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Free Pick: Clemson (4-2) at Pittsburgh (5-1) 10/23/21
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Free Pick: Clemson (4-2) at Pittsburgh (5-1) 10/23/21

This is a matchup that usually would find Clemson being favored by double digits against the Panthers. But, not his year. Pittsburgh is favored in this one and can become one of the ACC favorites to win the conference if they can knock off the Tigers. On the other hand, if Clemson wins they will remain in the hunt to defend the title that they have owned in recent years. This is a game between the champs and the new-kid-on-the-block. Let’s look at some matchups.

QUARTERBACKS: D.J. Uiagalelei has completed 97 passes out of 174 attempts for 974 yards but has only 4 touchdown passes for Clemson. The Panthers counter with Kenny Pickett who is 143 out of 205 for 1934 yards for 21 touchdowns and only 1 interception. He is probably the most underrated player in college football. Advantage: Pittsburgh

RUNNING BACKS: Clemson has Kobe Pace and Will Shipley who have 96 carries for 505 yards and 8 touchdowns. Israel Abanikandra has rushed 69 times for 357 yards and 4 touchdowns. Pickett can also hurt you with his feet as he has rushed for 243 yards and accounted for 3 touchdowns. Advantage: Pittsburgh

Receivers: Joseph Ngata is a big-play threat and has 18 catches for 352 yards, while, Justyn Ross is a good compliment, with 28 receptions for 282 yards and three touchdowns for the Tigers. Pittsburgh will counter with Jordan Addison who is a big-time receiver with 34 catches for 586 yards and 9 touchdowns. Advantage: Pittsburgh

DEFENSE: The Clemson defense has been good as usual. They have been put in difficult positions because the offense has been so anemic. They are the reason the Tigers have a winning record and they will be the best defense the Panthers have played. The Pittsburgh defense has been stingy against the rush and their past defense stats are very good also. However, their strength of schedule leaves something to be desired. Advantage: Clemson

This is a huge game for both teams. Clemson has been begging to get beat because of their lack of offensive output. In the five games they have played against Division-1 teams they are only averaging 16 points per game. Meanwhile, Pittsburgh is averaging over 40 points per game and will go up against a Clemson defense yielding only 15 points per game. So, can the Clemson defense slow down the Pittsburgh offense enough, to win a low-scoring game because their offense can’t score enough points? And, can a Pittsburgh team step up and take down the champion Tigers? Pittsburgh is a 3-point favorite.

PAPA DUDES PICK: Pittsburgh -3

AARON’S PICK: Over/Under Under 48

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