- No. 7 Clemson (11-2) is a 6.5-point favorite over No. 6 Tennessee (10-2)
- Dabo Swinney is 11-7 all-time in bowl games while this is the Volunteers’ first major bowl game since 1999
- The Orange Bowl on ESPN kicks off from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Dec. 30 at 8pm E.T.
The Orange Bowl is certainly on brand this year with two of the most orange jersey combinations you will ever see on television. Tennessee will take on Clemson for only the fourth time in the past 75 years. And with both programs set to start backup quarterbacks, the result could be unpredictable.
Tennessee (6) vs Clemson (7)
|Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Clemson||-6.5 (+100)||Ov 64 (-110)|
|Tennessee||+6.5 (-120)||Un 64 (-110)|
Tigers favored over Vols
The seventh-ranked Tigers are 6.5-point favorites over the sixth-ranked Volunteers. A perennial powerhouse, Clemson won 11 games to capture the ACC championship for the seventh time in eight years. However, they were blown out by No. 19 Notre Dame (35-14) and suffered a 31-30 upset loss to No. 20 South Carolina.
Because of those defeats, Clemson missed the College Football Playoff for the second-straight season after making the tournament the previous six years. Meanwhile, Tennessee is coming off its first 10-win regular season since 2003. Under second-year head coach Josh Heupel, this is the Vols’ first major bowl game since 1999.
ICYMI: Cade Klubnik named early top contender for 2023 Heisman by ESPN, more outlets https://t.co/694bOSP3Z0
— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) December 11, 2022
Battle of the backups
Tennessee has the nation’s No. 1 ranked offense, putting up 38 or more points in 10 of 12 contests. But those impressive numbers were put up with Hendon Hooker under center. Once the Heisman favorite, Hooker tore his ACL in a 63-38 loss to South Carolina. His replacement Joe Milton III completed 15 of 29 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns in a little over a full game of action.
Milton III will face off with Cade Klubnik in the Orange Bowl. The freshman came off the bench for DJ Uiagalelei in the Tigers’ 39-10 victory over North Carolina in the ACC Championship game. And Uiagalelei has since entered the transfer portal.
Volunteers vs Tigers
Cade Klubnik put up 309 combined yards and two total touchdowns in the ACC title game. A performance that has many fans wondering why Dabo Swinney didn’t turn to his freshman in the loss to South Carolina. The mistake may have cost Clemson a spot in the CFP.
It’s also possible that Klubnik will not be the next Deshaun Watson or Trevor Lawrence in the Tigers offense. And, instead, he just took advantage of a terrible Tar Heels’ pass defense that ranked near the bottom of the ACC. The good news for Klubnik is that the Volunteers’ pass defense is also awful, ranking 127th nationally out of 131 teams.
Any concern about Tennessee QB Joe Milton III in the Orange Bowl? Don't be. Here's why,
— Off The Hook Sports (@OTHSportsMedia) December 10, 2022
The over-under for Tennessee vs Clemson is at 64 points. It’s a high total given the two inexperienced signal callers. The Tigers also have a top-20 defense, holding opponents to just 20.1 per contest.
Dabo Swinney is 11-7 in bowl games and he can set a new ACC record for career bowl victories with his 12th, passing Bobby Bowden. We’ll take the Tigers to cover and the UNDER.
Final Score Prediction: Clemson 33, Tennessee 24
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