Cade Klubnik, a 5-star freshman out of powerhouse Austin Westlake High School in Texas, has been as good as advertised in his few brief appearances this season. In his very first start in the ACC Championship Game, Klubnik went 20-24 for 279 yards and a TD against Mack Brown’s overmatched North Carolina Tar Heels squad. In fact, the young gunslinger was so good that Clemson coach Dabo Swinney promoted him the starter moving forward — causing the Tigers’ other 5-star QB, incumbent D.J. Uiagalelei, to transfer to Oregon State.
One bit of good news for Klubnik in tonight’s matchup will be him facing off against a Tennessee Volunteers’ secondary that is clearly the Achilles heel of the team, and a unit that has already been scorched this year by the likes of Anthony Richardson, Stetson Bennett, and Spencer Rattler… not exactly a murderer’s row of QBs. The Volunteers will trot out the 5th-worst ranked pass defense in the nation to try to harness the kid from Austin, and if they don’t play markedly better than they did in the regular season, then Klubnik might just exit this bowl season as next year’s Heisman frontrunner. We’re expecting a BIG game from the young QB, so grab his over 257.5 passing yards prop at BetUS now before it continues rising.