Clemson takes on Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
Clemson takes on Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl.

Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season


by - Senior Writer -

Clemson will put the finishing touches on the 2021 season Wednesday when the Tigers take on Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando’s Camping World Stadium. Can the Tigers end a year marked by transfers and injuries and coaching changes with 10 wins?

We’re about to find out.

The game will mark Clemson’s fourth appearance in the bowl all-time across the game’s various monikers. Clemson made its first appearance in the bowl in 2002, falling to Texas Tech in the Tangerine Bowl. Clemson returned to Orlando in 2005 for the Champs Sports Bowl, defeating Colorado, 19-10, behind 150 rushing yards from MVP James Davis. Clemson’s most recent appearance came in the Russell Athletic Bowl in 2014, as Cole Stoudt led Clemson in place of an injured Deshaun Watson and new Co-Offensive Coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott helped guide Clemson to a 40-6 rout of Oklahoma.

The contest will be the first all-time meeting between the Tigers and Cyclones. Clemson has won four of its last five games against Big 12 opponents, including postseason victories against Oklahoma in 2014 and 2015 in Clemson’s last two contests against Big 12 foes.

The bowl berth extends Clemson’s school-record bowl streak to 17 years, the longest streak in the ACC and the fifth-longest streak in the country. Clemson's 17-year streak dates to its Champs Sports Bowl win against Colorado in Orlando to close the 2005 season. Though Clemson did not make a bowl appearance in 2004, Clemson has been bowl eligible in 23 consecutive seasons, dating to a 1999 appearance in the Peach Bowl.

Clemson takes on Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl.
Clemson takes on Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl."

At 9-3, Clemson will enter the Cheez-It Bowl in search of its 11th consecutive 10-win season. A victory would tie Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney (10-7 career bowl record) with Bobby Bowden for the most bowl victories in conference history, as 11 of Bowden’s 21 career bowl wins came during Florida State’s membership in the ACC.

NO. 19/22 CLEMSON (9-3, 6-2 ACC) vs. IOWA STATE (7-5, 5-4 BIG 12)

WHEN: WEDNESDAY, DEC. 29, 5:45 P.M. ET
WHERE: CAMPING WORLD STADIUM, ORLANDO, FLA.
TELEVISION: ESPN (Dave Pasch, Dusty Dvoracek, Tom Luginbill)
RADIO: Clemson Athletic Network (Don Munson, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)
RADIO: ESPN Radio (Marc Kestecher, Ben Hartsock, Kris Budden)
SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius 84, XM 84, Internet/App 84

NOTABLE

*With a win, Clemson would become only the third program in history ever to post 11 consecutive 10-win seasons, joining Florida State (14 from 1987-2000) and Alabama (14 from 2008- 21). Clemson would be the first school to win 10 games in 11 straight seasons as a member of the ACC, as only the final nine of Florida State's 14-straight 10-win seasons came during the Seminoles' tenure in the ACC.

*Clemson is attempting to win 10 games in a season in which it started 2-2 or worse for the second time in school history, joining the 2014 Tigers that rebounded from a 2-2 start through four games (and a 1-2 start through three games) to finish 10-3 with a bowl win in Orlando. Beyond the 2014 team, the only other Clemson team to reach even nine wins after starting .500 or worse through four games was its 2009 team, which started 2-2 and finished 9-5.

*Clemson is facing its 107th different opponent in program history. Clemson is 64-38-4 all-time in its first meeting with its 106 existing opponents, including a 15-1 mark in first meetings since 2003. Clemson has won 17 of its last 19 games when making its all-time debut against a new opponent.

*Clemson is attempting to improve to 6-4 all-time against teams in the Big 12 Conference at the time of the game, including winning its two most recent meetings in 2014 and 2015, both against Oklahoma in postseason play. Six of Clemson's nine previous games against the Big 12 have come against teams no longer in the conference (two against Missouri, two against Texas A&M and one each against Colorado and Nebraska).

*Clemson attempting to win its 15th consecutive December game, dating to Clemson’s 2011 ACC Championship Game victory against Virginia Tech. Clemson (14-0) is one of three schools to be undefeated in December since 2011 with a minimum of five games played, a list that also includes Alabama (12-0) and Penn State (7-0).

WHAT CLEMSON NEEDS TO DO TO WIN

*The new coordinators need to get off to a good start. Wes Goodwin shares defensive coordinator duties with Mickey Conn, but it’s Goodwin who will be on the sidelines calling the plays. Goodwin and the Tigers’ defense face an Iowa State team that is led by quarterback Brock Purdy. Purdy and that offense are without top running back Breece Hall, but he still has his two top pass catchers, wide receiver Xavier Hutchinson and All-American tight end Charlie Kolar. Purdy finished the year fourth nationally with a 73.1 completion percentage and was named to the All-Big 12 second team. This is a passing game that relies on efficiency, but they can create some chunk plays on occasion. Can they do that without much of a running game?

On the offensive side, new offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter will have to rely on the inside running game and chunk plays down the field. The latter is something the Tigers have not done well this season. The Cyclones' 3-3-5 defense usually has numbers on the outside and the quick screen game doesn’t look like it will have much success. Streeter needs to push the tempo and hit the quick runs inside to open up the passing game.

*Rely on the senior leaders. I can’t say enough about players like James Skalski and Xavier Thomas and some of the other seniors. They don’t act like they’re disappointed in ending their careers in this bowl game, and Skalski has made it clear he wants to go out a winner. Don’t discount those guys.

*Limit the mistakes. Iowa State is well-coached and Purdy doesn’t seem to make the killer mistake. That means the Tigers can’t go out and have those weird shovel-pass pick-sixes and other plays that have haunted the offense this season. Swinney says that five plays usually mean the difference in a win and a loss, and the Tigers can’t be on the negative side of those five plays.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

The Clemson offense found a little something at the end of the season, using the running game of Will Shipley and Kobe Pace to pound teams into submission. That will have to be the order of the day again while the defense makes life difficult for Purdy. I just don’t see that Iowa State offense doing much against Goodwin and the defense. It won’t be a high-scoring affair, but instead will look more like the last three or four games of the season.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 30, IOWA ST. 16

More TigerNet picks

Mickey Plyler - The Roar 105.5 morning show host - 27-17 Clemson
Nikki Hood - Staff writer - 30-10 Clemson
Brandon Rink - Associate editor - 23-17 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate editor - 24-17 Clemson
Zachary Wagner - Intern - 27-13 Clemson
Jake Pierce - Recruiting reporter - Clemson 24-21
Pigskin Prophet - 35-17 Clemson
Ryan Kantor - Contributing Writer - Clemson 30-20

Game Actual David Hood Plyler Nikki Hood Rink Crumpton Wagner Pierce Prophet Kantor
Georgia 10-3 UGA 27-20 CU 27-23 CU 24-17 CU 27-23 CU 28-24 CU 28-17 CU 31-20 CU 23-17 CU -
SC State 49-3 CU 55-3 CU 54-0 CU 56-7 CU 61-7 CU 49-7 CU 55-10 CU 45-0 CU 45-0 CU -
GT 14-8 CU 41-13 CU 51-10 CU 45-10 CU 45-13 CU 38-7 CU 45-7 CU 38-13 CU 48-10 CU 31-3 CU
NCST 27-21 2OT NCST 23-20 CU 27-13 CU 17-7 CU 24-17 CU 24-9 CU 24-3 CU 28-17 CU 24-16 CU 24-6 CU
BC 19-13 CU 24-20 CU 24-13 CU 24-13 CU 27-17 CU 24-9 CU 24-21 CU 24-20 CU 23-16 CU 23-21 BC
Syracuse 17-14 CU 31-20 CU 31-17 CU 38-14 CU 26-16 CU 27-13 CU 24-13 CU 27-13 CU 30-17 CU 23-13 CU
Pittsburgh 27-17 Pitt 27-23 Pitt 23-21 CU 24-17 Pitt 24-23 Pitt 21-20 Pitt 24-21 CU 31-27 CU 24-23 CU 21-19 Pitt
FSU 30-20 CU 20-13 CU 27-14 CU 28-10 CU 24-17 CU 28-13 CU 27-10 CU 23-14 CU 27-16 CU 24-14 CU
LOU 30-24 CU 27-20 CU 23-16 CU 23-20 CU 21-16 CU 24-17 CU 27-10 CU 23-17 CU 27-16 CU 24-21 CU
UConn 44-7 CU 47-6 CU 49-6 CU 40-3 CU 48-10 CU 45-6 CU 42-7 CU 38-3 CU 41-0 CU 49-3 CU
Wake 48-27 CU 27-23 CU 30-27 CU 27-20 CU 26-23 CU 27-20 CU 35-31 CU 27-24 CU 30-23 CU 34-31 Wake
S. Car 30-0 CU 34-17 CU 30-16 CU 28-10 CU 27-17 CU 24-13 CU 35-21 CU 27-17 CU 34-16 CU 31-17 CU
Points - 12 11 16 10 14 11 9 11 11

* Points: 3 pts for best correct prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 2 pts for picking score exactly, 1 pt for picking the correct winner

Comment on this story
Print   
Send Feedback to David Hood: Email | Comment
4-star Clemson RB target to announce commitment this week
4-star Clemson RB target to announce commitment this week
Elite Clemson OL target sets commitment date
Elite Clemson OL target sets commitment date
Former Clemson running back announces his new college decision
Former Clemson running back announces his new college decision
Three Tigers named to Walter Camp All-America preseason teams
Three Tigers named to Walter Camp All-America preseason teams
Post your comments!
Subject (Replies: 18) Author
spacer TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
TigerNet News
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
JohnstoneD626
spacer I say we get that 10th win, butt, just like all the others
76er®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
HumbleServant®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
Renfrowismyboy
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
Jedi_Kermit®
spacer Off the top of my head…
TigerHawk76®
spacer I don't think we've ever played Oklahoma State***
cutigerbob®
spacer Re: Off the top of my head…
clemsonbluejay
spacer Re: Off the top of my head…
TigerHawk76®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
clemsonbluejay
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
Orangemania91
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
clemsonbluejay
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl: Tigers / 10th win / vs. Big 12
RememberTheDanny
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
85tiger2012®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
85tiger2012®
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
Valley Boy
spacer Re: TNET: Cheez-It Bowl Prediction: Tigers look to earn 10th win of the season
DawgWarrior69

Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Breaking
Daily Digest