Clemson Tigers (9-3) at Oklahoma Sooners (8-4)
|Date & Time||Monday December 29, 2014, 5:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Oklahoma Sooners -3 -- Over/Under: 54
The Clemson Tigers and Oklahoma Sooners square off in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Monday.
The Oklahoma Sooners have the Big 12 championship on their radar every season and this year was no different so an 8-4 record and no conference crown was disappointing to the faithful. The Sooners were strong on both sides of the ball led by a defense that gave up 382 yards and less then 25 points and were almost impossible to run on with 110 rushing yards allowed. OU was no slouch offensively with 481 yards and 39 points behind a top ten ground game that averaged 267 yards. The Sooners weren't known for their passing but QB Trevor Knight wasn't bad with 2,197 passing yards and another 340 yards coming on the ground. Sterling Shepard paced the receivers with 957 yards with Durron Neal adding 508 yards in receptions. Samaje Perine was the workhorse on the ground with 1,579 yards on 240 carries with 21 touchdowns.
The Clemson Tigers overcame a 1-2 start to go 9-3 thanks in large part to the nation's top ranked defense that gave up just 259 yards and less then 18 points. This unit gave up less then 100 rushing yards and just over 162 passing yards so moving the ball on this unit was not a picnic. The Tigers could also move the chains at 410 yards and 30 points with a top 50 passing attack that produced 258 yards on average. Cole Stoudt began the year under center and threw for 1,573 yards but averaged less then six yards per attempt and was mistake prone with six TD's and ten INT's. On came Deshaun Watson who threw for 1,472 yards with 14 scores and a pair of interceptions on less then half of the completions of Stoudt (165-94) which doesn't mean a thing with Watson out with a knee injury. Mike Williams and Artavis Scott were the top options among the receivers with 918 yards and 851 yards respectively while Wayne Gallman was the most productive Tiger on the ground with 708 yards.
The over is 7-0 in Sooners last 7 games following a S.U. loss and is 6-1 in Sooners last 7 games after accumulating less than 170 yards passing in their previous game while the Sooners are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games. For Clemson the under is 4-0 in Tigers last 4 vs. Big 12 and is 5-0 in Tigers last 5 vs. a team with a winning record while going 6-0 in Tigers last 6 games on grass. With Watson out I'm wondering how the Tigers are going to move the ball consistently and I feel the potential to win and cover lies with the Sooners unless something drastic happens...