#1 Clemson at UNC
Kenan Stadium, Chapel Hill, NC
330 pm, ABC
Announcers- Dave Pasch & Greg McElroy
Line- UNC +26.5
The Tigers are currently 4-0 and ranked number one in both the AP and Coaches Poll, and by a fairly wide margin. Through four games, they’ve yet to be tested, with their closest game coming in Week 2’s 24-10 win over Texas A&M, and that one wasn’t as close as the score would indicate. Their other three wins have all come in blowout fashion, and all three were games they controlled from beginning to end.
Clemson is averaging 42 points and 525 yards of offense per game, with 278 coming through the air and 247 on the ground. They’re gaining 6.6 yards per carry and have converted 43% of their 3rd downs. In 16 red zone opportunities, they have scored 14 times, 11 of those being TDs. The offensive line has given up just 3 sacks.
On the defensive side, the team is giving up just 10 points per game and just 247 total yards of offense per game. They’re surrendering just 152 through the air, 95 on the ground, and have given up just 2.5 yards per carry. Opponents are converting 29% of their 3rd downs and the team has totaled 16 sacks. The team has yet to allow an opponent to score in the 1st quarter.
Trevor Lawrence has thrown for 925 yards, with 7 TDs and 5 INTs, and he is completing 62% of his passes. Travis Etienne leads the team in rushing with 395 yards. He is averaging 7.5 yards per carry and has 4 TDs. Lyn-J Dixon has 220 yards, good for 6.7 yards per carry and has 3 TDs. Tee Higgins leads the team with 16 catches and 376 yards, while Justyn Ross is second with 15 catches for 171 yards.
Isaiah Simmons leads the team in tackles with 32, and in TFL with 3.5. He, James Skalski, and Xavier Thomas are tied for the team lead in sacks with 2 each.
After teasing the fans with a 2-0 start, the Tarheels lost their next two and come in at 2-2. Unlike the Tigers however, they have played 4 extremely close ballgames. Their two wins came by 4 points over UofSC and 3 points over Miami, with the two losses coming by 6 to Wake and 3 to App State.
Freshman QB Sam Howell won the starting job in camp and has certainly looked the part. He’s had some moments where he’s looked like a true freshman, and the offense has been slow to get going in each game, but the potential is evident. He has a big arm and is capable using his legs to make plays as well.
They are averaging 25 points and totaling 419 yards of offense per game. They’re getting 262 of those through the air and 156 on the ground, rushing the ball at a clip of 3.8 yards per carry. They have converted 28% of their 3rd downs and have scored on all 15 of their trips inside the red zone, although just 8 of those have come via touchdowns.
Ironically, the defense is giving up the same 25 points per game that the offense is scoring. They’ve allowed 395 yards of total offense per game, with 222 coming through the air and 176 on the ground. They’ve combined for 16 sacks as a team and have allowed opponents to convert 3rd downs at a 34% clip.
Sam Howell has thrown for 1024 yards, with 9 TD and 2 INTs, and is hitting on 64% of his passes. Javonte Williams leads the team in rushing with 306 yards and 1 TD, averaging 5.6 yards per carry. Michael Carter has 235 yards and is rushing for 4.6 yards per carry. Dyami Brown leads the team in catches with 15 for 284 yards and 3 TDs.