CBS Sports predicts upset in Orange Bowl between Tennessee and Clemson

The Tennessee Volunteers have a date with the Clemson Tigers in the Orange Bowl this Friday in a matchup of two top-10 teams that will be playing without their starting quarterbacks.

While the absence of their primary signal-callers appears to favor Clemson given the Heisman Trophy-level performance Hendon Hooker provided before his injury, this game is still very much up in the air as far as expected results are concerned.

Ahead of the final game of the 2022 campaign for both schools, CBS Sports’ Tom Fornelli published his college football picks for the upcoming bowl games, including the Orange Bowl held in Hard Rock Stadium, Miami. Here is what he had to offer on the Vols-Tigers matchup.

The first New Year’s Six bowl kicks off Friday night in Miami with two orange teams. It’s the orangest Orange Bowl possible, as the brighter orange of Clemson clashes with the creamier orange of Tennessee. I hope both teams come out in all-orange uniforms to make things fun and confusing.

What I’m not expecting is as many points as the total suggests. Neither team will have its starting quarterback. If you’re a Clemson fan, you’re happy about this. Tigers fans have clamored for Cade Klubnik most of the season, and now they have him. Vols fans aren’t nearly as pleased. Joe Milton is filling in for the injured Hendon Hooker, who was having one of the best seasons of any player in the country. I do not expect either offense to flourish. Clemson’s offensive problems run far deeper than DJ Uiagalelei and won’t be solved by his absence. And Milton has one of the strongest arms you’ll ever see. It’s just not very accurate, and accuracy is quite important in Tennessee’s offense.

Fornelli’s final score prediction called for a one-point win for Rocky Top, 28-27, despite the oddsmakers favoring Clemson. Kickoff is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 30, at 8 p.m. EST, and the game will be broadcast on ESPN.

Story originally appeared on Vols Wire