Date/Time: September 19, 2013 7:30 pm EST
College Football Betting Favorite: Clemson -13.5
Clemson and North Carolina State get together on Thursday night for a clash in the ACC. Both teams had the week off last weekend, so they’ve had about 10 days to prepare for this one. They both enter this contest at 2-0 on the season, and Clemson is ranked third in the nation after a huge early season win against Georgia. Can the Tigers avoid being tripped up in Raleigh?
Tajh Boyd is finally getting some of the recognition he really deserves. Boyd has been one of football’s best quarterbacks the last couple years. Boyd loves Dabo Swinney’s offense, and he has all the tools to make plays in every situation. In the past three years, Boyd has thrown 72 touchdowns and only 25 interceptions. He completed 67.2% of his passes last season. Look for enormous numbers from him again this year. Sammy Watkins is one of the most dynamic wideouts in the country. Defensively, Clemson is better than most people believe. This is not the same group that gave up 70 points in the Orange Bowl a couple years ago. Clemson has a quickly improving front seven. Clemson has serious national title aspirations, and they can’t avoid a letdown at any point.
Last year, Clemson rolled up 754 yards of total offense against North Carolina State. They piled up 62 points in that game. On the other side, they also allowed 597 yards against the Wolfpack. NC State threw for 493 yards in last year’s meeting. The 62-48 final score was both team’s highest scoring game of the year.
NC State is now led by quarterback Pete Thomas. Thomas didn’t come into the season as the team’s first choice, but after injuries he is now the first-stringer. He is transfer from Colorado State. In his first couple games for the Wolfpack, Thomas has thrown three interceptions and no touchdowns, so he’ll have to turn it around here if NC State is going to keep up with Clemson. Matt Dayes and Tony Creecy have been sharing duties in the backfield for the Wolfpack this year. Both of them have over 100 yards rushing. NC State’s offense has put up 63 points in two games, but they have yet to play against a good defense.
The Wolfpack defense has been great against the run so far this year. NC State is allowing just 82.5 yards per game on the defensive end, which is ninth best in the nation. The secondary is ranked 78th in the nation against the pass, and that is a huge concern since the team is matched up against arguably the best passing offense they will face all season long. Clemson has 426 yards passing and 328 rushing last year against NC State, so the Wolfpack must do something drastically different to try to slow down Clemson in this one.
Free Pick: Clemson -13.5
Clemson should be well-prepared for this game. They’ve seen other teams slip up here, and I don’t think they’ll let it happen. NC State is a bit short-handed right now due to injuries. Clemson should take care of business.
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