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Clemson Football: Game-by-Game Predictions for 2022

Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers Football

Dabo Swinney and the Tigers are eager to reclaim the ACC title and get back to the College Football Playoff.

Clemson enters the season ranked No. 4 in both major polls and many media members believe that the Tigers are one of the most overrated teams of 2022. They point to the fact that despite winning 10 games last fall, none of the victories stood out as overly impressive, and the personnel at two of the teams' weakest spots – quarterback and offensive line – look much the same. The Tigers also will have new coordinators on both sides of the ball.

Related: Clemson Football 2022 Season Preview and Prediction

At the same time, there are some definite reasons for optimism. Despite the recent loss of Xavier Thomas to a foot injury, Clemson still has athletic depth all over the defensive front seven. Offensively, the team has to improve and considering how stout the defense should be, any offensive strides could be the difference between good and great. Finally, Dabo Swinney is still the coach and, outside of Nick Saban, no one knows how to build a championship-level team better than the Clemson head man.

So what will it be for the Tigers in 2022? Here is how some of the Athlon Sports experts see Clemson's schedule playing out.

Clemson Football Game-by-Game Predictions for 2022

Steven LassanMark RossJon Kinne

at Georgia Tech

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

Furman

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

Louisiana Tech

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

at Wake Forest

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

NC State

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

at Boston College

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

at Florida State

Florida State

Clemson

Clemson

Syracuse

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

at Notre Dame

Clemson

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Louisville

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

Miami

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

South Carolina

Clemson

Clemson

Clemson

Final Record

11-1

11-1

11-1

Steven Lassan (@AthlonSteven)
Was 2021 simply a blip or a sign of a small regression at Clemson? The guess here is the Tigers rebound a bit in ’22 and finish 11-1 with an ACC title. But doing so will require marked improvement from an offense that averaged just 5.2 yards per play and struggled at quarterback, up front and at receiver. Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei has to take a big step forward, and if he struggles again, freshman Cade Klubnik is ready to give the offense a spark. New coordinator Brandon Streeter doesn’t have to elevate this offense to tops in the ACC to win the league thanks to a dominant defense. However, Clemson can’t get back to the playoff without better play on offense. This unit is once again littered with question marks, but the defense heads into the year as the best in college football. A dominant line leads the way, with rising stars in linebacker Trenton Simpson and safety Andrew Mukuba leading the back seven.

The Sept. 24 game at Wake Forest and the Oct. 1 showdown versus NC State will provide insight into just how far this offense has progressed. Clemson should be favored in double-digit games, but I’ll take an upset loss somewhere along the way – either at Boston College or Florida State – en route to 11-1. The matchup in South Bend against Notre Dame is intriguing, and the Tigers won't have to play another road game following that Nov. 5 clash. If the offense performs as it did in ’21, this team is much closer to 9-3. 

Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR)
It speaks volumes how far Dabo Swinney has brought Clemson when a 10-3 season is considered a disappointment. But that's the measuring stick applied to the Tigers these days and if 2021 was a letdown does that mean this season will result in a return to normalcy? Even with lingering questions on offense, Clemson should field one of the best defenses in the country. The defensive line is loaded once again and while there will be plenty of new faces the back two levels will feature just as much, if not more, talent. These Tigers won't waltz through the regular season undefeated, not with an early November road trip to Notre Dame and back-to-back ACC divisional games against Wake Forest and NC State on the docket but that doesn't mean Swinney's team won't still be favored in every single game. So if Clemson takes care of business then the Tigers should be in prime position to reclaim the ACC crown and potentially return to the College Football Playoff.

Jon Kinne (@JonRKinne)
This is not a perfect team. Many of the same issues that plagued the Tigers in 2021 could be in play for 2022. But in Cade Klubnik, there's at least a viable option should D.J. Uiagalelei continue to struggle at quarterback, and just due to experience, the offensive line should improve. If that happens, Will Shipley should put up big numbers running the ball. Defensively, despite some losses at linebacker and in the secondary, Clemson should be among the nation's elite. One little word – Tech – makes all the difference in terms of momentum to start the year. Instead of squaring off with Georgia in week one, the Tigers go to Georgia Tech and a victory in Atlanta should lead to a 3-0 start. The consecutive games at Wake Forest and home for NC State may be the two toughest ACC contests, but with Sam Hartman's status up in the air and the question of how the Wolfpack will perform with expectations makes me think Clemson will prevail in both matchups. In the end, I believe Clemson's talent will win out 11 times, with the lone exception being the Nov. 5 road game at Notre Dame. But an 11-1 record would put Dabo Swinney's team in the ACC Championship Game and give them playoff hopes come early December.