The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets appear to be getting very little respect from Vegas heading into their matchup with Clemson.
For the third time in 2017, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are underdogs. While Tennessee and Miami were both favorites over the Jackets by less than a touchdown, the Clemon Tigers opened as more than a two-touchdown favorite over the Jackets. The line has already shifted down to 14 points in favor of the Tiger and should remain between the 12 and 14 mark throughout the week.
The Tigers being heavy favorites is understandable, despite coming off a shocking loss to Syracuse two weeks ago. Entering that game, Syracuse was 23-point underdogs to the Tigers. That being said, Clemson was on the road at Syracuse and has been one of the best teams in college football over the last three-years, suffering just one loss at home. That loss was last year to Pittsburgh, it may have foiled the Tigers undefeated season but everyone knows that story ended. In total, Clemson has lost just seven times at home since Dabo Swinney took over the program in 2008.
History shows that the 16-point line may be just about right as each of the last two meetings between the programs resulted in 19-point victories by the Tigers. Tech last beat the Tigers in 2014, clobbering them 28-6. Since Paul Johnson arrived on The Flats, the series between the two programs is tied at five wins apiece, however, the Jackets haven’t won at Clemson since 2008.
One reason for Clemson’s dominance the last two seasons has been their ability to shut down the run. In both of the last two seasons, Clemson has kept the Yellow Jackets to under 100 rushing yards. That has only been done four times against the Jackets in Johnson’s tenure, the only other teams to do it was Gardner-Webb in 2008 and Miami (FL) in 2009.
If the Jackets are going to pull off the 16-point upset, they’ll need big games out of TaQuon Marshall, KirVonte Benson and the defense. They’ll also need linebacker Brant Mitchell to comeback from injury at full strength this week.