Clemson vs Wake Forest prediction


by - Senior Writer -
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The Tigers travel to Winston-Salem to take on Wake Forest on Saturday, and look to accomplish at least these four things – win a game, win a game on the road, become bowl eligible and try to find some semblance of offensive consistency before South Carolina comes calling the following week.

The Demon Deacons appear to be the perfect opponent to accomplish those four things – they are currently on an eight-game losing streak. However, Boston College was riding a five-game losing streak when the Tigers traveled to Chestnut Hill a few weeks ago, so there is no way Clemson can overlook the Deacons.

A win puts the Tigers over .500, would be the first win of the season on the road, and makes the Tigers bowl eligible.

When Clemson has the ball:  


There are two keys for the Tigers: scoring in the red-zone, preferably touchdowns. The Tigers have scored touchdowns in just three of their past 14 red-zone trips. Clemson was 0-for-4 in touchdowns inside the 20-yard line at Florida State, and came away with just six points, missing two field goals and throwing an interception.  The Wake Forest rush defense is ranked 11th in the conference, so hopefully the offense won't get too cute and will run Jamie Harper behind Chad Diehl on the goal line. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney raved about the offensive line in his press conference this week, so it would be good to see them run until somebody stops them. Seven of Wake’s starting defenders are either freshmen or redshirt freshman, so this offense ought to be able to move it on the ground and mix in the pass where needed. Wake allows 38.70 points per game, over 235 yards per game through the air, and nearly 200 yards per game on the ground. If the Clemson offense wants to find consistency and confidence, this is the time to strike. Tight end Dwayne Allen has disappeared in the red-zone in recent weeks, and it would really help the offense out if Parker could find him down near the goal line. He presents a matchup nightmare for Wake’s linebackers.

ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON
 


When Wake Forest has the ball:  


There really isn’t a lot more that can be said or written about the Clemson defense. This unit has come on strong, giving up just five touchdowns in the last five games, and moving all of the way up to ninth in the nation in scoring defense at just over 17 points per game. The Deacs feature a freshman quarterback in Tanner Price, and he is averaging just 125 yards per game through the air. Plus, he has thrown eight interceptions versus just seven TD passes. The Deacons have Josh Harris, Josh Adams and Michael Campanaro at running back, and all will get their shot at trying to run on the Clemson defense. Clemson’s defenders gave up just 63 yards to N.C. State two weeks ago, however, and just 87 yards to the Seminoles last week. If Wake can’t run with any success, or gets behind early, it could be a long day for the Deacon offense. Wake’s top receiver is Devon Brown with 32 catches, while Chris Givens has 31 and leads the team in receiving yards at 484. The bottom line here is that defensive linemen Da’Quan Bowers, Andre Branch, Jarvis Jenkins, Brandon Thompson and Malliciah Goodman are all going to have a field day in this one.
ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON


Special Teams:  

Redshirt freshman kicker Chandler Catanzaro missed two field goals last week, but one wasn’t his fault, and he rebounded to kick a game-tying field goal with just under a minute left. So he has now made a big kick in his career, and his confidence will only continue to grow. Punter Dawson Zimmerman continues to have a stellar season, and the kickoff coverage teams have been great.  Marcus Gilchrist is still second in the conference in kickoff returns. Wake Forest kicker Jimmy Newman is 9-of-10 on field goals this season, and in fact has made nine straight after missing his initial kick of the season. Punter Shane Popham is ranked just 92nd nationally. Their top returner is Campanaro, who is averaging just over 24 yards per return.

ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON


COACHING:

Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe was a hot commodity a few years ago, but his program has slipped in the past two seasons. He is hinging a lot of his success on the hope that a lot of the young players he is playing now will grow into a dominant group. Grobe built the Wake Forest program into an ACC contender in part by redshirting the vast majority of incoming freshmen, but has started three true freshmen this season and nine over the last three seasons. It seems like the numbers should be bigger, but Grobe is just 3-8 in his career versus Clemson. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive coordinator Billy Napier have both come under fire as of late because of the play of the offense. However, IF the Tigers had just four or five more field goals, that talk wouldn’t be quite as loud. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele has molded his unit into one of the ACC’s best. Because of that…..

ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON


BOTTOM LINE:
Wake Forest will be holding Senior Day, and they have won 3-of-4 on their home turf. The advantages end there. Wake Forest almost has to hope that their defense can force a couple of turnovers, get a few big plays out of their special teams, and that the Clemson offense continues to find ways to NOT score. Hopefully, the Tigers won't be looking ahead to next week, and they go into Winston-Salem, execute for four quarters, and leave with a big win, bowl eligibility and some offensive confidence. Unfortunately, I was right last week when I said FSU would kick a late field goal to win it. I hope I’m right again when I say this one is comfortable by early in the third quarter as Harper runs for 125 yards, Nuke Hopkins hauls in six passes, and tight end Dwayne Allen gets involved in the red-zone with a couple of TD catches.


CLEMSON 31, WAKE FOREST 6


David's previous picks - Actual score
CLEMSON 56, PRESBYTERIAN 6 - CLEMSON 58, PRESBYTERIAN 21
CLEMSON 52, NORTH TEXAS 10 - CLEMSON 35, NORTH TEXAS 10 
CLEMSON 26, AUBURN 24 - CLEMSON 24, AUBURN 27
CLEMSON 27, MIAMI 23 - CLEMSON 21, MIAMI 30
CLEMSON 23, NORTH CAROLINA 26 - CLEMSON 15 NORTH CAROLINA 21 
CLEMSON 28, MARYLAND 13 - CLEMSON 31 MARYLAND 7 
CLEMSON 24, GEORGIA TECH 20 - CLEMSON 24 GEORGIA TECH 13
CLEMSON 31, BOSTON COLLEGE 13- CLEMSON 10 BOSTON COLLEGE 16
CLEMSON 16, NC STATE 20 - CLEMSON 14 NC STATE 13
CLEMSON 16, FLORIDA ST. 19  - CLEMSON 13 FLORIDA ST. 16

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Subject (Replies: 39) Author
Clemson vs Wake Forest prediction
Crump®
31?
CUAtTheFinishLine®
Way to have some faith.***
tigerdrummer®
Re: 31? we got 30 on Md
74TIGER
I'm not that high on the staff...
tiger6
Ellington.***
elcid1985®
Re: Ellington.***
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: 31?
SOLOS®
very true
74TIGER
I had also noticed that before, and today. Impressive.*****
BudMan
If the D scores 14.***
kbtiger®
Re: 31?
allorangeallthetime52®
Re: 31? fantasy football :-)***
CUTIGERTIM®
Re: Clemson vs Wake Forest prediction
under11par®
One of the missed FG's wasn't his fault????
andylayne
Re: One of the missed FG's wasn't his fault????
punkyb6
Wake gave NCSU a hard time for a half on Saturday.....
tiger B
31? Really? Pumper.***
RU4GOD2®
I say 17-10 Tigers in another real struggle.***
apextiger®
that might be...
tiger6
Re: No
apextiger®
Seems a bit more realistic...or maybe 24-13.***
jp_tiger
Stop focusing on the results! We're doing the right things!***
Cdixon11
31 points?!!? I need some of the kool aid please***
fowlerj43
I'll raise the 31 and go to 38... this Wake team is PUTRID!***
PJSmith®
Dabo > Jim Grobe: ACC champ, AP & ACC coach of the year?
Razzmatazz
Re: Dabo > Jim Grobe: ACC champ, AP & ACC coach of the year?
bosoxking
How in #### can Clemson be looking ahead????***
kbtiger®
Clemson scores in the 40's this weekend****
Tiger8693
Not possible.
paladin181
Re: Not possible.
Tiger8693
Re: Clemson 48-13***
Rogue Cock
17-3 Clemson
DK
Re: 17-3 Clemson
allorangeallthetime52®
how many WFU turnovers for our defense to score 31?***
TIGERCOOK®
Re: Clemson vs Wake Forest prediction
local129
If it's only by 21......
Tiger8693
20-7 Tigers***
darkhuntingtiger
Re: Clemson vs Wake Forest prediction
ClemsonNYC
Good prediction Mr. Hood...It's pretty hilarious the amount
deanteb®

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