Clemson Ready for First Step en Route to Winning Another ACC Title
Clemson’s six-year run as ACC champions came to an end as the Tigers failed to reach the conference title game.
After five straight years of being a part of the College Football Playoffs, the Tigers didn’t get an invitation in 2021 after failing to repeat as Atlantic Coast Conference champions. What are the latest Clemson vs Georgia Tech odds?
This is the third time in the last four years that Clemson opens the season against a conference foe with the Tigers winning the previous two games. Four of the last five Georgia Tech season openers against Football Bowl Subdivision competition ended up as one-score games. The Clemson vs Georgia Tech odds aren’t projecting a one-score affair in this one even if last year’s matchup was decided by six points.
The 2021 season ended with Georgia Tech being outscored 100-0 against top 10 teams Notre Dame and Georgia. It doesn’t get much easier as the 2022 season gets underway.
Clemson (-140) is favored to win the conference title according to the ACC championship odds while Georgia Tech (+15000) is 12th.
The college football betting odds have Clemson behind only Alabama, Ohio State, and defending national champion Georgia in the odds to win the national title.
Clemson vs Georgia Tech Game Information
- Game: Clemson Tigers (10-3, 6-2 in the ACC in 2021) vs Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-9, 2-6 in the Big Ten in 2021)
- Location: Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta
- Television: ABC
Despite losing the top two tacklers (James Skalski and Baylon Spector), Clemson could have one of the best defenses in the country.
Defensive linemen Myles Murphy and Bryan Bresee are projected to be first-round draft picks. Bresee missed nine games a season ago while defensive tackle Tyler Davis missed four games and Clemson still led the ACC in total defense. Clemson only allowed 64 points in its three losses a season ago.
Trenton Simpson (64 tackles) is the top returning tackler, and safety Andrew Mukuba (48 tackles, seven pass breakups) is another key returnee.
The key to the offense could be the play of quarterback DJ Ulagalelei. One of the top-rated quarterbacks nationally in his recruiting class, Ulagalelei had more interceptions than touchdowns and completed only 55.6% of his passes.
The top four rushers are back including Will Shipley (739 yards, 11 touchdowns) and Kobe Pace (641 yards, 6.2 yards per carrying).
Joseph Ngata, Beaux Collins, and Dacari Collins are back after combining 70 catches and 1,066 yards as freshmen. Tight end Davis Allen (28 catches as a junior) as well as running backs Pace and Shipley, who combined for 28 receptions in 2021, are other options in the passing game.
Starters Jordan McFadden, Will Putnam, Walter Parks, and Mason Trotter all return on the offensive line so perhaps the Tigers can show improvement after finishing last in the ACC in total offense in 2021.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Jeff Sims completed 60.1% of his passes with 12 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a freshman as he saw significant time in six of the 12 games. His return alone is not enough for the Clemson vs Georgia Tech odds to favor the Yellow Jackets.
Malachi Carter is back after tying for the team lead with 37 catches and posting a team-best 489 yards in 2021. Kalani Norris is another receiver to keep an eye on.
Georgia Tech’s top rusher Jahmyr Gibbs transferred to Alabama and he is among the top Heisman Trophy candidate among running backs. Dontae Smith led the team with 5.6 yards per carrying so perhaps he will see a bigger role in 2022.
Jordan Williams is the only returning starter on the offensive line and that is not good news as Georgia Tech could be facing the best defensive line in the country. Georgia Tech was tied for sixth in the ACC in tackles for loss allowed and tied for eighth in sacks allowed so it will be worth monitoring how the rebuilt offensive line holds up against Clemson’s defensive line loaded with NFL prospects.
Linebackers Ayinde Eley and Charlie Thomas return to lead the defense. However, there are plenty of holes to fill on a unit that allowed the second most passing yards in the ACC a season ago. Georgia Tech allowed the second-highest number of plays from scrimmage of at least 50 yards so cutting down on the explosive plays allowed is one of the points of emphasis moving forward.
Clemson vs Georgia Tech Injury Update
For Clemson, WR Beaux Collins (shoulder), WR Adam Randall (knee), and DT Tre Williams (leg) are questionable. DE Xavier Thomas (foot) is expected to be out until at least late September after undergoing foot surgery. WR Troy Stellato (knee) is out for the season.
Clemson vs Georgia Tech Head to Head
Clemson has won the last seven games against Georgia Tech and is 5-1-1 against the spread in those contests. When the teams met in 2021, Clemson won 14-8 as a 27.5-point favorite. In the previous three games, Clemson averaged 58 points per contest. The last Georgia Tech win came in 2014 by a 28-6 score with the host Yellow Jackets a two-point underdog.
Clemson vs Georgia Tech Betting Preview
The last time Clemson opened the season against Georgia Tech, the result was a 52-14 win by the Tigers. The Yellow Jackets hope to put up more of a fight than they did in the 2019 opener.
Clemson has won 17 of its last 20 games against ACC teams. The Tigers failed to cover in each of the last four conference games when favored by at least 10 points.
Georgia Tech has covered the last two ACC games when listed as an underdog by at least 2029 points. The Yellow Jackets have covered just one of their last six conference games. The 22-point spread could make it hard for Georgia Tech to break that trend.Follow us on Twitter