Clemson continues to roll in the ACC and even against another undefeated team, is projected to win by a large margin. NC State had Clemson on the ropes last season and will now have to try for an upset on the road. The Tigers opened as a hefty -17 point favorite as seen at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Clemson barely got by Syracuse a few weeks ago, but put to bed any upset hopes by Wake Forest in the last Game, dominating every facet 63-3. To stay competitive, NC State needs to hold its own on both lines of scrimmage and that could be possible, especially on the defensive end. The Wolfpack are allowing less than 17 points and only 107 rushing yards per Game and the best chance they have is if those numbers hold true on the line.
The Tigers ran for 224 yards in last year’s meeting and have ripped through every defensive front in the early season as they’re at 7.0 yards per carry as a team. Travis Etienne leads the rushing attack on 9.2 yards per carry and 11 touchdowns. If he isn’t stopped, there may not be hope for NC State. Even better for Clemson is that Trevor LAwrence got a full week of rest and should be close to 100 percent for this Game. His numbers are solid with 11 touchdowns on 8.68 yards per attempt, but he hasn’t been asked to do much and has yet to surpass 200 passing yards in a Game and when Clemson needed him, he was injured against Syracuse.
NC State has a solid defense, but the way it’s going to stay competitive and have a chance to cover is if the offense can move the chains. The problem is that the Wolfpack are rushing for just 3.9 yards per carry as a team with Reggie Gallaspy (324 yards) the leading running back. Those numbers are extremely disappointing considering the Schedule they’ve faced and now a matchup with this Clemson defensive front won’t help at all. NC State managed 153 rushing yards in last year’s contest, yet it’s hard to see them matching that total if they run like they have in the previous five Games. Quarterback Ryan Finley has been the main reason the offense is scoring as he’s averaging more than 300 passing yards and two touchdowns per Game. He threw for 338 yards in last year’s meeting, though also had two costly interceptions. against a Clemson defense allowing 261 total yards per Game, he has a tall task on the road.
The spread is big and if NC State plays similar to how it has in the first five Games, it may have trouble scoring. The Wolfpack want to keep this Game as low scoring as possible and they’ll need to limit what Clemson does on the ground.
The Wolfpack are 4-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and 7-2-1 ATS in their last 10 road Games. The Tigers are 1-4 ATS vs. a team with a winning record and haven’t covered in their last Four home Games. NC State is 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings between these schools and the under has hit in five of the last six matchups played in Clemson.
Our Pick – NC State +16