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Clemson vs SC State prediction


  by - Senior Writer - Friday, September 6, 2013 4:14 PM
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You never, ever want to overlook an opponent, especially after eight FBS teams were knocked by FCS teams in week one. The big blow was when North Dakota St. – ranked No. 1 in the FCS polls – defeated Kansas St. on a day they were erecting a statue to Bill Snyder.

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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has brought up those upsets repeatedly this week, and refused to remark on whether the backups and freshmen would see significant snaps. Smart man. After all, to admit to anyone that you plan to play your third-string quarterback in the third quarter is asking for trouble, and Swinney sidestepped those ridiculous questions from certain members of the media this week.

I mean come on – what was he supposed to say? “Yes, I think we will be up by 62 points at the half and Chad KellyChad Kelly
RS Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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will start the third quarter.” That’s just not gonna happen.

However, as the media and fans, it’s ok to look at this game and wonder who is going to get playing time. Let’s be honest, if some of the key backups aren’t playing by midway through the third quarter, then something has gone horribly wrong.

The bad news is that several younger players who would have benefitted from playing in a game of this type – MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
Fr. Defensive Back
#2 5-11, 185
Immokalee, FL

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, Korrin WigginsKorrin Wiggins
Fr. Defensive Back
#12 6-1, 185
Durham, NC

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, Tyshon DyeTyshon Dye
Fr. Running Back
#23 6-1, 205
Elberton, GA

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, BJ Goodson – are all out with injuries.

SOUTH CAROLINA STATE AT NO. 4 CLEMSON

Who: South Carolina State (0-1) at No. 4 Clemson (1-0)
When: Saturday, 12:30 p.m. ET
Where: Memorial Stadium (81,500) | Clemson, S.C.
TV: Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio: Clemson Radio Network
Line: Clemson by -52

Clemson Personnel Update

*Tyshon Dye (RB), out with back
*MacKensie Alexander (DB), out with groin
*B.J. GoodsonB.J. Goodson
RS So. Linebacker
#44 6-0, 240
Lamar, SC

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(LB), out with concussion
*Korrin Wiggins (DB), out with hamstring
*Joe GoreJoe Gore
RS So. Offensive Tackle
#73 6-4, 275
Lake Waccamaw, NC

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(OL), out with knee
*Scott PaganoScott Pagano
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 280
Honolulu, HI

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(DT), out with ankle
*Sam CooperSam Cooper
RS Jr. Tight End
#86 6-5, 250
Brentwood, TN

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(TE), Probable with knee
*Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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(TE), Probable with knee
*Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Jr. Cornerback
#14 5-10, 180
Roswell, GA

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(DB), Probable with shoulder

WHEN SC STATE HAS THE BALL

The Bulldogs (yes, I am typing that for the second week in a row, and Clemson plays three Bulldog teams this season) feature a hurry-up, no-huddle spread attack under coordinator Joe Blackwell. Blackwell has senior Richard Cue running the show. Swinney mentioned this week that the Bulldogs ran it 58 times last week in a loss to Coastal Carolina. Clemson’s front seven did a decent job against the Georgia tandem of Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley last week – they have to improve their angles and eliminate the big play – and should find it a little easier going against this group of Bulldogs. Justin Taylor – who began his career at Kentucky – had 24 carries for 80 yards against Coastal, while Julius Pendergrass carried it 18 times for 58 yards. As you can see, both players didn’t exactly light it up despite the workload, and if Clemson’s defensive line and linebackers Spencer ShueySpencer Shuey
Gr. Linebacker
#33 6-3, 230
Charlotte, NC

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and Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Jr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 235
Polkton, NC

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can control the running lanes, Blackwell might turn to the air early. Enter Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Jr. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
Adairsville, GA

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, who had two sacks on Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray a week ago. Cue completed 13-of-23 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown against Coastal, and Tyler McDonald had four catches for 108 yards. If I’m Blackwell, I try to take advantage of the matchup of a slot receiver on the Clemson SAM, use a little play fake and throw passes underneath for gains, just like Georgia did last week. However, with Clemson’s improved pass rush, it might not be enough.

ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

S.C. State linebackers Joe Thomas and Justin Hughes had 11 and 10 tackles respectively last week, but Coastal Carolina managed to run the ball successfully, and Clemson’s offensive line should have no trouble opening lanes for Roderick McDowell and his backfield running mates. What Clemson fans don’t want to see is quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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running the ball Saturday – the Tigers need to keep him healthy – so expect a big dose of McDowell and Zac BrooksZac Brooks
So. Running Back
#24 6-1, 185
Jonesboro, AR

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early and D.J. HowardD.J. Howard
RS Jr. Running Back
#22 5-11, 195
Lincoln, AL

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and C.J. DavidsonC.J. Davidson
RS So. Running Back
#32 5-11, 185
Clemson, SC

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late. In the passing game, the only question is how many attempts Boyd will get before he exits the game and how many snaps will No. 2 QB Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Jr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 205
Dublin, OH

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and even Chad Kelly receive. It will be exciting to see youngsters like Germone HopperGermone Hopper
RS Fr. Wide Receiver
#5 6-0, 170
Charlotte, NC

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and Mike WilliamsMike Williams
Fr. Wide Receiver
#7 6-5, 205
Vance, SC

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get extended action, if the score dictates that they play. I’m with Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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this week – if this offense just takes care of its own business and eliminates the drops, there really isn’t a chance that a defense can shut them down.

ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON

SPECIAL TEAMS


Last week combined the fantastic and the uh-oh on special teams. Chandler CatanzaroChandler Catanzaro
Gr. Punter / Kicker
#39 6-2, 195
Greenville, SC

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was perfect. Bradley PinionBradley Pinion
So. Punter
#92 6-5, 230
Concord, NC

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was perfect on kickoffs and punts, allowing only four return yards on seven kicks. But the Tigers still didn’t come close to breaking a return, Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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muffed a punt, and another play in which a Clemson player touched a punt could have been disastrous. And while Clemson’s return game needs to be fixed, I doubt that we will see much of Sammy Watkins this week. S.C. State’s kicker is Will Roper, who visited Clemson after transferring from Arizona St, and he has a big leg. Punter Nick Belcher is also a weapon, and he had five punts with an average of 46 yards per punt last week. Belcher booted a 61-yard punt and pinned Coastal Carolina inside the 20-yard line three times last Saturday.

ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

Does anybody remember Wofford going toe-to-toe with Clemson a few years ago in Death Valley before finally falling 35-27? That is exactly the scenario the Tigers need to avoid this week. However, Clemson is a better team now, and the Bulldogs don’t have the talent that Wofford team possessed. S.C. State may find a few cracks in the Clemson defense, and maybe their defense comes up with a big play a time or two, but they just don’t have the depth to compete for four quarters with Clemson. Enjoy a sunny day in the Valley.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 55, SC STATE 13


GUEST PREDICTIONS
Mickey Plyler - 6-9AM on WCCP 104.9FM EST - 56-10 Clemson
Nikki Steele - TigerNet Writer - 56-16 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - TigerNet's Associate Editor - 63-17 Clemson
Lawton Swann - Clemson Sports Talk / TigerNet Talk - 57-10 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 60-13 Clemson
Butt-head - 63-21 Clemson


GameActualDavid HoodMickey PlylerTony CrumptonNikki SteeleLawton SwannPigskin Prophet
Georgia38-35 CU37-34 CU31-28 CU31-28 CU34-31 CU37-31 CU39-34 CU
Points - 311111

* Points: 3 pts for best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 1pt for picking the correct winner


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