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Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
Texas A&M is a 17.5 point underdog against Clemson, with the Over/Under at 64.5
I truly believe that Texas A&M can cause issues for Clemson. After losing by two points last season at Kyle Field, and with most of the offense and defense returning to play the best team in the nation, there’s a chance that some magic can happen.
The offense for the Aggies is almost 100% intact. Kellen Mond will start again, just like he did against Clemson last year. The front four for Clemson lost the of it’s heavy hitters in Clelin Ferrell, Austin Bryant and Dexter Lawrence all getting drafted. That’s doable for A&M, who lost star center Erik McCoy and star running back Trayveon Williams, will have some early struggles but should move the ball well through the air. That’s where A&M shines. All of their receivers are big (6-2, 225), and can make plays when it comes to the jump ball. They will test the secondary of Clemson time and again. JaShaun Corbin wont see the same success he did against Texas State, but should be relatively productive against one of the better rushing defenses in Clemson. I believe that Kenyon Green will be tested heavily, and his performance at right guard is critical for the offensive line’s success.
For the defense, they face on of the most complete offenses in all of college football. Clemson’s offensive line is very talented, and they protect probably the best quarterback in Division I, Trevor Lawrence. Great pocket presence, a cannon of an arm with precision accuracy. The guy is talented, and his passing attack is balanced behind workhorse back Travis Etienne. Etienne can dominate from the line of scrimmage and can tear through linebackers. Buddy Johnson and Anthony Hines III need to be vigilant on draw plays and keep a close eye. The wideouts for Clemson are phenomenal too, and extremely young. Justyn Ross leads the way, and his ability to locate the ball and make plays is next-level. Although A&M had a good showing against Texas State’s passing attack, they are going to face a real buzzsaw when they play Clemson.
There are two ways this game will go. Either we will see trench warfare, where the front sevens and running backs are going to be the primary focuses, or an absolute display of passing ability. I think Clemson wins in Death Valley, but their corners and safeties are going to have to stop Jhamon Ausbon and Quartney Davis.
Prediction: Clemson beats A&M, 28-20