The fifth-ranked Clemson Tigers will kick off Week 4 of college football. According to Campus Insiders, the Tigers will travel to Atlanta, Georgia, to face off against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. This is a match-up between two undefeated teams in the ACC division. The game will be televised on ESPN. The Tigers have opened up as 11 point favorites.
Last week, both teams dominated their opponents. The Tigers beat South Carolina State 59-0. Star quarterback DeShaun Watson led the way, he hit 12 out of 15 passes for 152 yards and three scores.
The Yellow Jackets beat Vanderbilt 38-7. The Yellow Jackets were led by quarterback Justin Thomas and running back Dedrick Mills. Thomas completed 6 out of 13 passes for 136 yards and a touchdown. The senior quarterback also led the team in rushing with 84 yards on 11 carries. Mills had 58 yards on 14 carries to go along with three touchdowns.
The Tigers and Yellow Jackets have played a lot of tight games in the series history. Clemson leads 17-16. In last year’s meeting against one another, the Tigers defeated the Yellow Jackets 43-24. Clemson was led by DeShaun Watson, running back Wayne Gallman and tight end Jordan Leggett. Watson threw for 265 yards with two touchdowns. Gallman rushed for 113 yards on 13 carries to go along with two touchdowns, and Leggett had two receiving touchdowns.
Playing at Bobby Dodd Stadium has not been too kind to Clemson. The Tigers have not defeated Georgia Tech in Atlanta since 2003. Last time DeShaun Watson played in Bobby Dodd Stadium, he suffered a knee injury in his freshman year. Clemson went on to lose that game 28-6.
For the Tigers to win this game, they will need their offense to be in sync. Clemson has plenty of weapons around DeShaun Watson. They consist of wide receivers Mike Williams, Ray-Ray McCloud and Artavis Scott. Those are his top three options. Williams leads the group with 245 yards on 15 receptions. McCloud is second in the nation in yards per punt return. He is averaging 25.3 yards. Wayne Gallman will lead them in the ground game.
Clemson has one of the best defenses in college football. The Tigers are ranked eighth in the nation in total defense. They are only allowing 250 yards per game and giving up 92 yards rushing. The Tigers are led by senior linebacker Ben Boulware.
Georgia Tech has already matched their win total from a year ago. This game against the Tigers will show the nation how good the Yellow Jackets really are. Head coach Paul Johnson’s offense has started to look more like its old self. The team has been running the option effectively, and their drives have been long and sustained.
The Yellow Jackets are averaging 397.7 yards per game. Exactly 257.3 of that has come in the ground game. Justin Thomas leads the team in passing yards and rushing yards. So far this season, he has thrown for 335 yards and one touchdown. Thomas has rushed for 169 yards on 28 carries with one touchdown. He is averaging six yards per carry. Running backs Dedrick Mills and Clinton Lynch also plays a big part in the Georgia Tech’s offense. Mills has 126 yards on 32 carries to go along with four touchdowns. Lynch is the home run hitter for the Yellow Jackets. He has 116 yards on nine carries.
This game against the Tigers and Yellow Jackets could come down to which defense can hold off the other. The Tigers have a big matchup next week against the third rank Louisville. They will need to focus on the Yellow Jackets instead of looking forward. Beating Clemson could thrust Georgia Tech into the top 25 AP polls next week.
[Featured Image by Tyler Smith/Getty Images]