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: 52.5
The Oklahoma Sooners and Clemson Tigers play Monday in the Athletic Bowl at the Florida Citrus Bowl.
The Oklahoma Sooners have split their last eight games and haven’t missed a bowl since 1998. Trevor Knight is completing 58.1 percent of his passes for 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Knight hasn’t played the last three weeks but is expected to return from a neck injury, and Oklahoma has 20 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal have combined for more than 1,400 receiving yards and eight touchdowns while Blake Bell is coming off a 59-yard performance. Oklahoma’s ground game is averaging 6.1 yards per carry, as Samaje Perine leads the way with 1,579 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns. Defensively, the Oklahoma Sooners are allowing 24.8 points, 382.3 yards, and they’ve forced 28 sacks and 19 turnovers. Dominique Alexander leads OU with 98 tackles and Eric Striker has 14 tackles for loss.
The Clemson Tigers have won eight of their last nine games and are playing in their 10th straight bowl. Cole Stoudt is completing 62 percent of his passes for six touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Stoudt has one touchdown and five picks in his last three games, and Clemson has 33 passing plays of 25 or more yards. Mike Williams and Artavis Scott have combined for more than 1,700 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns while Adam Humphries has a catch in every game this season. Clemson’s ground game is averaging 3.7 yards per carry, as Wayne Gallman leads the way with 714 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Defensively, the Clemson Tigers are allowing 17.6 points, 259.6 yards, and they’ve forced 44 sacks and 19 turnovers. Stephone Anthony leads Clemson with 73 tackles and Vic Beasley has 18.5 tackles for loss.
The Sooners are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 non-conference games and 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games overall. The Tigers are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 neutral site games and 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games overall.
This is going to be a defensive battle between two physical teams. However, Oklahoma has more skill on the offensive side and is led by one of the better running backs in the country. When you add that to the fact Bob Stoops has won four of his last five bowl games, I'm taking the Sooners here.