The 19th-ranked Clemson Tigers are on fire, having ripped off five straight wins. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons are ice-cold, having lost four straight and five of six overall.
So, who’s going to cash in when these two ACC rivals square off in their college football Week 11 clash ion Thursday night?
No. 19 Clemson at Wake Forest
When: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Where: BB&T Field, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Kickoff: 7:30 PM ET
Spread: Clemson -23
|Clemson Stats Leaders||Wake Forest Stats Leaders|
|Passing: Watson – 75-112, 1176 yds, 12 tds||Passing: Wolford – 146-238, 1377 yds, 7 tds|
|Rushing: Gallman – 76 car, 299 yds, 1 td||Rushing: Reynolds – 59 car, 143 yds, 0 tds|
|Receiving: Williams – 35 rec, 743 yds, 4 tds||Receiving: Scott – 35 rec, 373 yds, 4 tds|
Clemson vs. Wake Forrest Week 10 Expert Football Analysis:
Clemson won its fifth straight game by squeaking past Syracuse 16-6 on Saturday. The Tigers however, failed to cover the spread as a 16.5-point home favorite to fall to 0-3 ATS over their last three games.
Starting quarterback Cole Stoudt struggled in tossing two interceptions in the win, but the Tigers picked off Syracuse signal-caller A.J. Long twice to offset Stoudt’s two picks.
Clemson also limited the Orange to a paltry 88 rushing yards while getting 101 rushing yards of their own from freshman Wayne Gallman on 28 carries. The Tigers could have starting freshman quarterback DeShaun Watson back under center for this contest.
Watson took over for the ineffective Stoudt in a 23-17 overtime loss at then No. 1 Florida State on Sept. 20, but has been out of the lineup since suffering a broken finger on his throwing hand in a 23-17 win over Louisville on Oct. 11.
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) November 2, 2014
"I don’t think anything is off the table," Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney said. "It’s really the strength of the finger. It’s getting better and better everyday. It’s kind of one of those things where it’s on him. I think he’s very encouraged as we are as coaches."
Wake Forest lost to Boston College 23-17 on Saturday to fall to 0-4 over its last quartet of games, though the Demon Deacons did cover the spread as a 13.5-point home dog to snap its two-game ATS losing streak and improve to 4-2 ATS over the last six games.
The Demon Deacons have not scored more than 17 points over their last four games and beat B.C. despite rushing for just 19 yards on a mind-boggling 33 carries for a pitiful 0.6-yard-per-carry average.
Not only that, but Wake has watched helplessly as freshman quarterback John Wolford has struggled mightily in tossing seven touchdown passes and 13 interceptions. The inexperienced signal-caller has thrown six picks and just one touchdown over the last four games.
Of the 105 players on the Deacons’ roster, 74 are freshmen or sophomores, making Dave Clawson’s team the third youngest in the nation.
Nineteen true freshmen have played during the last two seasons, reversing the program’s longstanding trend of redshirting nearly all of its first-year players.
"We’re learning some painful lessons," first-year head coach Dave Clawson said. "We’ve got a lot of things to clean up. We’re early in this process and if we can establish effort as a starting point then we are headed in the right direction."
This contest is a bit of a tough call seeing as how Clemson has won five straight but is not playing what I’d call outstanding football and Wake probably isn’t quite as bad as they’ve looked (okay, they are).
In the end, I’m going with Wake Forest to cover the huge, nearly four-touchdown spread.
Clemson is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings against Wake Forest but I don’t think the Tigers are explosive enough to cover the big spread in this one!