Week 6 – Georgia Tech at Clemson

Posted Oct 3, 2012

Week 6 CFN Fearless Prediction – Georgia Tech at Clemson

Georgia Tech (2-3) at Clemson (4-1) Oct. 6, 3:30, ESPN

Here's The Deal: What in the world is going on at Georgia Tech? Briefly ranked at the beginning of the year, the Yellow Jackets have essentially imploded since building a big lead on Miami two weeks ago. Not only did they allow the final 23 points in an epic collapse to the Hurricanes, but they followed that up with an incredibly uninspired loss to Middle Tennessee, 49-28, at Bobby Dodd Stadium. Tech is poised to hit the road for the first time in over a month, which is not such a bad thing considering the stir that's been created on the Flats. No. 15 Clemson bounced back from its lone loss of the season to get by Boston College in Chestnut Hill, 45-31. Naturally, the Tigers will need to approach the rest of the season one game at a time, but an at-large BCS bowl berth will await them if they can sweep the next seven games, all of which they could be favored to win.

Why Georgia Tech Might Win: Never underestimate the threat level of a program that employs the option. One week is never enough time to get ready for Paul Johnson's offense, especially when the defense on the other side of the ball has allowed 80 points in the last two games. Clemson is 81st nationally against the run, yielding almost five yards a carry. The Yellow Jackets never got on track last weekend, but should on Saturday, feeding the Tigers a steady diet of QB Tevin Washington, A-back Orwin Smith and B-back Zach Laskey. If Tech is successful in extending drives and milking the clock, the Clemson offense won't be able to hurt it from the sidelines.

Why Clemson Might Win: However, when the Tigers attack does huddle up, it's capable of causing the Yellow Jackets all kinds of pain. Georgia Tech has allowed 91 points over the last two games, and was exposed for 510 yards and seven touchdowns by a Sun Belt team a week ago. Clemson is justifiably licking its chops. It saw how Tech got consistently blown off the ball, and got to Blue Raiders QB Logan Kilgore just one time. It's also getting back star WR Sammy Watkins, who sat out last week with a stomach problem. He'll join forces with QB Tajh Boyd, RB Andre Ellington and WR DeAndre Hopkins to lay a beating on a Yellow Jackets defense that's reeling and on its heels as midseason approaches.

What To Watch Out For: This is a crucial game for the Clemson linebackers, who've had a modest start to the season. Second-year Stephone Anthony is emerging as a potential star, making a team-best 38 stops, but he's been an exception. The Tigers need to seal lanes and play with discipline, especially when Smith has the ball in his hands. He's a bona fide homerun hitter, the kind of player who can change the tenor of a game with one sliver of daylight.

What Will Happen: As long as Clemson is struggling on defense, it's going to be vulnerable, especially against a non-traditional offense, such as the one invading Death Valley this Saturday. A Georgia Tech team with its back to the wall should never be taken lightly. It's a good thing for the Tigers that the Yellow Jackets aren't playing much defense these days, making them a bad fit for the host team. Clemson can win a shootout if necessary, using its speed and unpredictable alignments to keep the Tech D flailing. The Yellow Jackets might counter with Washington running the show, but the Tigers possess the knockout power in this one.

CFN Prediction: Clemson 45 … Georgia Tech 33
ATS Consultants Line (Click for more lines and picks) Clemson -10 O/U: 73.5
Must Watch Rating (5 – Master, 1 – Trouble with the Curve): 3.5