Saturday, December 26, 2009

Music City Bowl Prediction: Clemson vs Kentucky

Clemson Tigers vs Kentucky Wildcats
Sunday December 27th 8:30 PM
Nashville, TN

The first of two bowl games matching up the ACC and the SEC will be the Music City Bowl where Clemson meets Kentucky in a rematch of the 2006 bowl won by the Wildcats.

Both teams are coming off losses against their arch rivals, but the Tigers have lost their last two games also losing the ACC Championship Game.

Does Clemson feel slighting for being in the Music City Bowl?

The Tigers were six minutes away from an ACC title, their first since 1991, but with the loss fell all the way to Nashville after being passed over by the Gator, Chick Fil A, and Champs Sports Bowls.

Clemson lost their two biggest games of the year at the end of the season at South Carolina and a second loss during the season to Georgia Tech in Tampa.

It will be Dabo's biggest test of his young career to get his team fired up to play in a lesser than anticipated bowl game against a school mostly known for basketball.
Can Kentucky regain continuity at the QB position?

Freshman Morgan Newton led the Wildcats to three wins but suffered an injury against Tennessee and is doubtful for the bowl game. The starter at the beginning of the season, Mike Hartline, looks like he will be ready to go battling back from a knee injury.

I personally like Randall Cobb at QB running the option, but Rich Brooks has only used that in certain situations.

The receivers and offensive line will only have a limited amount of time to re adjust back to Hartline's style.

Can CJ Spiller will his Clemson team to victory?

This is the last game for arguably one of the most dynamic players in college football over the last decade. Spiller had 233 yards rushing against Georgia Tech and would have had more total yards if the Yellow Jackets had kicked the ball to him.

Spiller is a guy UK must know where he is on the field at all times. The Wildcats have had trouble stopping the run this season giving up 183 yards per game on the ground, which ranks 100th nationally.

If I am Dabo Swinney, I ride CJ Spiller and the ground attack all game.
This is a tough one to call. Its a game I would much rather choose based on point spread alone and not who is going to win.

Clemson has the talent advantage on paper and the best player in the game by far, but I really question their motivation to be here. I would definitely take Kentucky as a seven point under dog and I will take the WIldcats straight up because of the motivation factor.

Kentucky 27 Clemson 21

11 of 34 points risked

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