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ESPN's 2nd Half Prediction For Clemson-North Carolina Game

Travis Etienne carries the ball for Clemson football against Alabama in the national title game.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Travis Etienne #9 of the Clemson Tigers carries the ball against the Alabama Crimson Tide n the CFP National Championship presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

There didn't appear to be that many obvious upset spots in college football this week. Most certainly wouldn't put teams like Clemson and Alabama on the list of teams that could be in trouble.

And yet, the nation's top two schools still have plenty of work to do as we near halftime. Alabama had trouble with Ole Miss early on, but has opened up a 24-10 lead in the second quarter.

Clemson, meanwhile, is getting matched by Mack Brown and North Carolina. The two teams just went to the locker room tied at 14.

The Tigers have a slight edge in yardage, 221-to-170, but UNC is yet to turn it over, while Clemson running back Travis Etienne lost a fumble in the first half.

Freshman quarterback Sam Howell has looked impressive again for UNC, despite facing Brent Venables' elite defense. He has 99 yards and a pair of touchdown throws early, finding Dyami Brown and Beau Corrales for scores.

Even so, ESPN's Football Power Index still has Clemson as a heavy favorite, even with how well the Tar Heels have played. At halftime, it gives the Tigers an 80.5-percent chance to win the game.

Clemson vs. UNC halftime ESPN FPI win percentage.


Both of Clemson's touchdowns so far have come on the ground. Etienne has 51 yards and a score on 11 carries, while Trevor Lawrence scored on a quarterback keeper.

The star sophomore has played well for Dabo Swinney so far, completing 10-of-13 throws for 126 yards, and another 29 and the score on the ground.