College Football Picks, Predictions, and Previews: The Way It Oughtta Be

Pittsburgh vs. Clemson 11/28/2020 College Football Picks, Prediction, and Preview

The Pittsburgh visits Clemson on 11/28/2020 at 3:30PM.

Pittsburgh and Clemson face off in an important game for both teams as every game in this shortened season with limited or no fans in attendance means more. Pittsburgh has a record of 5-4 this season. Clemson is 7-1 this season. Both have players to meet and know.

Pittsburgh Team Defense Preview

Pittsburgh has had 106 defensive drives in non-garbage time minutes and they yield 4.93 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Pittsburgh is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 55.26% of their opponents’ play calls.They are a team that faces a lot of Air Raid Offenses.

Pittsburgh opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.08 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to give up big rushing plays.

Pittsburgh has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Pittsburgh should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Pittsburgh is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Pittsburgh Team Offense Preview

Pittsburgh has had 104 drives in non-garbage time minutes and they average 5.62 plays per drive. Pittsburgh runs a lot of plays per drive and this could wear an opposing defense down. Pittsburgh is an average offense when it comes to staying ahead of the chains, getting into 3rd and Short scenarios, and converting on 3rd and 4th Down. Pittsburgh passes the football 55.99% of the time.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

Pittsburgh struggles with running the ball, getting zero or negative yard plays is disspiriting and the offensive line is not effectively making a good push. Poor playcalling, pre-snap adjustments or post-snap reads may be responsible and this could fall on the Quarterback, Offensive Coordinator, and Head Coach. How effective is the offensive line given what we know about their ability to prevent negative yards on rushing plays? More than you think, thanks to the Adjusted Line Yards metric. Pittsburgh can take credit for 2.16 yards per carry. So what does this mean? It means that the offensive line has been incredibly disappointing in their contribution to the ground game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. The breakout rushing plays are simply not happening, it is a massive reach to expect this team to bust out big rushing plays.

Defenses have been able to impose their will on the Pittsburgh Offense this season. Front sevens of opposing defenses are causing a lot of problems. Pittsburgh has shown themselves to be a better running team than passing team this season.

Clemson Team Defense Preview

Clemson has had 80 total defensive drives this season and they yield 4.66 plays per drive. Relatively speaking, Clemson is not a team that allows many plays per drive. This defense either gives up big plays quickly or induces a lot of three-and-outs, we shall find out more. Opponents face third and long situations a lot against this defense. This is a defense that forces opponents to commit penalties, have compromised offensive line play, and fail to convert on crunch possessions. Passing plays make up 53.08% of their opponents’ play calls.Clemson tends to face teams that prefer to air it out or opponents want to air it out against them.

Clemson opponents have struggled with running the ball and this defense has crushed the spirits of their opponents with zero or negative yard plays. 4th and Short is not a cake walk against this defense, maybe passing on 4th and Short or having some sort of RPO is the way to go here because if an Offensive Coordinator thinks that they can just line and run a Quarterback Sneak or hand it off to a tailback, they are mistaken. Opponent rushing yards attributed to their offensive line this season comes out to 2.26 yards per carry. Opponent offensive lines have been simply unable to support their running games against this defense. When it comes to getting to that second level, running backs are getting stopped. This defense does not allow themselves to be gashed. Opponents have shown a relatively average level of explosiveness in the running game, maybe there will be a breakout rushing play against them.

Clemson has made the turnover belt, chain, pads, lunch pail or whatever gimmick they use change hands a lot. This is a Defense that causes pure aggravation. Clemson should have a sign ready for opponents near the Visitor Locker Room that says “Welcome to Hell”, this front seven is deep and they cause a lot of problems. Clemson is better at stopping the run than the pass this season.

Clemson Team Offense Preview

Clemson has had 87 total drives this season and they generate 5.55 plays per drive. There is not much to take away here when it comes to how many plays per drive they run, but they are a team that falls in the average window when it comes to plays per drive. Any defense is in for a challenge with Clemson, given their ability to accrue more than 5 yards on 1st Downs and their ability to convert on 3rd and 4th Downs. They put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses.Passing plays make up 57.35% of their play calls.This is an Air Raid Offense team, they are going to pass the ball a lot and running plays are only used to keep opponents honest.

On first downs, getting ahead of the chains is crucial and running the ball well on first down can get a team there, Clemson has done a good job avoiding the negative yardage rushing plays. Based on the Adjusted Line Yards metric, which measures the amount of credit that should be ascribed to the offensive line for a rushing play, they average 2.82 yards per carry. Generally speaking, this is an average offensive line as far as their ability to set up the running game. This is also a team that is getting to the second-level in an average fashion. Offensive line and running backs are average in this regard. They are capable of busting out a long run, which is really good when the team has the ball in their own territory.

Defenses have had trouble making big, disruptive plays against Clemson this season. There has been a relatively good job done by this Offensive Line to prevent opposing front sevens from causing problems consistently. Clemson is a better passing team than running team this season.

The Pittsburgh Roster

The Players to Watch for Pittsburgh

Kenny Pickett QB 6-2 220

This season, Kenny Pickett has put up 2003 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has thrown 4 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 137.9thus far this season. Kenny Pickett has thrown 4 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Kenny Pickett has 140.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 85.08 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 56.0 times this season, which puts him in the 87.7 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 7.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Vincent Davis RB 5-8 175

This season, Vincent Davis has 373 rushing yards on 113 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 5 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Vincent Davis picked up 145 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 22 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 0 receiving touchdowns this season.

Jordan Addison WR 6-0 170

This season, Jordan Addison picked up 611 yards. He caught the ball 52 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 3 receiving touchdowns this season.

Patrick Jones II DL 6-5 260

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Pittsburgh, Patrick Jones II has 32 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 10 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 98.89 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 8 times this season, which put him in the 99.84 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Damar Hamlin DB 6-1 195.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Pittsburgh, Damar Hamlin had 56 tackles which puts him in the 98.39 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 4 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 97.67 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Damar Hamlin as a ball hawker was able to pick off 2 passes last season, which puts him in the 95.39 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

The Clemson Roster

The Players to Watch for Clemson

Trevor Lawrence QB 6-6 220

This season, Trevor Lawrence has put up 1833 yards and 17 touchdowns. He has thrown 2 interceptions. He has a QB Rating of 178.6thus far this season. Trevor Lawrence has thrown 2 interceptions this season.As a rusher, Trevor Lawrence has 71.0 rushing yards, which puts him in the 71.48 percentile among Quarterbacks. He ran the ball as opposed to throwing the ball 29.0 times this season, which puts him in the 71.48 percentile. Has he hit paydirt as a runner? He has 4.0 rushing touchdowns this season.

Travis Etienne RB 5-10 210

This season, Travis Etienne has 634 rushing yards on 121 carries. Was he able to get to the end zone on the ground? He has 10 rushing touchdowns.As a receiver in the backfield, Travis Etienne picked up 491 yards. He caught the ball as opposed to taking handoffs or catching laterals 37 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 2 receiving touchdowns this season.

Amari Rodgers WR 5-10 210

This season, Amari Rodgers picked up 720 yards. He caught the ball 48 times this season. Did he score often as a receiver? He had 6 receiving touchdowns this season.

Nyles Pinckney DT 6-1 295

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Clemson, Nyles Pinckney has 17 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 3 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 84.98 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 1 times this season, which put him in the 77.7 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 0 fumbles this season.

Myles Murphy DE 6-5 265

The leading tackler among Defensive Tackles for Clemson, Myles Murphy has 25 tackles this season. He was able to keep rushers back and penetrate the offensive line with 8 tackles for loss, which puts him in the 97.2 percentile among Defensive Tackles. When it came to rushing the Quarterback, he has been able to take them down 4 times this season, which put him in the 94.93 percentile among all Defensive Tackles in College Football. He has forced 2 fumbles this season.

Joseph Charleston S 6-0 190.0

He is the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Clemson, Joseph Charleston had 28 tackles which puts him in the 82.53 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 2 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 88.98 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 0 times last season. Joseph Charleston as a ball hawker was able to pick off 0 passes last season, which puts him in the 39.16 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Andrew Booth Jr. CB 6-0 190

Considered the leading tackler among non-exclusive Defensive Backs (meaning he can play either Safety Position, Nickel Back, Star or even play as a Cornerback in coverage) for Clemson, Andrew Booth Jr. had 24 tackles which puts him in the 88.84 percentile among returning non-exclusive Defensive Backs. He was able to keep rushers and receivers back on screens with 3 tackles for loss last season, which puts him in the 98.17 percentile among Secondary position players. When it came to blitzing the Quarterback, last season he was able to take them down 1 times last season. Andrew Booth Jr. as a ball hawker was able to pick off 1 passes last season, which puts him in the 83.79 percentile among returning secondary position players last season.

Pittsburgh vs. Clemson Prediction, Picks, and Odds


Prediction: Pittsburgh 15 Clemson 29

Spread Pick: Pittsburgh +23.5 -110 Bovada
Moneyline Pick: Clemson -1200 SportsInteraction
Total Pick: Under 57 -110 Bookmaker