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Lowell's Locks: Week Twelve

November 18, 2023

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Where does the time go? We wait all summer for football to arrive; it gets here, and then suddenly we’re in week twelve. With just two weeks remaining in the regular season, I’m sitting at 35-30 following a second straight 3-3 weekend. Florida State had some unexpected struggles against Miami and failed to cover -14, Florida had the lead late in the third against LSU but had a total collapse in the fourth quarter and couldn’t stay within +14.5, and Vanderbilt never looked competitive against a subpar South Carolina squad and failed to cover +14 to account for my losses. Michigan easily covered -4 against Penn State, Utah remained in the fight against Washington to cover +8, and Clemson rolled against Georgia Tech and covered -14 to account for my wins. 

Rivalry week is next week, but this week’s slate features some big-time games. So, let’s get to it.

Saturday, November 18th:

#10 Louisville at Miami (-1):

One of those spreads that Vegas puts out that makes you raise an eyebrow. Louisville certainly didn’t look elite by any stretch last Thursday against Virginia, but the Cardinals got through that game and came out with some extra prep time for this one. The Hurricanes poured their heart and soul into that game against Florida State, and they seemingly don’t believe in quarterback Tyler Van Dyke. There’s also some extra motivation for Louisville here, as a win will clinch their first-ever trip to the ACC Championship. 

Lowell’s Lock: Louisville covers +1

#1 Georgia (-10) at #18 Tennessee: 

Georgia is starting to play some of its best ball of the season, and Brock Bowers is nearing 100 percent. Tennessee wants to run the ball, partially to help open up the offense and partially because Josh Heupal doesn’t trust Joe Milton to be consistent through the air. Missouri showed how you handle these Vols last week, and I’d expect a similar game plan of running the ball and shutting down the run this week from Kirby and the Bulldogs.

Lowell’s Lock: Georgia covers -10

UCLA at USC (-5.5):

There are rumors that UCLA could let go of Chip Kelly after this season, making this game a must-win for the Bruins if they want any hope of saving him. Enough has been said about USC and their defense, and you can pretty much lock in 200+ yards on the ground for UCLA in this one. The part that no one really talks about? The Bruins are fourth in tackles for loss and fifth in sacks. That front should give the Trojans a tough time and keep this one tight. Remember, if not for a Cal failed two-point conversion, USC would be on a five-game losing streak right now. 

Lowell’s Lock: UCLA covers +5.5

#5 Washington at #11 Oregon State (-1):

I like Oregon State in this one for the same reason I liked Utah to hang around last week: their ability to run the ball and be tough up front. Michael Penix will make plenty of plays for Washington and solidify himself as the leader for the Heisman, but I don’t trust their defense to consistently stop a Beavers team that’s clicking right now, particularly on the ground. Not to mention, Oregon State has won 16 of 17 games outright in Corvallis, their last home loss coming in September of last season. 

Lowell’s Lock: Oregon State covers -1

Kentucky at South Carolina (-2):

As bad as the Gamecocks have been this season, they’re still in contention for a bowl at 4-6. They’ll need to beat Clemson in the season finale, but first, they need to find a way against Kentucky at home. It’s hard to trust either of these teams, but South Carolina has been significantly better at home than on the road; they’ve yet to score under 37 points at Williams-Brice Stadium and have yet to score over 17 away from it. I’m not sure they can get to 37 against this Kentucky defense, but I do think they can score enough to outpace a mediocre Wildcat offense.

Lowell’s Locks: South Carolina covers -2

#20 North Carolina at Clemson (-7.5):

The Clemson team that has appeared over the past two weeks has looked like a vintage Dabo Swinney squad and certainly would not have more than one loss on the season had they been playing this way all year.

The Tigers obliterated Georgia Tech’s high-powered offense last week, forcing four turnovers and sacking breakout quarterback Haynes King four times. The Tigers also racked up 465 yards of offense, including 260 on the ground. This will easily be the best defense the Tar Heels have faced all season, and the Tigers should continue to have plenty of success moving the ball against a North Carolina defense that has fallen off a cliff in the second half of the season. 

Score Prediction: 35-20 Clemson

Lowell’s Lock: Clemson covers -7.5

Until next week, folks. 

Lowell’s Locks

  Weekly Results Season Results
Week 1 5-1  5-1 
Week 2 4-2  9-3 
Week 3 4-2  13-5 
Week 4 4-1-1  17-6-1 
Week 5 2-4  19-10 
Week 6 4-2 23-12
Week 7 2-4 25-16
Week 8 2-4 27-20
Week 9 2-4 29-24
Week 10 3-3 32-27
Week 11 3-3 35-30
Week 12    
Week 13    
Conference Championships    


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Lowell's Locks: Week Twelve

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