Clemson Tigers at No. 15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

NCAA Football Betting Preview
Clemson Tigers at No. 15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Thursday September 10th, 7:30PM Eastern betting line – Georgia Tech -5

Well, opening week is in the books and most of the teams around the country will now turn their focus to inner-conference opponents. Down in Atlanta, the ACC will get its taste of a big battle between ACC hopefuls when the no. 15 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets hosts the Clemson Tigers in a Thursday night showdown. Georgia Tech is coming off a win over an inferior Jacksonville State team last week by a final score of 37-17 in a game the Yellow Jackets racked up a lucrative 335 yards on the ground. Clemson also took care of a weaker opponent in an opening week victory over Middle Tennessee State 37-14. The Tigers Heisman Trophy long shot hopeful C.J Spiller returned a kickoff and a punt return for a touchdown in the victory before suffering a hamstring injury that sidelined him for the 2nd half. Both teams will get their first true test of the season this Thursday night when they square off in front of the nation in attempt to get off to a great start in conference play.

Georgia Tech will enter the game as favorites due to their relentless ground attack. The Yellow Jackets have possibly the best running back in the ACC behind tailback Jonathon Dwyer. Dwyer broke open a 74 yard touchdown run in his very fist carry against Jacksonville State and ended the game with 95 yards in just 7 carries. The Yellow Jackets kept some of the primary players grounded after jumping out to the early lead. However, you expect the star back to get plenty of more carries against Clemson this weekend and Georgia Tech will provide many of option type runs for the Tigers defense.QB Josh Nesbitt is a great dual threat suited perfectly for the Yellow Jackets offense. Nesbitt also had a solid game in the opening performance. Nesbitt had 14 carries for 93 yards on the ground and was 6 for 11 with 141 yards through the air totaling 2 touchdowns. Nesbitt will be the key player against Clemson as he must establish some plays through the air to keep the Clemson defense on their heels. If he can do that, the running game will be most effective and if that happens the Yellow Jackets should be in good shape.

Clemson had a big special team’s effort led by the elusive talent of C.J Spiller over Middle Tennessee State. The Tigers did not seem overpowering on offense in the victory even though that is not necessarily unusual in a team’s first outing. Freshman quarterback Kyle Parker had a descent showing completing 9 of 20 passes for 159 yards equaling 2 touchdowns. Sophomore back Jamie Harper filled in for Spiller with a solid performance. Harper carried the ball 15 times for 75 yards. Spiller had just 4 carries for 12 yards in limited action in the backfield. However, Spiller made his presence felt by racking up 159 additional all-purpose yards on specials teams resulting in 2 big touchdowns. Spiller suffered a hamstring injury in the game missing the 2nd half which could be huge if he did not get to play against the Yellow Jackets. However, all early indications show he will play. If Spiller was not to play, it takes away their explosive threat which would be a huge blow to the team. Parker will have to make some big throws against the Yellow Jackets defense. WR Jacobi Ford is one of the fastest receivers in the nation and must make a few plays for the offense to have some success. Despite how well their offense performs, it will really come down to the Tigers defense that tells the story. The Clemson defense did not look strong at all giving up 299 total yards against the MTSU and they must come up big this week with the front 7 which is suppose to be the strength of the team.

Both defenses have solid units that are pretty strong for ACC standards. The Yellow Jackets defense will try to apply pressure on the young Clemson quarterback and force Parker into making some mistakes. If Georgia Tech can keep pressure of Parker, and keep the big breakout plays limited they should be fine. The Clemson defense must stop the run. They will see plenty of running plays with misdirection’s and options. If the Tigers fail to stop the run, they will just fall victim like many others did in 2008 to the Yellow Jackets ground game. However, if the Tigers can stop the run it would be very interesting to see if Georgia Tech could have any success through the air.

Pick – Clemson’s offense did not look very good last week and those struggles could continue against a much better defense. Also, the Yellow Jackets ground game is among the best in the nation and they should handle business. Take Georgia Tech -5

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