Weighing our options (and the GT Preview)

clunker

Offense:

Clemson can beat you in many ways. A prolific passing game (App State), a grind-it-out running game (Louisville), and a go-up-early then do-just-enough-to-hang-on performance (Notre Dame).

We’re looking to see the Tigers’ offense put together 4 quarters of heady offensive play, led by No. 4, against a sputtering Georgia Tech defense. Key things to look for:

  • How many times does Artavis Scott take our breath away?
  • Does ScElliott stick with Charone Peake in the boundary WR spot, or test Deon Cain or Trevion Thompson at the 9?
  • Will Jordan Leggett get more looks over the middle?
  • Can Deshaun improve his mechanics, and step into his throws?

This week presents our offense the opportunity to make a statement, that they’re able to live up to pre-season expectations and emerge as the key position group on this team.

Defense:

When Paul Johnson’s triple option attack takes the field, it’s tough to avoid the temptation to call it a gimmick. Known as much for semi-legal cut blocks as it is for effective clock-control and efficiency, when it works, it’s nigh impossible to defend (and among the most frustrating styles to root against). You’ll hear the announcers praise “assignment football”, which as far as I can tell means tackle the guy with the ball, and don’t get caught sleeping on WR coverage. While the eye is drawn to the edges, I think this game is won or lost with Clemson’s ability to pressure up the middle. If the Tigers can seal the A-gap, eliminate The Dive, prevent cutbacks, and get pursuit when the ball-carrier moves outside, it should be enough to mitigate drive-extending 3rd and shorts, or actual conversions. Fortunately, we’ve got a stable of bruisers in Carlos Watkins, Christian Wilkins, and Scott Pagano to throw at them.

Prediction:

We know the defense will show up to play, and hopefully they’ve got the conditioning to keep up, after most starters played 65 grueling snaps vs. Notre Dame. I’m also looking for another fast start from the offense, as this Georgia Tech team struggles coming from behind (though we did see them bounce off the mat vs. ND).

35-17 Tigers. Now let’s hear what Ben and Cody had to say!

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