Clemson vs. Pitt prediction and game preview. Projecting who wins between the Tigers and Panthers on Saturday in Clemson, SC.
Clemson vs. Pitt Game Preview
When: Saturday, Nov. 12 – 3:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium , Clemson, SC
TV Broadcast: ABC
The Tigers (9-0, 6-0 ACC) had an easy time at home last week against Syracuse, claiming a 54-0 shutout victory despite dealing with an injury to Heisman Trophy-contending quarterback Deshaun Watson. The Tigers signal-caller had two touchdown passes and ran for a third before getting hurt. Both he and head coach Dabo Swinney said the bruised right shoulder would not prevent him from facing Pitt, however, as he sat out the second half on Saturday for precautionary reasons.
Meanwhile, the Panthers (5-4, 2-3) suffered through another poor performance from their secondary, as Miami quarterback Brad Kaaya passed for 356 yards and four touchdowns, ran for another score and snapped a four-game losing streak in a 51-28 win. It was a tough setback for Pat Narduzzi’s squad, as its previous two ACC losses were by a combined four points. The 23-point margin was Pitt’s biggest loss since a 56-28 defeat against Georgia Tech on Oct. 25, 2014.
This will be Pitt’s first-ever trip to Clemson.
What To Know About Clemson
With the win over the Orange last week, the Tigers climbed to 9-0 for a second straight season. This will be the Tigers’ final ACC regular-season home game as they prime themselves for a spot in the College Football Playoff. If Swinney’s team advances to play for the league title, the Coastal division winner will certainly pose some problems. But we have seen, when its backs are against the wall, a Clemson team that shines in the face of adversity. And Watson is the best possible quarterback to have when needing a clutch drive or a clutch score.
What to Know About Pitt
Not only did the Panthers allow Kaaya to pick apart their secondary, but they were unable to generate any pressure on the Miami signal-caller. Pitt entered the game averaging 3.5 sacks per contest but was only able to muster up one sack. It was a surprising performance against a Miami offensive line that gave up 18 sacks during the team’s four-game losing streak. Making matters worse, Pitt has been brutally bit by the injury bug. Defensive end Rori Blair and cornerback Phillipie Motley were unable to play against the Hurricanes, while wide receiver Tre Tipton and defensive tackles Tyrique Jarrett and Shakir Soto went down during the game, with Jarrett seen on crutches at halftime.
Offense: Clemson. The Tigers are averaging 488.4 yards per game, though Pitt’s offense is very good as well. Having Watson gives the Tigers the edge.
Defense: Clemson. This is a no-contest.
Special Teams: Pitt. Against Miami, Quadree Henderson returned a kickoff 100 yards for his fourth touchdown in 10 games.
Coaching: Clemson. Dabo has been bringing his own guts since becoming the Tigers’ head coach.
Intangibles: Clemson. This is a wounded Pitt team, and the Tigers are on a College Football Playoff path.
Matchup To Watch
Henderson vs. Clemson kickoff coverage team
Henderson is a special talent. The Panthers sophomore has become one of the best return men in the Power Five, and he can be a real X-Factor in the team’s quest to upset the Tigers. He is electric and a possible touchdown in the making every time he gets his hands on the football.
Spread: Clemson -17
Over/Under: No Line (as of post)
Clemson vs. Pitt Prediction
The Pitt offense will give the Clemson defense some first-half fits, as quarterback Nate Peterman plays mistake-free football in the opening few quarters. But the Tigers will turn things up a notch defensively in the second half for coordinator Brent Venables, and Watson will pick apart that Panthers secondary as the Tigers pull away.
Clemson vs. Pitt Score Prediction: Clemson 41, Pitt 23