We’ve reached the halfway point on week five, and it’s a shift in what has been the dominant aspect of the week thus far, which is conference games. Tonight’s matchup is a nonconference one, but that doesn’t make it insignificant, as our analysts will prove.
Tom Pence’s Predictions:
Michigan 31, Clemson 34
The Wolverines played better than the final result against USC last week and Clemson just added a legit running attack a few days ago. That should be enough to get past the men in blue and get Clemson in the win column.
Jimbo Smithers Predictions:
Michigan 21, Clemson 35
With the addition of a legit running back, Clemson has a scary offense. Will Slay is still one of the best talents in the league and Keith Blazer is on point. However, Michigan boasts a running game that is extremely potent. This will be a battle to the end, with Clemsom pulling away due to Slay’s brilliance.
Houston Freeman’s Predictions:
Michigan 31, Clemson 38
Both of these teams are sitting at 1-3, however I see two completely different teams. Michigan trounced Texas just two weeks ago, but has found ways to lose their three other games by 10 points or less. Clemson meanwhile has kept pace with every team they’ve played including the defending national champs Auburn, another preseason SEC favorite LSU, and a strong FSU team. Every game Clemson has played in so far has been decided by seven points, including their Hail Mary win over Bama two weeks ago. I think Clemson has shown the most consistent promise, but this is another toss up game.
Connor Russell’s Predictions:
Michigan 38, Clemson 35
I say the same thing every week about them, but this Michigan team is criminally underrated. Every game they play is a battle. Their record is deceiving at this point, and if you want to write this team off already, you’re dead wrong. I could say similar things about Clemson too. Similar to OSU in season four, every single game has been a one possession affair. That’s consistency, and while you’d like to see those games turn into wins, being able to keep up with any team is a feat worth celebrating. I give Michigan the win here with their passing ability being the key, but watch out for Clemson possibly being able to run the ball. They were strong with just a walk on halfback, but watch their newest acquisition transform these guys into a contender overnight.
Michigan 28, Clemson 21
There is a big time matchup this game. Michigan corner Joose Staley has had an impressive freshman campaign but he’s gonna go up against one of the fastest receivers in the league when he lines up against Keith Blazer.
Michigan 31, Clemson 34
This is going to be another really close game as both teams actually match up well against each other. We could end up seeing more of a defensive battle so don’t be surprised if the score is lower than expected. Dior Chapman has been great for the Wolverines so expect Clemson to key in on him. Tanner Jones will have to get the pass game going for the Wolverines to win and he has the weapons to do it. Clemson gets to unveil their new running back Dane Jones who will give the Tigers offense a much needed face-lift. Expect for Jones to make a difference immediately and take some pressure off Will Slay. A last second field goal is how this game will be decided from Fraser Flores.
Michigan 34, Clemson 37
As much as I consider Clemson a rival, I have to go with them here. Adding a new running back gives Slay a new weapon to work with and will force Michigan to think twice about an all-pass defense. Given the struggles by both teams, Clemson has still managed to hang tough with preseason favorites like LSU and Auburn. Michigan beat Texas but looked lost against USC. I’ll take Clemson tonight.
Jeff Melinyshyn’s Predictions:
Michigan 20, Clemson 17
Both teams coming in 1-3 overall, the series is tied 1-1 and something has to give. Both teams are coming off a loss the previous week. Clemson has the slight edge scoring an average of 29.8 pts/game and Michigan scoring 27.5 pts/game. Both teams have burned me in picks in recent weeks, but for this one I am taking Michigan because of Pipino and Chapman.
DAVID ROY’S PREDICTIONS:
Michigan 32, clemson 35
I’ll admit, that Michigan has surprised me this season, and I mean that positively. I knew they’d have some growing pains, but they’ve been highly competitive and interesting to watch, much like Clemson. But the new additions to this Clemson roster may catch the Wolverines off guard. I anticipate it will be as close as these two have played all season, but I’ll defer to the Tigers in front of their home fans.
Maybe you find it surprising, or maybe you don’t. Six of our nine analysts are riding with the Clemson Tigers to come out on top tonight. But, it’s worth pointing out, the expectation is this game will come down to the wire.