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Tennessee vs. Clemson, 8 ET
Now we’re talkin’ baby! The Capital One Orange Bowl is one of the better/bigger of the Bowl Games each year and this one shouldn’t disappoint as we see Tennesee and Clemson square off in this year’s matchup. The only issue with this is that neither team will have their star quarterback in this game, so it could be a bit of a letdown.
Tennessee had a phenomenal season until it was no longer phenomenal. They ended the campaign 10-2 and lost quarterback Hendon Hooker. Now Hooker’s Tennessee season (and career there) is over and their team is not quite what it was. They were on quite a roll going 8-0 before going into Georgia as the nation’s top-ranked team. They were promptly destroyed and they went downhill a bit from there ending their year just 2-2 over their last four games and losing in embarrassing fashion to South Carolina. The big question for this one is how will quarterback Joe Milton III will play. He was okay, at best, for them in his one start against Vanderbilt, but he should have plenty of time and practice under his belt to be ready for this game. Who knows who he will throw the ball to as Tennessee’s top receivers are gone.
On the other side Clemson took home the ACC championship and put together an impressive 11-2 record for the year. Unfortunately for them, their best player, quarterback DJ Uiagalelei found greener pastures and has left the team. Without him, how will this team look? I have some concerns but I think they are going to probably be okay. Tennessee has a good enough defense, but they may not know what to expect from the new-look Clemson offense. Outside of Uiagalelei there are only a few concerns regarding who might miss this game for the Tigers.
I believe that Clemson wins this game. Of the two teams, I think Clemson is likely more equipped right now to suffer losses of any key player. Tennessee doesn’t seem to be as deep and Milton didn’t show me enough to think he is going to step right in for Hooker and be great. Play Tigers -5.5.
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