Clemson Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Preview and Predictions 10-17-2020

Check AI Computer Pick For NCAAF.
10 Day Free Trial

Two years ago, with his team's offense struggling in the second quarter at Georgia Tech, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney sent a freshman quarterback into the game. Four touchdown passes later the Tigers had claimed a 49-21 victory and the rest is history.

One day later, Trevor Lawrence was named the team's starting quarterback and the Tigers are 29-1 since then, with a national championship and two ACC titles to their credit. And this season, Lawrence is the favorite for the 2020 Heisman Trophy while leading the No. 1 team in college football.

"It was a tough bus ride home for me because I knew it was going to be a tough conversation (with incumbent quarterback Kelly Bryant)," Swinney said. "But that's my job, and I knew it was the right thing to do for the team.

"Trevor's an amazing player and he was just clearly the best guy. What he's done since then is incredible."

Lawrence, who played high school ball just outside of Atlanta, returns with the Tigers to Tech's Bobby Dodd Stadium on Saturday. It will likely be his final game as a collegian in his home state, when No. 1 Clemson (4-0, 3-0 ACC) faces Georgia Tech (2-2, 2-1).

The game marks the first time that Georgia Tech will host the nation's top-ranked team since Nov. 8, 1980, when the Yellow Jackets battled No. 1 Notre Dame to a 3-3 tie.

"We're excited to play such a big-time opponent," second-year Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. "The margin for error against such great players and coaches is very thin."

Particularly when two of the players are Lawrence and backfield mate Travis Etienne, the two-time reigning ACC Player of the Year.

"They obviously are two of the elite players in all of college football," Collins said. "So, we understand the work we've got cut out for us, not only in the passing game but in the running game."

While Lawrence has 10 touchdown passes and has thrown 355 passes without an interception -- the second-longest streak in ACC history -- Etienne has emerged as another key option in the passing game for Lawrence. In the past two games, Etienne has 13 receptions for 187 yards.

Georgia Tech could provide some challenges, however. The Yellow Jackets are coming off a decisive 46-27 victory against Louisville, which even their record at 2-2 and moved them within one victory of matching last season's total.

Freshman quarterback Jeff Sims passed for 249 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 64 more and another score against Louisville as the Yellow Jackets rallied from a 21-7 deficit.

"He's a good one," Swinney said. "He's big, he's athletic, got a really good arm. He's their leading rusher and he's not afraid to push the ball down the field.

"He's just a guy who's going to get better and better. He can make any throw. He's got a bright future. He's a guy we've got to do a great job of containing."

Clemson is attempting to win a 26th consecutive game against ACC opponents, as well as extending its winning streak in regular-season games to 34 in a row, which already is the longest streak in ACC history.

"Their roster is filled with great players," Collins said. "You look at their personnel on both sides of the ball and they've got great players all across the roster. We know we've got a big challenge."

--Field Level Media


Need Help Beating Your Sportsbook? Get $60 in Free Premium Member Only picks from Doc's Sports Service, one of the most trusted names in handicapping since 1971! No salesmen and no obligations!
Click Here.

News Breaking News

News Recaps


Bobby Dodd Stadium
Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Capacity: 55,000

Last Injuries

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

  • Jordan Williams

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Williams left the previous game with a right knee injury, and it remains to be seen if he will line up versus Boston College on Saturday.

  • Jordan Mason

    Out indefinitely | out

    Mason is sidelined due to an unknown issue, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Sylvain Yondjouen

    Lower Body
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Yondjouen has missed the previous three games with a lower-body injury, and it is up in the air if he will take part Saturday versus Boston College.

  • Curtis Ryans

    Prob Fri | probable

    Ryans is hampered by an unspecified ailment, but it is projected that he will face Louisville on Friday.

  • Dylan Deveney

    Prob Fri | probable

    Deveney has sat out the past two games due to an unspecified reason, but it is expected that he will face Louisville on Friday.

  • Tre Swilling

    Prob Fri | probable

    Swillinghas been held out of the past three games with an injury to an unlisted area and. It is likely that he will return to the fold versus Louisville on Friday.

  • Dylan Leonard

    Prob Fri | probable

    Leonard has been inactive for the last two games due to an undefined issue, but he is projected to line up for Friday's contest against Louisville.

Clemson Tigers

  • K'Von Wallace

    Ques Thurs | questionable

    Wallace was lifted from the last game with a shoulder injury, and it is unclear if he will be active Thursday against the Giants.

  • Bryn Tucker

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Tucker missed the previous game due to an injury to an unannounced area, and it is unknown if he will take the field against Syracuse on Saturday.

  • John Williams

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Williams sat out the previous game due to an undetermined ailment, and it remains to be seen if he will be available for Saturday's battle against Syracuse.

  • Mitchell Mayes

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Mayes missed the last game due to an injury to an unlisted area, and it is unknown if he will take part Saturday against Syracuse.

  • Etinosa Reuben

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Reuben sat out the last game due to an undetermined injury, and it remains to be seen if he will be active against Syracuse on Saturday.

  • Sage Ennis

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Ennis was unavailable for the previous matchup due to an undefined injury, leaving his status for Saturday's clash against Syracuse hazy.

  • Taisun Phommachanh

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Phommachanh is recovering from surgery on his left hand, and it is unclear if he will be available against Syracuse on Saturday.

  • Darnell Jefferies

    Ques Sat | questionable

    Jefferies has sat out the last two games due to an undisclosed issue, and it has yet to be established if he will take the field for Saturday's matchup versus Syracuse.