We are right in the middle of when surprises and shocking outcomes happen. That’s what November college football is all about. The obvious is mostly true, but if a team is not playing well despite their record, this is frequently where they get exposed.
That happened to Clemson last week and chances are someone else will fall to the same fate this Saturday.
Louisville Cardinals vs. Clemson Tigers
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 3:30 PM EST at Memorial Stadium (Clemson, SC)
Clemson was manhandled on both sides of the line of scrimmage at Notre Dame. That was the most shocking aspect in being whipped by the Fighting Irish 35-14. The other grim news was starting signal-caller DJ Uiagalelei was non-effective again in the loss and he was briefly replaced by true freshman Cade Klubnik who promptly tossed an interception, and Dabo Swinney immediately went back to Uiagalelei.
What will Swinney do this week, needing four impressive wins and some help to get back in contention for a playoff berth? He will need something because Clemson will face a suddenly hungry team in a Louisville squad that has won and covered four in a row.
Since being what appeared to be unprepared for the season opener at Syracuse, the Cardinals have taken off with close losses to Florida State and Boston College, both of which they surrendered fourth-quarter leads.
This is a different Louisville squad today, completely confident in themselves and quarterback Malik Cunningham is playing the best football of his career.
Cardinals Keep it Close
The main weakness of the Louisville defense is the secondary, which has allowed 240 or more passing yards in five of their nine ball games. Yet, it does not appear Clemson can exploit this with their passing offense, which is pedestrian at best.
The Redbirds have generated 26 turnovers and they are tied for 2nd nationally in sacks with 33, which could be a problem for Clemson.
Playing at home off a bad loss, the Tigers should rebound, nonetheless, they are 1-9 ATS off an upset loss by 10 points or more as a road favorite.
South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Florida Gators
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 4:00 PM EST at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
South Carolina is an improving team that has a 6-3 record, which is better than Florida’s (5-4). Nevertheless, their offense can go ice cold, which isn’t what they need visiting The Swamp.
It still takes some getting used to what you saw and what you see today in QB Spencer Rattler, who is nowhere close to what he was at Oklahoma two years ago. Unfortunately with Rattler, the sample size had grown too large to think he’s the same player. Granted, he has his moments as a rhythm thrower and he had way more offensive talent around him in Norman, yet, with 8 TD passes and 9 interceptions, that says something.
Florida sophomore Anthony Richardson is not the most consistent signal caller either. His one edge over Rattler is his big play ability. Richardson can make chunk plays by running or throwing and when he’s in the right frame of mind, he makes the Gators' offense go.
Senior Day and Bowl Eligibility Drives These Hungry Gators
For the seniors in Florida, this is their last assignment in The Swamp, and no question they want to go out a winner. First-year coach Billy Napier did not recruit these players, but rest assured there is nothing more important to him, as we saw at Louisiana, he’s driven for success and is a true players coach.
Napier wants his outgoing players to savor the moment while he’s looking ahead, and earning a bowl bid means extra practice and start building for next season.
Florida was embarrassed 40-17 at Columbia last season. Off their 41-24 thumping of Texas A&M as a 1.5-point dog, the Gators are 8-0 ATS with conference revenge after an outright upset.
NCAAF Pick: Florida -8 (-110) at Bovada
Maryland Terrapins vs. Penn State Nittany Lions
Saturday, November 12, 2022 – 3:30 PM EST at Beaver Stadium
Penn State has not shown well against the big boys in the Big Ten, Ohio State and Michigan. That has not been the case against the other foes they have faced, where they are 7-0 and 5-2 ATS, and the only spread setbacks came when they were favored by 25 or more points.
Maryland is not the same team without a healthy Taulia Tagovailoa as their quarterback. After being injured against Indiana, the Terps just got by Northwestern 31-24.
Tagovailoa returned last week versus Wisconsin and was clearly not 100% in their 23-10 defeat.
Penn State's Momentum Carries Them vs. Scuffling Maryland
Penn State has its eyes on a Super 6 bowl bid and wants three decisive victories to make its case.
The Terrapins were knocked off-kilter losing at home to Purdue, barely getting by Indiana and Northwestern by a single score as double-digit favorites and last week’s loss at Madison has them on an 0-4 ATS run.
Penn State’s offense will give the Turtles fits and if they slow Maryland’s ground game, they should win going away and improve to 17-4 ATS after scoring 42 points or more in the last outing.