It's the beginning of a new era for Clemson football. After last week's heartbreaking loss to Florida State in Tallahassee, the Tigers return home, and Dabo Swinney's squad is ready to give control of the offense to true freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson, who can potentially become a superstar. Watson played well against FSU, but he hasn't started a game under center yet this year. He's finally getting his chance, and this has the potential to be his coming out party against North Carolina.
Speaking of the Tar Heels, odds are, they're going to come out furious. The squad was lit up by East Carolina last week, falling 70-41 to their in-state rivals. UNC can score with just about anyone, and it would be shocking if it can't put up a ton of points against Clemson, but can its defense slow down Watson and the Tigers' offense?
Date: Saturday, September 27, 2014
Time: 7:00 PM EST
TV Channel: ESPNU/WatchESPN
Location: Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Betting Line: Clemson -14 (via 5Dimes)
Prediction: If you like watching two teams score a ton of points, this is the game for you. Clemson, despite breaking in a new quarterback, is always able to score on anyone, while the Tar Heels have one of the most explosive offenses in the country. It also helps that neither defense has been particularly good this year, so this could very well end up being the highest scoring game of the weekend.
The fact that this game is in Death Valley leads us to believe that Clemson is going to win. Yes, the Tigers are trying out a new starter, but Watson has looked great so far this year. He's also praised for his poise and ability as a freshman, as Swinney said he's never had a freshman like Watson, including Sammy Watkins.
While we fully expect North Carolina to come out motivated -- especially its defense, which has looked awful this year -- we're not sure that the Tar Heels can get the job done. You should expect quarterback Marquise Williams and the rest of the UNC offense to score plenty points, and the Tar Heels will likely cover the two touchdown spread, but it won't be enough to take down Clemson.