NCAA Prediction College Football Week 12 Thursday Game Preview & Pick- Georgia Tech vs. #8 Clemson
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-3) @ Clemson Tigers (8-1) 11/14- 7:30PM EST
Line: CLEM -10.5
On Thursday night, the No. 8 Clemson Tigers, coming off their bye-week will look to stay on track in the BCS race against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in another Atlantic Coast Conference match-up on prime-time here is my prediction and pick for this game.
The Clemson Tigers (8-1, 6-1 ACC) hope to pick up where they left off before their week off when they defeated Virginia in a rout 59-10 on Nov. 2nd and have won their last two since their week 8 loss to No. 2 Florida State.
“The guys deserve all the credit because they have gotten themselves ready and found ways to win games,” Clemson coach Dabo Swinney said. “This is the most complete game that we had. This team will be judged based on how we finish, but we had a good start to November.”
Clemson wide-out Sammy Watkins has been on fire the last two games with 22 catches for 332 yards in the last two games making quarterback Tajh Boyd’s job look easy.
“When you have a guy like him with space, he’s going to have an opportunity to make plays,” Boyd said of Watkins. “Sammy did an unbelievable job. You kind of just got to throw your arm up and he will have a chance to get the ball.”
The combination of Boyd and Watkins has helped the Tigers average 39.8 points a game to rank 15th in the FBS and in their last two games have out-gained Maryland and Virginia 1,150-641 in total offense.
“That’s what we plan on doing, keep finishing and staying healthy,” Watkins said. “We need to go out with a bang and have fun. This is what it is all about here in November. You got to show everyone that you’re a top 10 team now and not just in September.”
With the way the Tigers have been playing since their lone defeat to Florida State, Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson knows he will have his hands full with Clemson.
“It’s certainly going to be a big challenge on Thursday night,” said Johnson. “Clemson is a tough place to play and they’ve got a lot of explosive athletes. .. We look at it as an opportunity to go in and measure ourselves as a team and see if we’ve made the progress we feel we’ve made in the past couple of weeks.”
The Tigers may be going in as the favorite with a (minus) -10.5 at home, but Georgia Tech has some offensive fire-power of their own with a bruising running game that averages 311.2 yards out of the triple option.
They also have a defense that allows only 103.4 rushing yards against… good for 10th in all of college football.
The Yellow Jackets (6-3, 5-2 ACC) with a win on Thursday can clinch at least a share of the Coastal Division title but it hasn’t been easy as Georgia Tech has followed a three-game losing streak with three straight wins, outscoring opponents 112-35 in that span.
“We’re a team that’s fairly physical. We run the ball pretty good an defend the run pretty good,” Johnson said. “When we do the things that we do well and take care of the ball, we could be a tough out.”
Thursday night’s game will be well played, but the spread dictates the failures of Georgia Tech to beat a Top 25 team, where they have lost seven in a row and the Tigers have beaten unranked opponents 26 consecutive times at home by an average of 23.6 points.
It seems like a safe bet on Clemson come Thursday night, but feel free to check the latest lines here at Wonder Punter up until game time.
By Mario Martinez- Wonder Punter