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Game Information:

 

  • September 8, 2018 at 700 PM Eastern Time
  • Kyle Field – College Station, TX
  • TV Station: ESPN (with Game Day)
  • Texas A&M Leads Series 3-1, Leads 2-0 at Kyle Field
  • Clemson won last meeting in 2005
  • Game Odds: Clemson favored by 12, O/U at 53, Predicted Score 26.6 – 7.8 (Oddshark)

 

Interesting Notes:

 

  • Both schools are the premier land grant institution in their respective states, and both schools have some of the strongest military heritages in the nation. Clemson’s preview notes that after West Point, Clemson and Texas A&M supplied the most officers to the US Army in World War II.
  • Clemson’s hotel was over an hour away in their 2004 meeting at Kyle Field – the bus air conditioning was not functioning, and the Aggies defeated the Tigers 26-7.

 

Discussion:

 

Talent and experience are squarely on the Tigers’ side this Saturday in Kyle Field. Clemson is only starting five underclassmen on offense or defense, while the Aggies are starting ten underclassmen. In addition to Clemson being more experienced, they are also more talented according to recruiting rankings of starters. Texas A&M has some solid offensive skill positions, but they will have to overcome a suspect offensive line and struggling defense in order to defeat the Tigers.

 

In addition to talent and experience, the Tigers have the continuity that the Aggies lack. Coach Jimbo Fisher left Florida State on less than stellar terms, and is tasked with bringing the Aggies back to national relevance. Clemson has the most continuity out of any major team in the nation with a group of assistants that have stayed at Clemson with Head Coach Dabo Swinney. This is a stark contrast to the first year staff of the Aggies whom are transitioning into their preferred schemes with players recruited by the previous coaching staff.

 

Despite these factors, Texas A&M has a natural advantage because they can prepare for Clemson effectively while Clemson will struggle to prepare for Texas A&M. With one game of film against an overwhelmed opponent from this coaching staff to work off of, they have to watch different teams and different schemes in order to game plan for the Aggies. Coach Swinney and others have equated it to playing a second opener. The known homefield advantage at Kyle Field combined with the unknown of their team gives Texas A&M hope for an upset, but Clemson is likely to win with ease.

 

Prediction:Clemson 31 Texas A&M 10