While it seems like the SEC has the top game in college soccer each week, the ACC and Pac-12 take the cake in Week 8. Here’s a look at an excellent matchup from each league on Saturday for your favorite NCAA Football bets.
College Football Games Week 8
No. 14 Syracuse at No. 5 Clemson (-13.5)
The Orange are probably the biggest surprise unbeaten team left, while Clemson could basically clinch the ACC Atlantic Division with a victory. This marks the first time in Memorial Stadium history that two unbeaten squads will face off this late in the year.
The Orange will try to start the campaign with seven consecutive wins for just the third time since 1931 and first time since 1987. A win would also give Syracuse its first-ever 4-0 start in ACC play. Syracuse has scored on 26-of-28 (.929) opportunities from the red zone this season. The Orange rank 19th in the nation in red zone offense. Since the NCAA began tracking red zone statistics in 2006, Syracuse’s best percentage was .923 (36-39) in 2015.
Clemson is expecting a sellout Saturday as it celebrates Homecoming. For the Orange, Saturday’s game is their first road game in more than a month as they will play four of their last six games away from the JMA Wireless Dome. Coach Dino Babers expects the hostile crowd to force a role reversal with his offensive and defensive units.“It’s exactly the reverse, that’s the tough thing because we’re loud when their offense is out there, and our defense is cool operating like that,” Babers said. “When we’re out there in the JMA we really don’t want any noise so our offense can operate without the noise so this will be the first opportunity for our offense to operate the way other people’s offense operate in the JMA.”
The Tigers come off a big 34-28 win at Florida State. Clemson extended the nation’s longest active winning streak to 13 games. It tied the fourth-longest winning streak in Clemson history, matching 13-game streaks across both the 1939-40 seasons and the 1980-81 seasons. Clemson has now opened a season 7-0 for the 10th time in program history, joining the 1948, 1981, 2000, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons.
The Tigers score touchdowns on 74% of their red zone trips (18th in FBS) and allow TDs on only 50% (24th). They create more turnover opportunities (and, therefore, turnovers) and force more three-and-outs than opponents do, and they reap the field-position rewards (15th in average starting field position). They average 6.4 yards to go on third downs (16th), and opponents are at 8.1 (24th).
- Clemson is 8-2 all-time vs. Syracuse.
No. 9 UCLA at No. 10 Oregon (-6)These are the only two schools without a Pac-12 loss. UCLA will be looking for its first win in Eugene since Drew Olson quarterbacked the squad to a 34-26 verdict in 2004. UCLA’s last victory over the Ducks came at Rose Bowl Stadium in 2017. This will be the fifth meeting between the programs in the last six seasons. UO has won 22 straight home games against all opponents in Autzen Stadium. The Bruins have recorded six wins in their last seven outings away from Pasadena, Calif. over the past two seasons.
It is the first top-10 matchup in Autzen since No. 3 Oregon beat No. 7 Michigan State on Sept. 6, 2014, and first between Pac-12 teams since a 52-31 win by the No. 4 Ducks over No. 9 Stanford on Oct. 2, 2010. Oregon has won 22 straight games at Autzen Stadium, the third-longest active streak in the nation and one shy of matching the program record. The Ducks have already tied another school record with 16 consecutive conference home wins, currently the nation’s fourth-longest streak.
UO and UCLA are first and second this week in the Pac-12 in rushing offense (UO – 241.67, UCLA – 211.5), completion percentage (UCLA – .740, UO – .694 and rushing defense (UO – 98.0, UCLA – 99.0). The Ducks (42.0) and Bruins (41.5) are each averaging over 40 points per game to rank second and third in that category. Oregon is one of just five teams in the nation to rank in the top 20 in both rushing offense (10th) and rushing defense (14th).
The last time a top-10 UCLA team squared off against a top-10 opponent was on Oct. 13, 2001, when No. 7 UCLA beat No. 10 Washington (35-13) in the Rose Bowl. The last such matchup on the road for the Bruins came on Oct. 10, 1998, when No. 3 UCLA won at No. 10 Arizona (52-28).
- Clemson and Oregon against the spread