Clemson at Texas A&M
Time: 6 PM CT (ESPN)
Spread: CLE -11.5
The Clemson Tigers began its 2018 season with a Week 1 win over Furman, trouncing the small school 48-7. Now, The Tigers head to Texas to face Texas A&M as 11-point favorites at 6 PM (CT) on Saturday. The over/under is set at 52.5 points according to NCAA football oddsmakers at bookmaker 5dimes.
Clemson utilized three QBs in its opening week win, as Trevor Lawrence threw 9 of 14, Kelly Bryant went 11 of 17 and Chase Brice was 3 of 4. Collectively, the group was 23 of 35 for 282 yards with four TDs and no interceptions. The Tigers were just as effective on the ground against the Paladins, rushing for 249 yards on 35 attempts (7.1 yards per carry) while collecting two TDs via the rush.
Lyn-J Dixon led the way with 89 yards on six carries (14.8 yards per carry) while Travis Etienne showed what he was capable of with 11 carries for 63 yards. Amari Rodgers led the receiving corp with four catches for 49 yards, including a 40-yard TD catch.
The Tigers had five players with 30 or more receiving yards, showcasing the depth and versatility it has at the skill positions nearly every down. The Tigers led 27-0 at the half and managed another three TDs in the second half to run away with this one easy.
Texas A&M will present a tougher challenge, but Clemson is double-digit favorites for good reason: Its offense is quite impeccably balanced and backed up by a defense strong enough to put the clamps on the tougher teams in the FBS division (which Furman is not).
Furman managed just 46 passing yards on nine attempts, and it averaged only 2.2 yards per carry on its 53 attempts. Clemson’s “D” was stifling, but then again, it outclasses these small programs by a heady margin, so that much was expected in Week 1.
Texas A&M won its week 1 matchup, too, defeating Northwestern State 59-7 in a game that was pretty lopsided like a number of the schedule games the powerhouses faced in Wk 1. Kellen Mond threw 17 of 25 for 184 yards and two TDs, and his backup Nick Starkel looked good too throwing 5 of 8 for 63 yards and a TD.
The star of the offense was running back Trayveon Williams, who rushed for 240 yards on 20 carries (12 per) with three TDs and a long-run of 73-yards. Kwame Etwi rushed for another 83 yards on eight carries with a TD, while the entire A&M rushing conglomerate accounted for a total of 503 yards on 61 carries with five TDs.
Mond was the least successful from the QB position, with six attempts resulting in half as many yards, though he did make a red zone sneak for a TD. The Aggies also got a big receiving day from Jhamon Austin, who caught six passes for 81 yards. Jace Sternberger was the red zone target, with five catches for 56 yards and a team-high two receiving TDs. The Aggies have a lot of offensive power and tons of talent at the skill positions, and it will all be put to the test against Clemson’s rock-solid defense.
The 52.5 over/under on this game is a precarious bet with two talented offensive teams but a couple defenses with the tools to stop the respective attacks. It is tough to bet on, but the ‘under’ seems good if only for the fact that this will be the first real test both offenses encounter in a young season.