Clemson opens the 2022 college football schedule with a matchup against ACC rival Georgia Tech in Monday’s Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game.
Dabo Swinney brings in two new coordinators in hopes of fixing the ACC’s second-worst offense and gaining an advantage in the college football playoff chase.
Here’s what you need to know about the Week 1 clash at the ACC.
Clemson vs. Preview Georgia Tech, Prediction
how to look
When: Monday, September 5
Time: 8 p.m. ET
Television: ESPN network
Clemson odds vs. Georgia Tech
Money line: CLEM -400, GT +881
FPI Pick: Clemson 94.3%
Georgia Tech vs. Clemson: what to see
1. Clemson’s progress at QB. Which version of DJ Uiagalelei will Clemson get? The one in 2020, when he scored 6 multipurpose touchdowns and had almost 800 yards of offense in two starts? Or 2021, when he started the entire year, he threw just 9 TDs and 10 interceptions for the second-worst offense per game in the ACC? He takes a lot of blame for last season, but Uiagalelei didn’t get much help from his catcher and still won 10 games. Still, if he can run a little more and open up the offense, Clemson is well positioned to add at least 10 points per game to the average.
2. Jeff Sims consistency. The Georgia Tech quarterback is definitely an asset to this offense when he’s on the field and his absence is a palpable net negative. Sims brings a huge lead, throws the ball accurately and quickly, and is a dynamic runner. But he’s not much use if this young offensive line doesn’t drastically improve. Until now, he hasn’t protected him well at all.
3. Battle on the line. Clemson is expected to be fierce again on the defensive line with Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee leading the pack, setting up what should be a tough day for Tech’s inexperienced offensive guard. GT lost the lead to Jahmyr Gibbs to Alabama, but he beat Hassan Hall, who in 42 games at Louisville had 1,299 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. But neither Sims nor Hall have much of a chance to help if there are Clemson linemen in the backfield all day.
Clemson vs. Georgia Tech: Fast Facts
+ Clemson has won 10 games in 11 straight seasons, one of only three FBS schools to do so (Alabama, Florida State)
+ Tech averaged 29.7 ppg and 431.2 ypg with Jeff Sims at QB and just 16.7 ppg and 302.8 ypg without him
+ Clemson is 77-6 in regular-season games since 2015 and all six losses were by 10 points or fewer
+ GT has lost 12 in a row against the top 10 teams and 11 in a row against the top 5 teams
+ Clemson have won 96 of their last 98 games when leading at halftime, including the last 59 in a row
+ Tech had 1.25 turnovers per game last fall, an improvement from the 2.5 he had per game the year before, rising from 125th to 44th nationally
+ Clemson won 97 of last 98 games keeping teams under 23 points since 2010
+ GT QB Jeff Sims has 4,213 total yards of offense and 35 TDs in just 17 games (247.8 ypg and 2.05 TDs per game)
+ Clemson is 56-2 when they have a 100-yard rusher in a game with Swinney
+ Tech’s offensive line is inexperienced, starting just 37 games combined
+ Clemson has recorded 40 sacks in eight straight seasons, the most of any school in the college football playoff era
+ GT averages 3.0 win points but 0.5 loss points since 2020
+ Clemson has limited opponents to 22 points or fewer in 80 games during the CFP era and is 79-1 in those games
+ Tech won the turnover battle in 5 of 6 games and has 10+ margin TO since 2020 and lost the turnover battle in 14 of 16 losses with a minus-20 margin
+ Clemson is first nationally with a 29.8% third-down defense since 2013
This should go according to plan. Clemson, regardless of its failures a year ago, returns what might be the best defensive line in college football.
And he has a 5-star pedigree at quarterback with DJ Uiagalelei, who, despite his lapses last fall, bounced back well enough late and is playing 20 pounds lighter with a mandate to run the ball more, and will have a lot of help. with Will Shipley to balance things out.
Technology just hasn’t moved in a positive direction under Geoff Collins, and after missing key transfers and facing a huge talent deficit almost everywhere, he shouldn’t pose too much of a threat to the ACC favorites.
College Football Venue Prediction: Clemson 41, Georgia Tech 17
According to AP Top 25 poll
- Ohio State
- notre dame
- Texas A&M
- oklahoma state
- State of North Carolina
- state of michigan
- old lady
- forest stele
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