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Clemson Football

Lowell's Locks: Week Eight

October 21, 2023

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We’ve hit the point of the year where the games are getting increasingly more important, and with that, the lines are getting tighter, and the games are getting harder to predict. Washington and Tennessee took care of business, but USC, Miami, Auburn, and South Carolina all fell flat on their faces for me. USC, in particular, was a shocker as they got steamrolled by Notre Dame. It may be time to start a dialogue about Lincoln Riley’s ability as the head man... 

On to this week’s slate. 

Saturday, October 21st

#7 Penn State at #3 Ohio State (-5):

Penn State travels to the Horseshoe, where they haven’t won since 2011, for what’s arguably the biggest game of the James Franklin Era. The Nittany Lions are looking to finally break through in the Big Ten and make the college football playoff, and this is arguably their most talented team under Franklin. Ohio State hasn’t been the super explosive offense we’ve expected this season, and things won’t get easier as they face the number one total defense in the country. Wide receiver Emeka Egbuka is questionable for this game and it sounds like he won’t play-- but even if he does play, he won’t be at 100 percent. You can expect plenty of double teams for Marvin Harrison Jr. I expect Penn State to rely on their defense and rushing attack to cover the spread and possibly more.

Lowell’s Lock: Penn State covers +5

Washington State at #9 Oregon (-18.5):

Blood in the water. Oregon didn’t play smart last week, electing not to take points multiple times against Washington, and it bit them in the end and cost Dan Lanning the biggest win of his young career. Washington State has gotten pushed around a couple of weeks in a row, and the Cougars have shown no sign of life on defense this season (110th total defense). I expect a fired-up Ducks squad to come out and do something similar to what they did against Colorado a few weeks ago.

Lowell’s Lock: Oregon covers -18.5

#17 Tennessee at #11 Alabama (-9):

Remember last year’s 52-49 thriller, which exceeded the over/under by nearly five touchdowns? Yeah, forget about that game. This one is going to be a more traditional Alabama-Tennessee low-scoring slugfest. Tennessee is without Bru McCoy, and Joe Milton struggled to throw the ball last week without him. Jalen Milroe has improved weekly for Alabama, and the Tide have the advantage there. However, the Tide gave up another four and a half sacks last week, bringing their total to 31 in seven games, ranking them 129th in the country. Tennessee protects the quarterback significantly better, and they also get after the quarterback, ranking sixth in the nation in sacks. Tennessee’s defense and run game keep this thing tight. Who saw that statement coming about a Josh Heupal team?

Lowell’s Lock: Tennessee covers +9

#14 Utah at #18 USC (-7):

USC got absolutely pushed around by Notre Dame last weekend, an issue that is plaguing yet another Lincoln RIley-led team. The good news is that this week, they get to recalibrate against *checks notes*...

One of the toughest fronts in the country on both sides of the ball. Oops.

Utah has won four of the last six games against USC, including three straight, strictly because they’ve been able to dominate them physically. The Utes are still waiting on the return of their All-Conference quarterback Cam Rising, but with him or without him, their strategy won’t change. Utah starts a tough stretch for the Trojans, who must play Washington, Oregon, and UCLA within their last four games after this. They better win this one or things can spiral quickly.

Lowell’s Lock: Utah covers +7

South Carolina at #20 Missouri (-7):

Where in the world is the defense for the Gamecocks? They’re not getting to the quarterback (84th national, T-10th SEC), they’re not making plays in the backfield (121st national, last SEC), and they rank in the bottom 100 in scoring defense, total defense, and passing defense. The Tigers aren’t elite defensively, but they’re good enough to get some stops against a hot Spencer Rattler. The X-Factor here is wide receiver Luther Burden for the Tigers. The Gamecocks allowed seven catches for 256 yards and a touchdown against Mississippi State’s Tulu Griffin, nine catches for 104 yards against Tennesse’s Squirrel White, and 10 catches for 166 yards and a touchdown against Florida’s Ricky Pearsall in their last three games.

Lowell’s Locks: Missouri covers -7

Clemson (-3) at Miami:

Both of these teams should probably be 5-1 and ranked within theTop 20. Clemson held a double-digit lead on Florida State in the second half before falling in overtime, and Miami elected not to take a knee against Georgia Tech while winning late, resulting in a fumble and subsequent Georgia Tech score for the win.

This is going to be a strength-on-strength matchup, with the Tigers boasting the top-ranked passing defense in the ACC, while the Hurricanes have the second-ranked passing offense in the conference. However, the Hurricanes tend to turn the ball over multiple times a game, as they’re tied for last in the ACC in turnover margin. Quarterback Tyler Van Dyke is also banged up and was seen limping around with a leg wrap earlier this week. The Tigers are fully healthy in the secondary for one of the few times this year. I expect that turnover trend to continue for Miami, resulting in plenty of chances for Clemson to walk out of Coral Gables with a win.

Score Prediction: 28-17 Clemson

Lowell’s Lock: Clemson covers -3

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    
Week 9    
Week 10    
Week 11    
Week 12    
Week 13    
Conference Championships    


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Lowell's Locks: Week Eight

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