Wake Forest at Clemson
Time: 11 AM (CT), Saturday, ESPN2
Spread: CLE -21.5
Odds c/o 5dimes
The Clemson Tigers continue to roll in 2017. Despite losing the legendary Deshaun Watson, Kelly Bryant has stepped in at QB to lead the Tigers to a 5-0 mark and a No. 2 national ranking. Bryant leads the team in rushing yardage in addition to his 1,059 passing yards, and the Tigers will be 21.5 point favorites in Week 6 as it hosts ACC rival Wake Forest. The over/under is set somewhat low at 47.5 points.
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Bryant has been sensational in his junior collegiate season. He has thrown for 180 yards or more in four of the five Tigers’ games, and he rushed for 106 yards against Boston College. He has thrown just three passing TDs and has three interceptions, but Clemson tends to keep it on the ground when in the red zone. Bryant has seven rushing touchdowns, and Travis Etienne has four, while three other backfield performers have at least two touchdowns for a team total of 19.
Clemson has also averaged 5.4 yards per rush attempt on its outstanding 228 carries. The top-three receiving options all boast 200 yards or better on the season, too, with Ray-Ray McCloud leading the team with 253 yards on 21 catches and a touchdown.
Clemson hung 31 points on Virginia Tech last week as Bryant had 186 yards on 12 of 21 passing and rushed for another 94 yards. Tavien Feaster rushed for 29 yards on nine attempts, but he led the team in receiving yards (63) on two catches, including one for a TD. Feaster, McCloud, and Cain are an interesting trio of options for Bryant, and Wake Forest will bring a defense that might just be formidable enough to stack against it.
Wake Forest held the Florida State Seminoles to 19 points in a 26-19 win last week, and it has not given up more than 19 points on the season while holding three opponents to 10 points or less (albeit those teams were Presbyterian, Boston College and Utah State).
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Wake quarterback John Wolford has been dominant in a dual-threat fashion much like Bryant has for Clemson. Wolford has 947 passing yards on the season with eight TD passes and one TD, and he has rushed for a team-high 332 yards on 66 carries (5.0 per) with four touchdowns. Arkeem Byrd has functioned well as the top backfield option with 246 yards on 44 carries, but Wake needs more from Matt Colburn (3.9 yards-per-carry) and Cade Carney (3.4 per).
No. 1 receiver Greg Dortch has 352 yards on 30 catches and five receiving TDs. Cam Serigne is a big tight end and has four TDs on the season in his senior campaign. He had 12 TDs in first three seasons at Wake. Expect this game to be a big win for Clemson, but 21.5 points are asking a lot to see the 4-1 Demon Deacons simply fall apart against the No. 2 team in the nation. We expect Wake to keep this just a tad closer.