Point Spread: Tigers -10.5
North Carolina got behind early and couldn’t recover in a 30-24 loss to Miami last week. Clemson also trailed big before rallying for a 56-45 victory over Maryland. The Tar Heels won this matchup 21-16 last year.
NC will look to ride of the arm of sophomore QB Bryn Renner (14-6 TD/INT) as the youngster leads the ACC in completion pct. (75.3%) and passer rating (174.1). The Tigers’ defense was susceptible to the pass last week and Renner’s accuracy should be hard for them to handle. WR Dwight Jones (46-687-8) is his favorite target and will be a handful for the Clemson secondary. Freshman RB Giovani Bernard has rushed for 100+ yards in five-straight games and gives the offense balance. The Tar Heels offense got off to a slow start last week and can’t afford a repeat against the undefeated 7th-ranked Tigers.
Clemson’s offense continues to roll (38 points-per-game) as QB Tajh Boyd is having a banner season (19-3 TD/INT). North Carolina must get pressure on Boyd or he will pick their secondary apart. Freshman WR Sammy Watkins (46-728-8) had two TD receptions and added an 89-yard kickoff return for an insurance score last week. His 345 all-purpose yards set a school record and look for NC to focus their coverage his way. RB Andre Ellington (212 yards rushing last week) is also a threat and gives the Tar Heels another weapon to be concerned about.
Both of these teams can score but North Carolina’s defense is better. They stopped this offense last season and would become bowl eligible with a win. We feel this number is too high and that the Tar Heels can stay with this high-powered offense.
Take the Tar Heels