Back Clemson in ACC Battle

North Carolina State vs. Clemson, 7:30 ET

This is a game between two of the top 10 teams in the country and could be a preview of the ACC championship game. In the past, this series was dominated by Clemson, but they did lose to North Carolina State last year. Now, they once again play and we take a look at what I expect to be a fun and tight matchup.

North Carolina State is built mostly on their defense. This season, they have dominated after a tough start against East Carolina. In that game, they only won the game by one point. Since then, they have knocked it out of the park with a convincing win over Texas Tech and easy victories over two bad teams in Charleston and UConn. I’m not confident in Devin Leary being a really good quarterback when he needs to be. He has completed a good amount of his passes – 64% on the season, and he has nine touchdowns, but he is doing a lot of shorter passes and not always getting to attack downfield. Sometimes you need a kill shot in order to open space up and I’m not sure Leary can do that. Their running game is okay, but they also aren’t super impressive either. If they want a chance to win this game it will only be a result of their defense being stout.

Clemson is looking as good as they have since Trevor Lawrence was under center there. They are coming off of a dramatic win over Wake Forest last week. The rest of their season was nothing exciting, and really not anything surprising. They beat the teams they should have with ease. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has been solid and made good decisions for the year thus far. There were many questions on him coming into the year, but I think he is starting to really adapt and come around. He has been sacked six times already which isn’t great. The offensive line will need to do a better job of protecting him and he will still need to be careful as he drops back against this defense. I like running back Will Shipley to be a factor in this game. He already has seven touchdowns on the season and I think he adds to that total here.

Clemson has a really good home winning streak, and I think they keep it going here. Saying they win isn’t a huge deal, and I’m not advocating for a play on them to win at -255. Instead, I think this is a game to take Clemson to cover at home. The North Carolina State defense isn’t being undervalued here, but I think Clemson is playing very well and will be able to stop what I consider a mediocre offense. Play Clemson -6.5 at -110.

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Written by David Troy

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