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Clemson vs Iowa State: Cheez-It Bowl prediction, game preview, how to watch

Clemson vs Iowa State: Cheez-It Bowl How To Watch

Date: Wednesday, December 29
Game Time: 5:45 pm ET
Venue: Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL
How To Watch: ESPN, Live stream on ESPN+
Records: Clemson (9-3), Iowa State (7-5)

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Clemson vs Iowa State Cheez-It Bowl Preview

If you were to tell Clemson and Iowa State before the season that they’d be playing each other in a bowl game in Florida, they’d have rightly assumed it would’ve been the Orange Bowl in a College Football Playoff semifinal.

Iowa State came into the year loaded with experience and talent coming off a breakthrough 2020 season, and Clemson came into the year as … Clemson.

It should say something about what Dabo Swinney has created that a 9-3 season is considered a massive disappointment. This game isn’t just about closing with a strong victory to get to ten wins. It’s about what might be happening going forward for a program that’s used to any season-ending losses coming in the playoff.

Former Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is the new Oklahoma head coach, and a few players are leaving for the transfer portal, but the nation’s second-best scoring D – the pass rush is still great and the run defense is a rock – is still going to be amazing.

Iowa State was shaky down the stretch, but the passing game finished as the best in the Big 12, the running game is strong, and it plays a little defense, too, finishing tenth in the nation overall and second in the Big 12.

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Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History
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NEXT: Why Clemson Will Win, Why Iowa State Will Win, Cheez-It Bowl Prediction

Why Iowa State Will Win The Cheez-It Bowl

Forgetting all of the coaching changes and lost parts, Clemson has a bigger issue – it’s offense isn’t anything special.

It got better. It went from brutally painful to occasionally great late in the year, but that’s partly because the defenses it faced – UConn and Wake Forest – would give up 400 yards to you and everyone at your holiday party.

Iowa State’s defense was tenth in the nation allowing just 310 yards per game and was particularly strong against the pass. Clemson’s offense struggled to move, didn’t control the clock, and didn’t have any one thing it could consistently count on.

There won’t be anything big happening down the field, Iowa State has the veteran defense that likes to make statements, and there won’t be any real worry of the Tiger offense taking over.

But …

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Why Clemson Will Win The Cheez-It Bowl

The biggest player missing is on the Iowa State side.

The Cyclones always have productive running backs waiting in the wings, but you don’t get better losing Breece Hall. The star back ran for close to 1,500 yards and 20 touchdowns, and now he’s out getting ready for the NFL.

No, the Clemson offense hasn’t been anything amazing, but the defense was terrific throughout the year. There might not be a slew of household-name stars, but there are plenty of talented, prideful parts who have been through the wars.

The Tigers – for all of their issues overall – were still second in the nation in scoring defense behind Georgia, allowed 308 yards per game, and were brilliant at generating consistent pressure.

The run defense allowed fewer than 100 yards per game, and now it’s job is to stop Jirehl Brock – a talented young option, but he ran for roughly 1,300 fewer yards this year than Hall.

Prediction, What’s Going To Happen, History

NEXT: What’s Going To Happen, Clemson vs Iowa State Prediction, Cheez-It Bowl History

Clemson vs Iowa State: Cheez-It Bowl, What’s Going To Happen

This should be a better game than you think.

No, it’s not one of the major bowls that Clemson is used to, but there doesn’t appear to be any sort of a big-timer, too-good-for-the-bowl thing happening for the group that’s still around.

If anything – from all indications – the team that’s still around is taking on the exact right mentality you’d think it would considering the success it’s used to.

Yes, there are a slew of missing parts to injuries, other programs, and a few for the NFL, but this is still a very, very good Clemson team with an elite defense that’s about to show up.

Iowa State has a nasty D, too.

Don’t expect fireworks in any way. Both teams are going to have to grind their way to points with Clemson’s defense doing just a wee bit more.

Cheez-It Bowl: Clemson vs Iowa State Prediction, Lines

Clemson 26, Iowa State 20
Line: Clemson -1.5, o/u: 44.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3.5
Expert Bowl Picks: CFP & NY6
Dec 17-27 Bowls | Dec 28-Jan 4

Must See Rating: 4

5: “Die Hard” (as a Christmas movie)
1: “A Very Boy Band Holiday”

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Cheez-It Bowl History

Dec. 29, 2020 Oklahoma State 37, Iowa State 9
Camping World Bowl
Dec. 28, 2019 Notre Dame 33, Iowa State 9
Dec. 28, 2018 Syracuse 34, West Virginia 18
Dec. 28, 2017 Oklahoma State 30, Virginia Tech 21
Russell Athletic Bowl
Dec. 26, 2016 Miami 31, West Virginia 14
Dec. 29, 2015 Baylor 49 North Carolina 38
Dec. 29, 2014 Clemson 40 Oklahoma 6
Dec. 28, 2013 Louisville 36 Miami 9
Dec. 28, 2012 Virginia Tech 13 Rutgers 10 (OT)
Champs Sports Bowl
Dec. 29, 2011 Florida State 18 Notre Dame 14
Dec. 28, 2010 N.C. State 23 West Virginia 7
Dec. 29, 2009 Wisconsin 20 Miami 14
Dec. 27, 2008 Florida State 42 Wisconsin 13
Dec. 28, 2007 Boston College 24 Michigan State 21
Dec. 29, 2006 Maryland 24 Purdue 7
Dec. 27, 2005 Clemson 19 Colorado 10
Dec. 21, 2004 Georgia Tech 51 Syracuse 14
Tangerine Bowl
Dec. 22, 2003 N.C. State 56 Kansas 26
Dec. 23, 2002 Texas Tech 55 Clemson 15
Dec. 20, 2001 Pittsburgh 34 N.C. State 19
Micron PC Bowl
Dec. 28, 2000 N.C. State 38 Minnesota 30
Dec. 30, 1999 Illinois 63 Virginia 21
Dec. 29, 1998 Miami 46 N.C. State 23
Carquest Bowl
Dec. 29, 1997 Georgia Tech 35 West Virginia 30
Dec. 27, 1996 Miami 31 Virginia 21
Dec. 30, 1995 North Carolina 20 Arkansas 10
Jan. 2, 1995 South Carolina 24 West Virginia 21
Jan. 1, 1994 Boston College 31 Virginia 13
Blockbuster Bowl
Jan. 1, 1993 Stanford 28 Penn State 3
Dec. 28, 1991 Alabama 30 Colorado 25
Dec. 28, 1990 Florida State 24 Penn State 17

Clemson vs Iowa State Preview
Why Clemson, Iowa State Will Win
Cheez-It Bowl Top Players To Know