Clemson vs. Georgia Tech | College Football Odds, Picks & Predictions (Monday, September 5)

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Odds

Clemson had a very disappointing 2021 season by his standards, as it finished 9-3 in the regular season, failed to make the ACC Championship game and was nowhere near the College Football Playoff discussions.

Expectations are always sky high for Dabo Swinney’s program, and this season is no different. There is also a lot of turnover as Clemson lost both coordinators to other coaching jobs.

The Tigers will travel to Atlanta to beat Georgia Tech in what should be a routine win, but Clemson has a lot to prove offensively after all the difficulties it had last year.

The Yellow Jackets nearly won this matchup last year when the Tigers’ attack barely moved the ball. However, it will be an even bigger challenge for Georgia Tech this season, as the Yellow Jackets have lost a ton of talent through graduation and the transfer portal.

The Tigers’ strength will continue to be their defense and Georgia Tech will likely struggle to score Monday night.

For the first time in the College Football Playoff era, the Tigers weren’t even talking last season.

Much had to do with the underperformance of quarterback DJ Uiagalelei. He averaged six yards per attempt, the offensive line struggled to consistently clear the defensive line from the line of scrimmage, and Uiagalelei finished with nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

He could make a jump in the second year as a starter, but I’m skeptical if that happens right away. Uiagalelei has slimmed down and Swinney says he wants to play more up-tempo, but there is a lot of uncertainty around this violation.

Last season, the Tigers finished outside the top 50 in Rushing Success Rate, outside the top 100 in Passing Success Rate and outside the top 90 in Big Plays Created. The explosive play of years ago by players like Justyn Ross (pre-injuries), Travis Etienne and Amari Rodgers is gone.

While questions remain about the offense, there is little doubt about how dominant Clemson’s defense should be. The line of defense has been compared to the line of defense of 2018 – which dominated everyone, including Alabama.

The Tigers finished in the top-10 last season in Rushing Success Rate Allowed and Defensive Line Yards. And they return almost all of that unit’s production.

Georgia Tech lost as much to the transfer portal as any program in the country, and the Yellow Jackets already had a lot of trouble last year.

Georgia Tech was ranked in the bottom 20 in the country when converting drives to points based on the Finishing Drives ranking. Now the Yellow Jackets face a defense that was among the nation’s elite in defending their own red zone.

The Yellow Jackets are returning less than half of their offensive lines, meaning many players will be playing their first college game against arguably the best defense line in the country.

Georgia Tech played at an above-average pace last season, but striker and star leader Jahmyr Gibbs moved to Alabama. Yellow Jackets’ second-biggest rusher from last season is now in professional football.

From a receiving standpoint, two of the three main recipients of the Yellow Jackets have left. They lost a ton of production and are on the offensive with a total rebuild. There is not much way to offensive success in this game.

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech Pick

When these two teams played a 14-8 competitive game last September, the Yellow Jackets only managed 298 yards, 98 of them on the ground. Georgia Tech couldn’t generate a single push down the offensive line, and that was before losing (and falling back) more than half the line.

Given all the revenue for the Georgia Tech offensive and the uncertainty surrounding Clemson, this total is a bit too high.

The total in this game has been going up all week, but we’ve reached the point where it’s too high and I’m jumping down. It’s too hard to find a path to offensive success for Georgia Tech and while Clemson should improve offensively, the Tigers need to prove it before I buy.

51 is a key number in college football and so I wouldn’t bet on anything below the current market supply.

Choose: Under 51 (51 or better)

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