College Football Week 5 Predictions: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Clemson Tigers

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Clemson Tigers
Saturday, 9/27/14, 7:00 PM EST
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The Clemson Tigers have played a difficult schedule to open up the 2014 campaign
The Clemson Tigers have played a difficult schedule to open up the 2014 campaign

North Carolina is 2-1 SU and 0-3 ATS after dropping a 70-41 decision to the East Carolina Pirates as one-point road favorites last Saturday, while it has been outgained by 465 combined yards in its last two contests.  “We were outcoached, outplayed, out-everythinged,” commented head coach Larry Fedora.  The Tar Heels will need to sure up their pass defense to be competitive in this affair, which is important to consider when making your Week 5 college football predictions, as they allowed 789 total yards last week.  North Carolina has failed to cover the number in its last four September contests.

Since going 4-1 on the road in 2010, the Tar Heels are 5-11 in that situation over the past three-plus seasons, which can’t be ignored when looking over the college football lines.  North Carolina might not be able to recover from last week’s disappointing loss under Fedora, considering it faces a very challenging schedule the rest of the way.

Clemson fell to 1-2 with both losses on the road against teams that were ranked in the top 12, as it dropped a 23-17 overtime decision to the Florida State Seminoles as 9.5-point underdogs last Saturday—despite winning the statistical battle by 89 yards.  The Tigers finished that affair with a plus-one turnover margin, but saw their record fall to 33-4 when winning that all-important statistical category under head coach Dabo Swinney.  Clemson should benefit in returning to Death Valley in this matchup, as the favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings in this Atlantic Coast Conference rivalry.

The Tigers should be proud with their defensive effort against the top-ranked team in the country, especially with how the unit was embarrassed in the second half against Georgia a couple weeks prior.  Clemson’s stop unit continues to be led by linemen Vic Beasley, who has four sacks on the season and 25 in his career.  Quarterback Deshaun Watson is the main player to watch offensively, as his 266 yards passing in Tallahassee was the program’s highest such total from a true freshman since 1992.

Sports bettors will likely back the Tigers due to their 5-1 ATS mark in their last six games following a SU loss.

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