However they are headed in a positive direction as the end the season and will look for a very good outing when they host the Georgia tech Yellow Jackets on Thursday night football.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Clemson Tigers Odds
The college football odds for this game will favor the Tigers. They are a very good team that possesses a tremendous home field advantage. This line will see plenty of betting action leading up to kick off since it is a nationally televised football game. Check the top rated online sportsbooks for the latest line in this game.
Clemson is starting to play very good football and it is all thanks to quarterback Tajh Boyd. Boyd and the Tigers needed to play well after that bad loss to Florida State and they played very well against Maryland. The Tigers did plenty of that in what Boyd and coach Dabo Swinney called their most complete performance of the season. It came two weeks after their worst, a 51-14 loss to No. 3 Florida State, and marked the start of a big finish. Boyd finished 24 of 29 for 377 yards. He's now been in on 116 career touchdowns, with 93 through the air and 23 running.
Now they host the Yellow Jackets a respectable team that can provide matchup problems.
The latest college football betting odds for this game favor the home team. Georgia Tech is 1-4-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last 6 games although they are 7-3 straight up in its last 10 games. The total has gone over in 4 of Georgia Tech's last 5 games and the total has gone over in 6 of Georgia Tech's last 9 games on the road.
The total has gone under in 6 of Georgia Tech's last 9 games when playing Clemson but the total has gone over in 4 of Clemson's last 5 games at home. Clemson is 9-1 straight up in its last 10 games and 18-3 straight up in its last 21 games at home although Clemson is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games at home.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at Clemson Tigers Pick
With plenty of time before kickoff we will wait for more information to come in before we select a side on this contest. Make sure to check back on the day of the game to see who we select as our winner for this big game.
Clemson fans have been on a roller coaster ride ever since their Tigers started battling those stingy Yellow Jackets on the football field. Next Thursday night, Clemson will be taking a page out of the Georgia Tech handbook by hosting a Thursday night game, despite their best efforts to avoid it.
The Yellow Jackets are starting to play some of their best ball as of late, and a win over the Tigers at Memorial Stadium would help their bowl position drastically. Meanwhile, the Tigers are still hoping to stay on path to an 11-1 season and a possible BCS game to cap off Tajh Boyd‘s career in an orange uniform.
The question for Clemson fans is, will those bumble bees be able to get under the fur of the Tigers like they have so many times before, or will the mighty Tigers finally be able to handle the triple option?
Clemson fans never know what they are going to get when these two teams meet on the gridiron. There have been too many ups and downs in this annual meeting for any Clemson fan to feel comfortable about their team’s chances. Some of Clemson’s greatest moments have come against the Ramblin’ Wreck. But for every proud moment, there is an unthinkable loss to match it.
In 1991, Clemson fans saw Georgia Tech kicker Scott Sisson miss a field goal with less than 10 seconds remaining that secured a 9-7 victory for their Tigers over the defending national champions. Ken Hatfield‘s Tigers went on to claim the ACC crown when the 1991 season came to a close.
In 2001, Clemson notched their biggest road victory since 1981 when Woody Dantzler dazzled fans helping his Tigers to a 47-44 triumph in Atlanta. In 2006, James Davis and C.J. Spiller had their names changed to a physical phenomena (Thunder and Lightning) after they ran circles around Georgia Tech defenders while doing it in style with purple uniforms.
Where there is success, there is failure. Clemson fans saw their Tigers’ perfect season come to an end when Georgia Tech’s Kerry Watkins hauled in a touchdown pass with seven seconds left in the 2000 meeting in Death Valley. As if that wasn’t hard enough for Tiger fans, a freshman named Calvin Johnson won the game for his Yellow Jackets in the closing seconds of the 2004 contest, again on the Clemson lawn.
Let’s not forget about the 2009 ACC Championship game, where Georgia Tech’s Jonathon Dwyer walked into the end zone untouched, burying Clemson’s hopes of hoisting a trophy with just over a minute remaining in the game. The most recent misfortune against Georgia Tech came in 2011 when the Buzz halted Clemson’s improbable 8-0 start, which reminded Tiger fans all to well of the 2000 heartache.
Georgia Tech giveth. Georgia Tech taketh away.
No school has been a bigger thorn in Clemson’s side than Georgia Tech, at least for the last two decades. Whether Paul Johnson‘s team is playing spoiler or the favorite, nothing ever comes easy for the Tigers. Could we see another giant Georgia Tech receiver steal victory from the Tigers once again? Or maybe a kicker will become a hero or a goat with one strike of the ball.
Maybe the legend of (insert name here) will be born with a sensational performance on national television.
More times than not, a player’s name is transformed into a verb after a Georgia Tech-Clemson game. What also needs to be considered is that, at least mathematically, Georgia Tech is still in the race for the coastal division crown. A loss to the Tigers would damage any hope of returning to Charlotte for the conference championship game. Astonishingly, Clemson has not defeated Georgia Tech in two consecutive seasons since the 2002-03 seasons, but both of those wins each occurred in the month of September.
It’s November now, and that is the only month that holds any weight in college football.
The Clemson Tigers will not be playing for a conference title this season after a tough loss to the Florida State Seminoles at home was the deciding factor in that race. However, a one-loss season means that the Tigers will be contending for a BCS bowl and a bid is not too much of a stretch — not playing in the conference title game may actually help their record.
On the other side of the field, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are now bowl eligible with a 6-3 record, but what’s even more impressive is the fact that they are in first place in their respective division, looking at a matchup with Florida State in the conference title game. That would be interesting, but they will need a win here and a Virginia Tech Hokies loss.
Tajh Boyd began the season as one of the main Heisman contenders in college football before dropping off considerable after the home blowout loss to Florida State. Boyd is completing about 65 percent of his passes for 2,620 yards and 20 touchdowns on the year and his favorite target has been none other than Sammy Watkins. The talented junior wide out is having one heck of a comeback season, catching 66 passes for 982 yards and seven touchdowns for the 10th-ranked passing offense. The rush offense isn’t as solid, ranking 62nd behind Roderick McDowell‘s 677 yards and three scores.
Georgia Tech is known for its run game as it ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game with 311. David Sims leads the rush attack with 610 yards and nine touchdowns on the ground while Robert Godhigh isn’t too far behind and has been extremely impressive this season, accounting for 473 yards and three touchdowns while averaging over 11 yards per carry. Vad Lee is the quarterback of this poor-passing team, racking up just over 1,000 yards and eight touchdowns with a sub-50 percent completion rate.
Defensively, Clemson took a hit after a blowout loss to Florida State in which it allowed 51 points. However, the Tigers rank 20th in the nation in points allowed per game — allowing over 30 points just one other time this year — and 39th in yards against. Georgia Tech ranks 14th in points against — allowing over 30 points twice as well — and 14th in points against per game. This could be a relatively closely-matched game.
Thursday night the Yellow Jackets (6-3 overall, 5-2 ACC) travel to Death Valley to take on the 8th ranked Clemson Tigers (8-1 overall, 6-1 ACC) in the final ACC regular season game for both schools. While Clemson can no longer win the Atlantic division, Georgia Tech can secure a tie for the Coastal division title, and keep its ACCCG hopes alive with a win. In the CPJ era, these teams have met 6 times in the previous 5 years with Tech holding a 4-2 edge…though GT has lost the last 2 at Memorial Stadium.
Now, I know you’re asking yourself…"Didn’t we play them in Death Valley last year?" Thanks to John Swofford, and his infinite fairness towards GT Athletics, you would be correct! Last year’s game, which ended up being former DC Al Groh’s last, saw Tech hold a 31-30 4th quarter lead…only to piss away a very winnable game away late with a blocked FG, fumbled snap on 4th-and-1 in Clemson’s territory, mishandled kickoff return, and subsequent safety that led to a final score of 47-31.
On offense for Clemson, it’s still the Tajh Boyd show. The (thankfully) senior QB has put together quite a season, hitting 66% of his passes for 2620 yards, a robust 8.97 YPA, and 20 TDs to only 6 INTs. On the ground, he’s been contained by opposing defenses to a 1.9 YPC, but leads the team with 7 rushing TDs. The other game-breaker, as you all know, is junior WR Sammy Watkins who already has nearly 1000 yards receiving, a 14.9 YPC, and 7 receiving TDs. The main rushing threat is senior Roderick McDowell, who has 637 yards on the season, a decent 5.2 YPC, but only 3 TDs. They are led by OC Chad Morris, the highest-paid assistant coach in the country at $1.3MM annually, who brings an offensive philosophy about 5 years removed from HIGH SCHOOL. Just in case anyone you meet in purple and orange goes there…
Defensively this might be one of the better Clemson teams we’ve seen, statistically speaking, under DC Mike Venables. The Tigers’ defense is ranked 32nd nationally in rushing YPC (3.69), 45th in passing YPA (6.8), and 23rd in scoring defense at 20.6 points/game (I use per-play defensive stats for rushing and passing yards because given their offense, their defensive snaps might skew their per-game numbers). They are tied for 5th nationally in 3rd down conversions allowed at 28.6%, , tied for 9th in INTs with 14, and tied for 6th in sacks with 30 (led by Vic Beasley’s nationally-leading 8 sacks). Two games stick out, however. First, a win against the Dwags where they gave up 35 points and 545 yards to a then-fully healthy UGA offense. The second, a dismantling against FSU where the Noles capitalized on 4 Tiger turnovers and put up 51 points and 565 yards.
Clemson is tough to figure out. They came through with one of the marquee ACC non-conference wins against Georgia. Losing to FSU is understandable. However, the other 5 ACC teams they’ve played (NC State, Wake Forest, Syracuse, BC, Maryland) have combined records of 22-44 overall and 8-20 in ACC play. They struggled with a BC team at home that controlled the ball on them, as well as a depleted Maryland team (they pulled both games away late). To be fair, they also will play USCe, which (despite 2 FCS games against Savannah State and The Citadel) make a very admirable non-conference schedule. Which Clemson team is going to show up? Since losing to the Noles, Clemson responded with their Maryland hangover game (40-27) and a thumping of UVA in Hooville (59-10). Will Dabo Swinney have them motivated to reach 11 wins?
Tech’s keys to winning Thursday night will be simple…
On offense, GT must be good on 3rd down, limit turnovers, and hit a few big plays. They can factor into the defense’s strategy if they can win the TOP battle. Clemson has historically played the inside tough and limited the BB, opening the edges for the QB and ABs to have big games. Vad Lee must ATTACK the edge when given room to do so, and ball security on pitches will be a must. He must also hit the open receiver, as there will be plenty of opportunities given Clemson’s attacking style. I think giving Justin Thomas 1-2 series in this game would be very prudent, as the QBs will be running quite a lot. Also, DeAndre Smelter must be a threat.
On defense, 3rd down is the most important down against a fast-paced offense. Like he did with UNC’s stud TE Eric Ebron, expect Jemea Thomas to live in Sammy Watkins’ back pocket and cover him all over the field. Our front 4 needs to bring the intensity they’ve showed the past few weeks and control the LOS. If Tajh Boyd doesn’t get any pressure, he will pick any defense apart. Given his mobility, Tech will have to be creative on how to bring pressure, since Jeremiah Attaochu won’t be able to tee off as he has done the past 3 weeks. Keeping this offense under 30 isn’t easy, but might be necessary for Tech to have a good chance to win.
Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins have made it look easy for Clemson, which has posted eye-popping numbers since losing last month.
Looking to pick up where they left off before their bye, the No. 8 Tigers host Georgia Tech in an ACC showdown Thursday night.
While Clemson's six-game winning streak to open the season was snapped with a 51-14 loss to then-No. 5 Florida State in Week 8, coach Dabo Swinney's team has rebounded nicely. After winning 40-27 at Maryland on Oct. 26, the Tigers (8-1, 6-1) posted their highest scoring total of the year in a 59-10 rout at Virginia on Nov. 2.
"The guys deserve all the credit because they have gotten themselves ready and have found ways to win games," Swinney said. "This is the most complete game that we have had. This team will be judged based on how we finish, but we had a good start to November."
Boyd went 24 of 29 for 377 yards and three touchdowns, including a 96-yard score to Watkins. The star wideout, who also hauled in a 33-yard TD, has 22 catches for 332 yards in the last two games.
"When you have a guy like him with space, he's going to have an opportunity to make plays," Boyd said of Watkins, averaging 109.1 receiving yards. "Sammy did an unbelievable job. You kind of just got to throw your arm up and he will have a chance to get the ball."
The Tigers, averaging 39.8 points to rank 15th in the FBS, outgained the Terrapins and Cavaliers 1,150-641 in total offense.
"That's what we plan on doing, keep finishing and staying healthy," Watkins said. "We need to go out with a bang and have fun. This is what it is about here in November. You got to show everyone that you're a top 10 team now and not just in September."
Boyd threw for 397 yards and two TDs and added 63 yards and another score on the ground as Clemson got by Georgia Tech 47-31 last Oct. 6. The Tigers have taken two of three from the Yellow Jackets, with both wins coming at home.
"It's certainly going to be a big challenge on Thursday night," said Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson, whose team can clinch at least a share of the Coastal Division title with a victory.
"Clemson is a tough place to play and they've got a lot of explosive athletes. ... We look at it as an opportunity to go in and measure ourselves as a team and see if we've made the progress we feel we've made in the past couple of weeks."
The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 5-2) have followed a three-game losing streak with three straight wins, outscoring opponents 112-35. Senior Robert Godhigh, who has 11 carries for 200 yards and three scores in the last two games, broke off a 35-yard touchdown and scored from 11 yards out in a 21-10 win over Pittsburgh on Nov. 2.
Georgia Tech, which is averaging 311.2 rushing yards out of the triple option, outgained the Panthers 276 to minus-5 on the ground. The Yellow Jackets are 10th in the country with 103.4 rushing yards allowed per contest.
They haven't posted four consecutive wins since opening 6-0 in 2011.
"We're a team that's fairly physical. We run the ball pretty good and defend the run pretty good," Johnson said. "When we do the things that we do well and take care of the ball, we could be a tough out."
Aside from trying to contain Boyd and Watkins, Georgia Tech faces a tough challenge against the Tigers' ground game. Led by Roderick McDowell, Clemson has run for 411 yards and eight TDs in its last two contests.
The Yellow Jackets have lost seven straight against Top 25 teams since beating No. 6 Clemson 31-17 on Oct. 29, 2011. The Tigers have won 26 consecutive home games against unranked foes by an average of 23.6 points.