Clemson Prediction Thread

It’s game day tomorrow and what do you think will happen?  Is there a major upset in the making down in Death Valley or do the two teams play to form and Clemson wins at home?

On second thought that ‘playing to form’ in Pitt’s case is a bit confusing as there is two ways to look at Pitt’s form.  Will we play like we did in the first half of the season when we were 4-2 with a productive offense and a great rushing defense?

Maybe we’ll play more like we have in our last three games where we are 2-1 and lost the last two by a  combined score of 90-64.  As in all sports no one really knows what will happen until it happens… but I think it will be a tough outing for our Panthers.

Here are some head to head match ups between the two teams:


You can see by this chart that where Clemson really shines in on the defensive side of the ball with them giving up only 15.7 ppg. Remember Miami gave up only 18 ppg prior to last week’s match with Pitt.

The oddsmakers have spoken… are still speaking actually, but they have the ‘best’ Pitt spread as Pitt +21 points which leads them to think this will be the final score:


That is a 20.6 deficit and by far the largest ‘underdog’ status we have been all year.

But it isn’t an unreasonable score given the relative strengths and weaknesses of the two teams. Broken record that this is but the match up of Clemson’s Deshaun Watson at QB with his very good passing skills combined with JR WR Mike Williams with his 6’3″ height and his receiving skills (52 catches for 754 yards and five TDs) against our porous pass defense is a train wreck waiting to happen.

Here are Williams’ stats:


That is only the outbound train though.  On the other track we have WR Deon Cain (6’1″) who is very productive in yards per catch as he averages 20.4 ypc along with scoring eight TDs. Here is Cain’s stat line:


Combined those two and they average 16.3 ypc every time they grab a pass. That is rather awesome.

As I wrote earlier the only silver lining I see with the passing situation tomorrow is Watson’s 10 INTs to date.  If we can get two or three INTs and/or fumbles and maybe a Pick-6 out of him then we may have a fighting chance to keep the game closer than Clemson would like going into the 4th quarter.

Here is a quick video of some college football guys talking about the large point spread and if Pitt will beat it or not.  I have no idea how much credibility to put on them but they make some interesting points:

The truth hurts sometimes and is spoken at the 0:57 mark of this video when discussing Pitt’s play so far this season.  “Something is wrong with the coaching, poor clock management and mental errors…”  Well, that isn’t too far off base, is it? 

But he goes on to later say “Pat Narduzzi has no hold on that team” of which I disagree strongly.

Narduzzi’s game day coaching is suspect, his relationship with his players is not… at least in my opinion. These kids love playing for him.  But if we are honest in our views about the Pitt football program and what we have seen from the team so far this season we have to accept that it really did look like both the staff and the players threw up their hands in surrender late in the last game we played.

The second bit of the video has another guy talking about how close the scores have been in Pitt’s previous three losses (before Miami) and he seems to think Pitt can beat the spread (21 points to Pitt) when the game is over.

I don’t doubt that could happen either – I don’t see two blowout losses in a row for Pitt.  If that is to happen then there is something really wrong with our team and the staff.  Losing two in a row? Yes, it sure can happen, especially when you are playing the #2 team in the nation and one that is perhaps the most well-balanced in both offense and defense.

But getting smeared  by a huge margin in two consecutive weeks?  I am hesitant to believe that will take place… but that might be my heart speaking here instead of my head.

Then again losing this game by 17 or fewer points will be considered a good day of sorts at the Pitt football office . Strange that is Obi Wan.

OK then – here is my prediction. 

I feel that we will rebound in part from the Miami ass-kicking and play better than people are thinking we will.  That is how I think we’ll play… Clemson might have an entirely different idea about that.  I don’t think Pitt will benefit by any ‘overlooking’ of our team by Clemson’s players and staff – not this late in the season.

Clemson has an absolute legitimate chance to be in the championship playoffs and so they are going to be ready for us down there in Death Valley.  They have been in this tense position as early as last season and they know what it takes to stay focused.

We’ll play hard but we will need all cylinders purring to get points on the board.  If we can avoid allowing those quick-strike points teams have been putting up against us in the beginning of the games then I think we’ll be within spitting distance of winning after the 45:00 mark and going into the home stretch.

But if Watson tosses a couple of early TD passer as Miami’s Kaaya did…


…then it will be a long and hard uphill climb.  All in all it comes down to what has been the decider all season – our passing defense’s play and because of that I can’t see us winning this game.  So…

Clemson – 48   Pitt – 31


Here is the transcript of Pat Narduzzi’s Q&A in the latest ACC teleconference.  Here are all the ACC’s links for that call-in conference.

My History of the U.S. Coast Guard lecture went well last night.  My daughter said she recorded it and if it is worth watching I’ll post it later on…


95 thoughts on “Clemson Prediction Thread

  1. Don’t think the ACC would let Clemscum lose out on the 4 team playoff at this point. Too much money involved. Therefore Clemscum 58 Pitt 21

    Hope I’m wrong and we pull a 13-9


  2. I have picked Pitt all year just to be loyal often with heart over head, But I will be certifiably insane if I pick Pitt here, though I will root and drink like a mad man. Hope those of you going there, enjoy.
    Clemscum 62 Pitt 14. Per Wanny ‘we need to get faster’


  3. If I was not such a homer and didn’t live in a gold and blue bubble I would predict the score as :
    Clemson 53
    PITT 21

    but I am a bleeding heart homer and live without reality. If I were to pick against PITT, in my head, that would take any chance away for an…..

    PITT 37
    Clemson 35


  4. An easy pick IMO, Clemson 48 Pitt 18. Pitt is sliding down hill and Clemson is gearing up for the college playoffs.


  5. I’m really interested in seeing what this team does tomorrow. During the reigns of a couple Pre-Narduzzi coaches, we would find a way to every once in awhile lose to a team we should never lose to, and then every once in awhile have a great game against a team that on paper should outclass us. The sample size is small, but so far with Narduzzi we have avoided laying eggs, but we haven’t had that impressive performance against a top team. We’ll see if tomorrow can be the one.

    I never liked making predictions …. I can’t say I’d be surprised with just about any result (with exception of us winning by more than 7. That would be a complete stunner). I’ll guess Clemson 41, Pitt 31.


  6. To repeat what I mentioned late on the previous post: I’ve heard Duzz has a secret game plan for tomorrow. Remember the infamous “Deflategate”, when the Patriots took the air out of the ball for their advantage? Well, Duzz is going to enact “Heliumgate”. What is Heliumgate??? The Duzz is going to inflate the balls with helium for tomorrow. Hence, every time the Clemson QB throws the “Pitt Killing” fade pattern, jump ball tosses to his receivers, the ball will never come down but will just float away!!!! Its a brilliant strategy and that’s how Duzz believes WE WIN THE GAME! :>)
    However, even with Heliumgate, I fear we will play very well but fall to the Clemscum:
    PITT: 37
    Clemson: 51


  7. Hate to say it but if Pitt covers the spread I will be pleased with their effort. I just don’t see Clemson being stopped on defense and think Pitt will have to have a few lucky bounces to even score a few points. I don’t even want to watch but I will because I like to torture myself. Clemson 56 Pitt 17…only way Clemson scores under 50 is if they have a meh attitude towards the game or their players have massive hangovers from the night before..even that might not be enough. At this point I am more concerned how Pitt closes out their seasons with 2 winnable games at home.


  8. John @1:38,
    Yeah, maybe if the Panthers pull the improbable upset tomorrow the Clemscum supporters will take to the streets rioting, breaking windows and store fronts, and harming innocent people just trying to drive by.

    Keep the politics out…


  9. If Pitt

    doesn’t turn the ball over
    forces 2 or 3 turnovers
    rushes for >225 yds
    is injury free
    is not penalized more than twice, and
    remains focused

    then they cover, and lose by only 16


  10. Utah had 22 tackle for losses including 11 sacks vs Fraud Graham’s offense last night. And no, that wasn’t Tino in disguise at QB unless he got one hell of a tan


  11. Seems to me that not too long ago (in a galaxy far, far away?) We played a game with the #2 team in the world, a team that also was focused in on the NC game. And, as best I recall, we sucked at the time, and there was no way we could stay on the field with them, and that their really fast QB would run/pass (pic your poison) all over us, and we would get slammed, and that couches would burn – this time in celebration. (Is that a run-on sentence?)

    I referred Monday to the fact that a perfect storm was forming, and that I would elucidate later in the week.

    Well, the stars are in alignment, and I’m am so moved – let the elucidation begin:

    University of Pittsburgh – 13
    Clem’s Son: 9
    In what could only be described as purely coincidencidental, this, also, is an e-i, e-i, o school! Or, as they say in South Carolina: “When football season comes, the red necks turn to Orange!”


    And – doncha know – the couches will burn again!!


  12. In other words. PITT fans are not likely to be disappointed too bad tomorrow no matter what happens. Expect the worse and be ready for it to materialize before our very eyes.

    Of course I think PITT wins. So plan accordingly men.


  13. yep Savannah…….Clemscum is the WVCC of the ACC for sure. If you can’t get into UNC, State or USC, there’s always Clemscum.


  14. I am going to the game and fully expect Pitt to lose by greater than 21 points.

    If by some miracle we win, we will be voted out of the ACC by Monday with a quickly called meeting of the ACC Chancellors/Presidents. I really don’t want to have Pitt to join the Big Twelve!


  15. Wouldn’t it be something if James Conner had an unbelievable 200+ rushing yard game tomorrow in front of a large national audience in an unexpected, ACC defying Victory. (The ACC refs will want their high ranked southern team to win).


  16. 4ever – we may really need a 200+ game from Conner because that would mean we would be keeping Clemson’s offense off the field – which may be the only shot we reasonably have to win tomorrow.

    I really want to see Ollison in the backfield – pisses me off that he has been wasted all season. Here is something to think about. No other pre-Narduzzi RBs have carried the ball this year but Conner, Ollison and Aston.

    But six WRs, a safety, the QB and an OL have a combined 111 carries.

    Rachid Ibrahim has not touched the ball as a RB or WR – yet he has a 6.7 ypc average in 60 carries… But we have 14 carries to Ffrench, Lopes and Ford for an average of 4.1 ypc.

    Ibrahim also had 20 catches for 160 yards.. but he has been shunned along with Ollison and expect both of them to transfer after this season is through.

    Ollison had 1121 yards on 211 carries for a 5.3 ypc and 11 TDs last season and now he has 23 all season this year.

    I have no doubt that if it were just Ollison and Conner splitting reps we might have had two 1000 yard rushers on this season.


  17. Welp, I will pick our guys. Here is why. Clempson although an ACC power, plays a very big10 style. This fits our defensive game plan…..unless of course the Clempson OC watches film. My hope is that they play their game which goes right to our strengths. Wirgenius needs to stalk their QB. We know Watson has a wounded wing. We need to pressure him with blitzes early and hit him!!

    I think Boulware crunches Peterman and we see a backup. Sorry, I don’t like to predict those types of things but Boulware plays on the edge between cheap and dirty. I think he gets ejected in the second half.

    13-9 is the first quarter score. Times it by three and you have the final score. 39-27.


  18. Staying at Wingate Greenville and have run into multiple Pitt fans…good karma. Carpet in our room is blue and gold. Good guys win 35-31.


  19. WOW Savanah 13 -9
    That game was played in a different universe where the team didn’t have all it’s best defensive players out injured and there were not good ol boys with a vested interested preventing that very scenario. I like your thought process but I just don’t imagine it happening…

    Pitt drops a close one 51 – 18


  20. Again, hope all you that went to the game enjoy. Good mojo lastrow, then again my contractor friend is completing a blue gold Pitt bathroom for me- it was the only room I was allowed to so touch.:)
    As to Ibrahim I like him too but an Achilles has destroyed many a career.
    HAIL TO PITT!!! Burn clock.


  21. First time all year I go against Pitt. We will be within the spread and play better than last week We run the ball. Go for it on fourth down and Clemson shows their beatable by running team who keeps Watson on bench. Clemson42- Pitt28. Maybe a star will be born tomorrow. H2P


  22. I wanted you guys to know Mom passed away this afternoon with my Dad holding her hand and my Brothers around her. My Dad was with her when she took her last breath. She was very peaceful. Thank you for your prayers. Love you guys.


  23. Orange guys 35
    Good guys 3

    I say Nathan has a horrible game, and when he is on target, the pass is dropped….by Jester.
    Bad game all around.


  24. Jay, #18 UConn lost at home to Wagner. #21 Texas is only up by 3 to Incarnate Word. #7 Xavier won by 3 to Lehigh. We are not alone….

    Didn’t like how we looked against the 2-3 zone. It looked like the E. Mich. was the running team and not us.


  25. Just came back from Goobers Bar here in Clemson SC drinking with a bunch of Tiger fans and a few PITT guys who BTW read the PzoV but don’t post.. These Clemson people have a healthy respect for our team and follow football both in the news as well as traveling… they were so pumped to go to The Burgh next year until I tod them Clemson won’t come to town for 7 years… very nice peeps..
    Prediction.. Tigers are more powerful than mountain lions and even the series 1-1
    Clemson 47 Golden Panthers 27


  26. UPitt – sorry for your loss. She’s in a better place!

    Clemson wins 49-20. We have been “out-athleted” all year and this team has by far the best athletes we will see. We got a glimpse last week at what happens when you play bigger, faster and more athletic guys – and this week will be worse. Our kids will try hard and do their best but it won’t matter.

    I will probably spend the game watching individual matchups to see how our supposed “top guys” do and how well they hold their own.


  27. UPitt, sorry to hear about your mom. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I will be sure to throw in a few skunk haired grease ball comments during the game for you.

    Safe travels on your way back…..


  28. Sorry Upitt on your mom’s passing. She and your family will be in our prayers, my friend .
    Regarding the game tomorrow , I’ve been picking Pitt all year, but they need to show me some improvement before I pick them again this year. Clemson rolls 54-28.


  29. Upitt my brother, your mother joins mine in eternity.

    for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.


  30. UPitt- I’m sorry for your loss and my prayers are with you this morning. I lost my mom 8 years ago and it is a tough period to go through. Cherish the good times, cause that is what she’d want, I’m sure.


  31. Pitt with a 41-38 win as C.Blewitt kicks Clem’s son in the tiger and Pitt sneaks out of Death Valley with their “bowl eligible” lives in tact.

    Hamlin and Whitehead make a few plays in the secondary and the others don’t. Brightwell and Wirginis play many more minutes and make many more plays than the starters. Taleni becomes the Hawian Haymaker today with a YUGE game in relief of Jarrett.

    Our Canadian O becomes our best D by sustaining long, clock eating drives all game, including the winning series as time expires.

    A guy can dream, can’t he?

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Peace UPitt, peace to Mom, peace to your family. Celebrate the great times while she smiles over your family.

    Pitt 31
    Clemson 30
    The 17 Pitt fans in attendance go home happy as the rest of Panther nation wish they had recorded it, but are happy to see the replay rather than move on to an uncertain basketball future.


  33. Upitt my deepest sympathies.
    On Upitts behalf = that bald-headed vacuum salesman could barley beat Eastern Michigan – another two bit over-the-hill coach as PItt continues on the cheap. You guys praising him would be burning JD at the stake, and deservedly so. 🙂


  34. U-Pitt: my prayers for your family. You don’t know me but I feel I know many of you from reading the Blather for quite a while.


  35. Great coaches make great teams. And great coaches know how to find talent that fits their schemes. Pitt hasnt had a great coach since the early days of Dixon (a protege of Howland) and since Majors 1 and his protege Jackie. Stallings will never be a great coach. Nard Dog may become a good one but he needs great coordinators.


  36. Where are you folks finding the current 2-deep for Pitt FB?

    Some have mentioned there are 7 positions on D with OR for starters – I’d like to see that for myself.

    Today is HCPN’s chance to redeem himself for the “give up” in the 4th qtr last week.

    I’ve seen bigger upsets in my lifetime. Who comes to play, desire and effort have a lot to do with the outcome. Talent helps…



  37. UPitt – just catching up on last night’s postings. So sorry to hear about your mom. My prayers are with you, your Mom, and your family. I hope that you and your family can salve the grief over the next several days reminiscing about all the wonderful things you did with your mom.

    9-2,8-4 from 6:14 – “I just don’t imagining it happening.” Exactly!! That’s why they call these kinds of games, “Upsets”!! That, plus, think of how ” Upset” all those Orangeheads will be!

    Double OT last night??! So we were in it to the end, and the guys showed they know how to win? What is this, “Football on Hardwood”???


  38. Just hoping we don’t have any serious injuries today.

    Maybe Narduzzi learns what is going to take to compete at the highest levels today.

    He certainly won’t get any favorable calls from the refs today.


  39. Deez Clemson fans ain’t like those Hoopiies treating us real nice so far… Maybe they see us as the mice about to be fed to the Big Cat


  40. Concerning basketball,
    Sure, we should of been able to blow Eastern Morocco out last night. We didn’t and we still won. A W is a W is a W. Lets face it, it’s going to take some time to turn a slow but safe 4 door Chevy family sedan into a 2 door sporty Dodge Challenger. Look, I’m not saying Stallings is going to be a success, it’s way too early to tell, but at least he’s 1-0 and it may take some time to see much progress. I’m not saying 4 years but at least to the end of the first season. Who fires an established coach in one year? No one comes to mind (unless there’s some kind of sex scandal, etc.)


  41. UPitt, you, and your entire family, have my deepest sympathies. Best wishes going forward.

    Game prediction: fade left, fade right, fade left, fade right, fade all day long, with an occasional 40 yard burst up the middle by Watson. Clemson 72, Pitt 17.


  42. about Stallings…. Didn’t Eastern Michigan make the tourney a few years back? Their hoops program is not exactly dog schitt but they haven’t been as good lately. Stallings inherits a senior laden team but a lot tougher schedule than Jamie ever scheduled came with it as well. Which is good. Maybe the PITT team will be a little better prepared for conference play? We can’t complain about the PITT football giving up last week if we are so quick to give up as well. I’m figuring a lot out about some of you.. 🙂


  43. Reed, can’t wait to read your blogs. You are the best! I live in Harrisburg and all our local sports is about how good Pedo state is. They all seem to forget we beat them….
    By the way, on this veterans weekend, thank you for your service.

    Well, I think this game is a no brainer. Based on past games, we have some trouble with mobile quarterbacks and tall receivers. Clemsum has both. Your stats above are quite telling. I see nothing that suggests our D is improving. Look for C to put up some disgusting passing yards and also break a few long runs.
    Final score 55-21 as we only score late in the game…
    I tend to agree that some of our guys may have checked out..hope not but it sure did look that way.


  44. I think some are underestimating the academic standing of Clemson. According to my SC relatives who are grads of USC,it is probably a better school than it is, and would also rank above NC State. Not a UNC, Duke or Pitt, but not so bad.
    Meanwhile I think it will be 50-13. Long day for our db’s, and linebackers. Speed Kills


  45. Clemson comes in ahead of Pitt in many of the rankings. Its not a bad academic school. Its actually very good. Now FSU and NC State are still back there. Pitt has regressed on the academic side. Makes me wonder why so many people supported Nerd Ball. He didnt give two shits about sports and only cared about creating a medical empire.


  46. Eastern Michigan is favored to win the Mac this year so that is not a team we should expect to blow out. Glad we won. I am excited for this game and am hopeful for a game where we get all the breaks.

    WV High and Dairy College will most likely win against poor competition again. We need to schedule a tad bit easier. Would rather have wins……just sayin!


  47. I put zero belief in academic rankings. Seen them manipulated for years. It’s too easy. You all can believe what you read. They are there to sell subscriptions and to give Boards opportunities to non-renew contracts of Presidents and Chancellors.


  48. Well then Clemson has really paid to manipulate those rankings because 30 years ago they were shit and now they are ahead of Pitt. Rankings sway kids. Its a recruiting tool. Again, sports and academics are a business and its an arms race. I cant believe our ex Chancellor and former lawyer and our current Chancellor and former bureaucrat doesnt understand this.


  49. 21 point underdogs don’t beat the #3 team in the country.

    Don’t say what about 13-9, that was a rivalry game where anything can happen.

    Best thing to hope for is that none of our guys gets hurt to badly.

    National TV game. Ugh


  50. It’s going to take a good 3 years for Stallings to get going here as he recruits guys to fit his system. He’s playing Jamie’s slog-ball recruits now and it may take 3 months of playing this year to work that out of their systems.

    Of course if he can’t recruit….


  51. Meanwhile, MSU is taking their 2-7 frustrations out on Buttgers….the worse Power 5 school in the nation. Except for maybe Kansas…..but at least they have BB.


  52. Is Robert Foster injured? Just looked at the Alabama game and they have 20 completions at halftime to seven different receivers. Foster is not listed as catching a pass. Maybe he graduates and transfers to Pitt. He would be an immediate upgrade for next year. Would have a chance to show our guys how a national champion prepares in the offseason. He still should run a 4.4 or less. Bad shoulder.

    TX – you don’t need to pay to manipulate


  53. ESPN needs to create another Bowl Game, involving the 2 worst teams annually,

    Buttgers & Kansas could be in the inaugural game. You could add a ‘laugh track’ to the game for an added bonus. Still working on a name, Toilet Bowl is kinda too obvious.


  54. ~ Jack… in negotiations currently with Bemis and Eljer to be the Sponsor of the Toilet Bowl.

    The key will be how large the 50 yard line Toilet Logo will be.


  55. Can’t do it. Can’t pick against my Panthers. Pitt plays up to the competition and beats the spread. Pitt scores 38, about it’s season average, and is +2 on turnovers. Clemson will not get shut out. Clemson slips from #2 next week.


  56. PS Is it time to start a “I’d rather be a Pitt fan than a _______ fan, now” thread? MSU and ND come to mind….


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