Our staff score predictions for Clemson vs. Duke

Dabo Swinney and the Clemson football program kick off their 2023 season with an away Labor Day matchup against Duke on Monday, September 4, at Wallace Wade Stadium in Durham. 

The Tigers head into this matchup as two-score favorites over the Mike Elko-led Blue Devils, who have some serious talent, including one of the best quarterbacks in college football, Riley Leonard. Swinney and the No.9 Tigers head to Durham with a new look offense and what is projected to be one of the best defenses in college football. 

As we approach the start of the Clemson football season, the Clemson Wire staff has made their score predictions for the Tigers matchup with the Blue Devils. Here is what we are thinking. 

Alex: Clemson-42, Duke-21


Clemson football is back, and we are excited for this season’s start. A Labor Day matchup at Duke is by no means an easy game to start your season, but I’m expecting this Clemson team to come out the gates red hot with Garrett Riley now running the offense. Cade Klubnik is under center with a healthy group of wide receivers and a tight end poised to break out this season. Will Shipley and Phil Mafah will be one of the best running back duos in college football this season, giving the Tigers a dangerous rushing attack. On defense, I expect the Tigers’ to be a good bit better than they were last season, with the secondary far improved. Duke will score some points, but Clemson should impress in a big win.

Justin: Clemson-35, Duke-20

Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK
Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Week 1 is always tricky to predict, but I think Clemson is entering Monday’s game with a renewed sense of confidence it may not have had in a few years. Starting with the offense, first-year offensive coordinator Garrett Riley has received mountains of praise from offensive personnel and staff, so I’m expecting Cade Klubnik and the Tigers’ offense to come out of the gates firing. And with Will Shipley and Phil Mafah back for another season, Duke will have its hands full with the Tigers’ rushing attack. As for the defense, there is some concern with the linebacker depth, but overall, it’s one of the top units in the country, especially in the front seven. Duke is by no means an easy matchup for the first game of the season, but with a far more talented roster and coaching staff, Clemson should be able to win comfortably.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire