College Football Odds & Prediction for FAU vs Clemson: Target This Week 3 Total

College Football Odds & Prediction for FAU vs Clemson: Target This Week 3 Total article feature image

John Byrum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Clemson linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr.

Florida Atlantic vs Clemson Odds

Saturday, Sept. 16
8 p.m. ET
ACC Network
Florida Atlantic Odds
-110o / -110u
Clemson Odds
-110o / -110u
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NCAAF odds here.

Florida Atlantic makes the short trip north to battle with ACC powerhouse Clemson on Saturday night.

The Owls lost last weekend at home to Ohio, 17-10, and never really got the offense going. Tom Herman has historically been a fantastic coach as an underdog, but this situation may be a bit too difficult in the third game of his tenure in Boca Raton.

Clemson lost its opener against Duke and was getting a scare from Charleston Southern for a quarter last weekend before pulling away.

The Tigers just aren't on the same level as some of the top programs in the country anymore, but that doesn't mean they're out of the ACC title picture. Getting things back on track against Florida Atlantic would be a step in the right direction.

Let's dig into the odds for FAU vs. Clemson and make a betting pick and prediction in this college football betting preview for Saturday, Sept. 16.

Check out our NCAAF Betting Hub for more college football previews, predictions, news and analysis.

Florida Atlantic Owls

Casey Thompson transferred in from Nebraska to be Herman's starting quarterback, and if last week told us anything, he has some work to do.

Thompson and the Owls offense were held to just 185 yards, 3.2 yards per play and a total of five rushing yards.

To be fair, the Owls ran only 58 plays on offense and threw the ball on 43 of them. If that holds up going forward, I think it's going to be a net negative for their offense.

In Mark Whipple's offense at Nebraska, Thompson was pretty decent, putting up a PFF passing grade of 79.2 while averaging 8.7 yards per attempt. The problem was he committed 16 turnover-worthy plays.

However, Thompson is an elite deep-ball passer. Last season on throws over 20 yards, he had a 91.6 PFF passing grade with 21 big-time throws. But on any throw shorter than 20 yards, he grades out as just an average quarterback.

The reason why Florida Atlantic should run the ball more is because starting running back Larry McCammon III was a first-team All-Conference USA performer last season after rushing for over 1,000 yards and averaging 5.2 yards per carry.

The Owls brought back 113 starts across their offensive line and were top-30 in Offensive Line Yards, so passing the ball on nearly 75% of offensive plays is a bit nuts to me.

Florida Atlantic was pretty stout defensively in that game against Ohio, holding the Bobcats to 17 points and 4.8 yards per play while forcing three turnovers.

Ten starters return from a defense that ranked top-50 in EPA/Play Allowed, Finishing Drives Allowed and Success Rate Allowed, so I don't think Clemson is going to just run right over them.

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Clemson Tigers

Clemson honestly wasn't as bad as the final score against Duke suggests.

The Tigers ran 19 more plays than the Blue Devils and gained over 400 yards. They crossed Duke's 40-yard line six times and came away with only seven points.

Image via CollegeFootballData.

Cade Klubnik was really ineffective as a passer in that game, as he averaged only 4.9 yards per attempt, recorded two turnover-worthy plays and put up a PFF passing grade of 67.8.

He was obviously a very highly-touted prospect coming out of high school, but in the two games he has started against FBS competition — Tennessee in the Orange Bowl last year and Duke in Week 1 — he really hasn't been effective.

That means Clemson will have to rely more on its run game with veteran Will Shipley, who scored 15 touchdowns and averaged 5.6 yards per carry in 2022. He ran for over 100 yards in the opener against Duke and has Clemson ranked seventh in Rushing Success Rate.

The Tigers brought back four starters on their offensive line and are creating gaping holes for Shipley to run through as they lead the nation in Offensive Line Yards.

The Clemson defense did lose a lot of talent up front, but as is typical with a Dabo Swinney team, it has so much talent and depth across the defensive line that there really shouldn't be a big drop-off.

The Tigers allowed Duke to average 6.7 yards per attempt in the opener, but a lot of that was from one long run by Riley Leonard.

Clemson is stacked in the secondary again after ranking 10th in EPA/Pass Allowed in 2022. It held Leonard to just 175 yards and 5.3 yards per attempt in the opener, so it should be able to shut Thompson down.

Florida Atlantic vs Clemson

Matchup Analysis

Toggle the dropdowns below to hide or show how Florida Atlantic and Clemson match up statistically:

Florida Atlantic Offense vs. Clemson Defense
Rush Success6025
Line Yards2362
Pass Success1034
Finishing Drives5774
Quality Drives12155
Clemson Offense vs. Florida Atlantic Defense
Rush Success734
Line Yards192
Pass Success1673
Finishing Drives101123
Quality Drives3933
Pace of Play / Other
PFF Tackling1148
PFF Coverage3549
Special Teams SP+2885
Middle 812498
Seconds per Play24.1 (22)24.3 (28)
Rush Rate40.2% (49)48.2% (90)

Florida Atlantic vs Clemson

Betting Pick & Prediction

Even though these two offenses are playing at an above-average pace, the ineptitude of the Florida Atlantic offense with an extremely turnover-prone quarterback is concerning going up against a top-tier defense.

FAU passing the ball close to 75% of the time is really concerning because the Owls' biggest strengths are at running back and offensive line. If they try to do that against Clemson, I don't see how they score over 20 points.

Klubnik has not been effective as a passer through two starts, which means Clemson is going to have to rely on its rushing attack more, which will keep the clock moving.

I only have 46.3 points projected for this game, so I like the value on under 51.5 points or better.

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