Has Clemson Fixed the Offense for Their NCAAF Week 1 Matchup Against Georgia Tech? 

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Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei #5 of the Clemson Tigers throws the ball against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images/AFP.

Week 1 of the 2022 college football season comes to a close on the Monday Labor Day holiday in the United States as No. 4 Clemson takes on Georgia Tech in ACC action and the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 

Monday, September 5, 2022 – 08:00 PM EDT at Mercedes-Benz Stadium

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech: What You Should Know

This is my second Week 1 college football game being previewed from Atlanta as I also looked at Saturday’s matchup between No. 11 Oregon and No. 3 Georgia.

The Dawgs are going to have a massive fan advantage for that one. You can’t say the same for Georgia Tech even though it’s located in Atlanta because it simply doesn’t have a big fan base overall. There will be a lot more Clemson fans in attendance in the only NCAA game scheduled for a Monday this regular season. It’s the Labor Day holiday in the USA

Clemson and Georgia Tech are located in opposite divisions in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but the ACC will do away with divisions (like pretty much every league) starting in 2023.

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Last Time They Met...

They did play in Week 3 last season at Clemson and the Tigers won a defensive battle 14-8, not coming close to covering a 27.5-point spread. The total was 52.5.  

There was a long lightning delay late in the first half, but that obviously won’t be a problem on Monday. Running back Will Shipley scored both Clemson TDs. The Jackets recovered an onside kick with 1:19 to play in the game and the Tigers ahead by eight, but Clemson’s defense stopped on Tech's fourth-and-goal at the Tigers’ 2-yard line. Then there was a safety with 7 seconds to go.  

Georgia Tech leads the all-time series 51-34-2. Clemson is 5-1-1 ATS on the NCAAF odds in the past seven. 

Clemson Tigers Analysis: New Coaching Staff For Dabo 

The Offense

Are Clemson’s days of being on Alabama’s level over under Dabo Swinney? Most schools would be thrilled with a 10-win season as the Tigers had in 2021, but they had won six straight ACC title games and reached the College Football Playoff in all six years, but finished tied for second in the ACC Coastal last year behind surprise champion Wake Forest. 

Clemson’s defense remained among the nation’s best in 2021, but the offense took a massive step back as QB DJ Uiagalelei, among the preseason Heisman favorites, completed only 55.6% of his passes with 9 TDs, 10 picks, and 21 sacks taken. 

Uiagalelei is back as the Week 1 starter, but long-time offensive coordinator Tony Elliott is now the head coach at Virginia. Tailback Will Shipley rushed for 739 yards and 11 scores and he returns. 

The Defense

The defense should be awesome again despite losing long-time coordinator Brent Venables, now the head coach at Oklahoma. Tackle Bryan Bresee, end Miles Murphy, and linebacker Trenton Simpson are all projected as 2023 NFL first-round picks.  

In addition to winning at least 10 games in each of the last 11 seasons, Clemson has also won at least one postseason game (conference championship, bowl and/or national championship game) in each of those campaigns, tied with the 1985-95 Florida State Seminoles for the longest such streak on record.

Clemson is given an Over/Under of 10.5 wins this season and might be favored in every game. It is a -500 favorite to win the ACC and +1100 to win the national title, according to the NCAAF futures odds.  

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets: Collins On Mega-Hot Seat 

BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review) has odds on the first head coach fired at each Power 5 conference and Georgia Tech’s Geoff Collins is the +150 favorite in the ACC, just ahead of Syracuse’s Dino Babers (+200). 

Collins is an ugly 9-25 at Tech and last year’s team lost its final two games – granted to excellent Notre Dame and Georgia – by a combined score of 100-0. It probably will take a bowl berth for Collins to save his gig, and I just don’t see that. 

The Offense

The team’s best offensive player last year was running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who led the team in rushing (746 yards) and was second in receiving (470 yards) but transferred to Alabama. The Jackets did add transfers Hassan Hall from Louisville (7.2 ypc on 38 attempts) and Dylan McDuffie from Buffalo (1,049 rushing yards and 11 TDs).  

Quarterback Jeff Sims returns but he was quite inconsistent. Sims was on the field for the equivalent of just six games due to injuries, but Tech averaged 29.7 points and 431.2 yards per game with him under center, as opposed to 16.7 points and 302.8 yards per contest with him off the field. 

He will become the first Tech QB caller to start three straight season openers since Justin Thomas from 2014-16. 

New Coaching Staff

Tech has a new offensive coordinator in Chip Long, who had five previous of experience as an offensive coordinator, including at Memphis (2016) and Notre Dame (2017-19). Former Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke is the new QBs coach

In a bit of a surprise, defensive coordinator Andrew Thacker kept his job after Tech allowed 33.5 points and 455.2 yards per game in 2021. That unit that lost eight of its top 11 tacklers either to graduation or transfer.  

Georgia Tech has a 12-game losing streak against Top-10 opponents and hasn’t beaten a Top 5 team since a 28-23 win over No. 4 Virginia Tech on Oct. 17, 2009. The Jackets are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven neutral-site games.

Clemson vs. Georgia Tech: Betting Pick for NCAAF Week 1

I think oddsmakers got this number about right on as simulations I have run have Clemson winning by around 21 points, so we’ll have to take 22 – although it might be a late backdoor cover for the Jackets.  

Clemson is 0-7 ATS in its past seven September games and could start a bit slowly with the new coordinators.  

NCAAF Pick: Georgia Tech +22 (-105) at BetOnline 

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Georgia Tech +22 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.