Clemson Tigers, burning bright, in the forests of the college football betting night; could the Kent State Golden Flashes ever frame thy fearful symmetry?
- Date: Saturday, 2nd September
- Time: 12:05 PM
- Venue: Clemson Memorial Stadium, South Carolina
Sportsbook NCAA football lines:
Kent State +38½ (-110) +16500
Clemson -38½ (-110) -49500
If time is cyclical, when will it be 2012 again?
The Kent State Golden Flashes won 11 games in 2012. They have won only 12 in the ensuing four years. And never more than four in a single season. Additionally, KSU has lost the regular season opening game the last three straight years. Somehow it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to change on September 2nd. Given that track record, it’s a shock to no one with a pulse that the Golden Flashes were voted last in the East Division in the yearly preseason Mid-American Conference media football poll. “Where do you think they should vote us? I would be surprised if we were higher,” head coach Paul Haynes said at the time. “I don’t try to use it as motivation. It is what it is.” On the plus side, Kent State has Nick Holley, “the most versatile offensive player in the league,” according to Cleveland.com’s Elton Alexander. Holley has been a wide receiver, a tailback, a defensive back, and a quarterback – the position at which he is set to return this year – in his career at KSU. He will share the QB spot with junior George Bollas and sophomore Malik Mitchell. “The first four weeks, you’re going to see all three of our guys at quarterback,” Haynes said.
In what distant deeps or skies burns the fire of thine eyes?
Clemson may not be on top of the college football betting odds-boards, but the Tigers sure are on the very tippy-top of the Associated Press preseason (presseason?) poll. Clemson won the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship on the offensive prowess of such players as quarterback Deshaun Watson and wide receiver Mike Williams – currently employed by the Houston Texans and the Los Angeles Chargers, respectively.
Clemson fam well represented. ✊️ pic.twitter.com/dDkQBqOo0h
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) August 10, 2017
In order to become the first-ever back-to-back CFP winners, however, the Tigers will have to rely on the defensive skills of such players as linemen Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence. Offense last season, defense this season; what fearful symmetry! “We’re ready for it,” Wilkins said. “We know what we have to do.” And that includes holding down the fort while quarterback Kelly Bryant, wide receivers Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud, and running backs C.J. Fuller and Tavien Feaster make the transition from reserves to starters. A transition that shouldn’t pose Bryant too much trouble. “Kelly Bryant has had a really, really good fall camp, the best week stretch that he has had in his entire career,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said, per The State. Head coach Dabo Swinney agreed. “His confidence is just at an all-time high. I love that. He’s doing what he needs to do,” said Swinney. Bryant will have the biggest shoes to fill since Frank Avruch replaced Pinto Colvig as Bozo the Clown, but he seems to be on his way to starting under center against KSU.