Pellegrino: Are top-ranked Tigers a value against rejuvenated Hurricanes?

Sat. CFB: Miami at Clemson

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Sat., Oct. 10, 7:30 p.m. ET

No. 7 Miami (Fla.) at No. 1 Clemson

Memorial Stadium (“Death Valley”), Clemson, S.C.

Television:  ABC

Commentators:  Chris Fowler (PBP), Kirk Herbstreit (analyst), Allison Williams (sidelines)

The lone matchup of Top 10 teams in Week 6 of the college football season finds the visiting and 7th-ranked Hurricanes meeting the top-ranked Tigers in Death Valley. Both stand with identical 3-0 records.

The last these teams met when undefeated came in 2017 (also at 3-0), with Clemson rolling to an easy 38-3 verdict — and that ballgame was in South Florida! Predictably, Vegas oddsmakers foresee a repeat occurrence with Clemson favored by a whopping 15 points (-650 on the money line; the over/under total is 60).

After the rejuvenated Canes just missed, 21-20, in 2010,  the Tigers waltzed to the tune of  58-0, in 2015 before their last meeting three seasons ago.

However, this go-around, the Tigers will be more aware on two fronts: along with the teams’ recent history, this is the first “real” test for Clemson, which had this meeting marked on its team calendar month’s ago.  At least Miami already played a decent Louisville club to start the season.

The weather may be a primary factor. Although Hurricane Delta is expected to hit the Louisiana Delta at Level 2 strength, with heavy rains forecast extending from Texas to Florida, then north to the Carolinas and into Virginia.  LINK: https://www.nhc.noaa.gov. It’s the 30th tropical storm (or higher) of the Atlantic season. Thus, this should aid the ground game of Clemson, while hindering the aerial attack by Miami.

And if Clemson elects to throw the ball, QB Trevor Lawrence hasn’t tossed an interception in nearly a calendar year. This season, Lawrence, the projected top pick in the 2021 NFL draft at the prototypical height of 6-6, has thrown seven touchdowns without a pick, completing 73.3 percent of passes for 848 yards through three outings. Lawrence is list at +350 to capture the Heisman Trophy.

Meanwhile, diminutive Canes quarterback D’Eriq King — Miami lists him at 5-foot-11, so he might be shorter — has scrambled for 157 years, obviously because he can’t see downfield well enough.

In Atlantic Coast Conference play, these clubs are among a group of four (North Carolina and Virginia Tech) at 2-0,, so the loser will actually be two games back, as the head-to-head tie-breaker would also go against the loser. If you want to win the ACC, everyone must go through Clemson, which is 40-2 in the conference over the last five seasons; each time concluding with an appearance in the college football championship playoffs.

PREDICTION: Clemson’s pass rush will get to King. Miami can stay competitive if they can both protect King and place some sore of constant pressure on Lawrence. Although it’s a ton of points, they won’t… CLEMSON, 28-10

 

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