ESPN GameDay picks for Clemson-Louisville

by - Staff Writer -
ESPN analyst David Pollack said he was thinking Louisville all week, but a key injury changed his mind.

ESPN's College Gameday crew weighed in with its picks for the top-15 primetime matchup of Clemson at Louisville. Check out their predictions and analysis below:

Desmond Howard picked LOUISVILLE - I normally would go with the team with the better defense, which is Clemson, but last year I picked Clemson to win a national championship even though Alabama had a great defense. Clemson had the best player on the field in Deshaun Watson. I think now Louisville has the best player on the field in Lamar Jackson and I've got to go with Louisville.

Celebrity guest picker Rick Pitino picked LOUISVILLE - The great players sometimes can beat a great team and Lamar Jackson is the best player in college football.

Lee Corso picked LOUISVILLE

David Pollack picked CLEMSON - Watching tape this week and going back and watching last year's game, where Clemson was better against Louisville defensively, Lamar Jackson was still doing what he wanted to do. And I don't think they're as deep. All week I said I was picking Louisville. But I tell you what, (Louisville cornerback Jaire) Alexander being out is huge. I think he's the best coverage corner in college football. Him being out I think allows Deon Cain to be more of a factor. I think the passing game and those deep balls are more of a factor. Because of that, I think Clemson wins a close game.

Rece Davis picked CLEMSON

Kirk Herbstreit is calling the game and therefore didn't offer a pick, but did give his keys to the game: "I think the key is can Lamar Jackson get help from a running back to take some of the pressure off of him. He can't feel like he has to do everything. Last year when they played Clemson, they did a very good job of involving others in that backfield. They'll need to do that to take the pressure off.

"The other key is how will Clemson do on the road with a quarterback that has never been there in front of a tough environment facing an impressive defense. I can't wait to see the answers to that."

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