Clemson is a national powerhouse, which means that they are in a unique situation. If you win, good – it is expected. If you lose, then the sky is falling. Clemson is at the point to where games that would have been deemed tough ten years ago are now ‘easy’ and games that the Tigers were underdogs in are now pick ‘em or favorite games.
ESPN’s FPI gives Clemson a 94% chance to win today – and the Tigers have won 34 straight in games where FPI gives them at least a 75% chance to win according to Sharon Katz of ESPN.
Coach Swinney finally cut loose the brakes and has let this team attack the opponent from kickoff to the end of the game.
The Wolfpack are 4-1, and whoever wins this game is in control of their destiny in the ACC Atlantic. State had a three-point loss to ECU, and their signature win was last week against Notre Dame (who is 2-4) with a 10-3 score in a monsoon.
All week the basics have been repeated from the Clemson media: Graduate transfer quarterback Ryan Finely doesn’t make mistakes (zero picks), Matt Dayes is a tough running back, their tight end Jaylen Samuels (#1) is the do it all player, and so on.
All of these things are true and NC State is a good team, but what matters more is how Clemson plays. If Clemson brings their A game and does not make mistakes, Clemson will win with superior talent and coaching.
If Clemson brings their C or D game, the Wolfpack could make this a tough afternoon in Death Valley. But considering how Clemson has played and have bounced back from a shaky first two games (which were both wins), Clemson should win on homecoming with a bang.
Prediction: Clemson 42 NC State 13