Game Day Hype Falls Short When Clemson Visits Louisville

Louisville Cardinals

Willie Bee

Wednesday, September 13, 2017 1:24 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 13, 2017 1:24 PM GMT

My, but how the stats point to the clash between Clemson and Louisville ending up ‘over’ the NCAA football odds, but this ACC collision could also turn into a low-scoring affair.

Strap yourself in and tune your idiot boxes to ABC Saturday night, ‘cause things are about to get real in the Atlantic Coast Conference. In what could eventually determine the Atlantic Division rep at the ACC Championship, Clemson travels to the Bluegrass State for a showdown with Louisville.

Both sides enter the matchup ranked in the latest polls, the defending champion Tigers No. 2 in the Coaches and No. 3 according to the AP while the Cardinals are 14th in both. The 8 PM (ET) boot at Papa John’s Stadium finds Clemson laying 3½ at Heritage, -3 at other shops. Scoreboard punters are looking at 56-57 for the total.

 

Jackson Already Over 1,000 Yard Total Offense Plateau

Dabo Swinney’s squad raced past Kent State in the season opener, then gutted out a 14-6 last week against then-No 13 Auburn in a twin-Tigers matchup that easily fell short of 57. Clemson allowed a grand total of 237 yards in the contests, but that defense now faces a stern test against a Louisville offense that has averaged over 600 yards in its two games. The Tigers got a bit of a scare when quarterback Kelly Bryant went down in the second quarter, but the junior just had the wind knocked out of him and missed only one drive. Clemson’s biggest injury concern this week is starting safety Van Smith who is questionable with a sore knee.

After struggling in against lowly Purdue, the Cards came back last week with a strong finish to beat North Carolina, 47-35. The Tar Heels, who got 11½ on college football odds boards, led 28-27 entering the final quarter before Lamar Jackson rallied The Ville with three touchdowns to just get the cover. Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, Jackson leads the country with more than 1,000 total yards of offense in the first two weeks, running for three scores and passing for five more. If he played against his own defense, which is in the bottom half of the country giving up about 375 ypg, he might have even better numbers

 

Rivalry Trends, Final Thoughts & A Free Pick

Hard to believe these two never met until they became ACC foes a few years back. Clemson has won all three matchups, covering two. Last season’s battle in South Carolina was a real humdinger, scoreless through the first 15 minutes before both sides turned on the jets in the Tigers’ 42-36 decision as a 1 point underdog, the spread bouncing on both sides of a pick ‘em. It was also the only ‘over’ in the series after the first two failed to make it to the totals.

We’re still too far away to really gauge the weather, but it looks okay right now with some muggy readings in the mid-70s at kickoff and mostly clear skies, plus no wind to affect kicking games. The ESPN Game Day crew will be in Louisville this weekend, and that extra hype usually has me worried. I’m going against the general grain, and making my free college football pick on a lower-than-expected final score.

Free College Football Pick: Under 57 (-110)

Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker
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