South Carolina St. versus Clemson prediction


by - Senior Writer -
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Stoudt completed a Clemson record 19-20 passes for 143 yards and three scores last year against SC State.

Saturday’s home game against South Carolina is more than just the first home game of the season and the first chance for Clemson fans to see the Tigers run down the hill in 2014: It’s a chance to send the memories of a bad fourth quarter at Georgia into a dark corner.

The Bulldogs came into Clemson last year and left with a 52-13 defeat.

WHAT: South Carolina St. at No. 23 CLEMSON
WHERE: Clemson Memorial Stadium (82,500)
WHEN: Saturday, September 6 (12:30 p.m.)
SPREAD: N/A
TV:ACC Network and ESPN3

THE BREAKDOWN

WHY SOUTH CAROLINA ST. MIGHT WIN THE GAME

*Will Clemson’s loss at Georgia hurt them this week? - A talented Clemson team lost on the road at Auburn back in 2010, and that loss seemed to haunt the Tigers the rest of the season. If that’s the case, the Tigers could take a while to get going against South Carolina St. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 63-0 win over Benedict, and head coach Buddy Pough has pulled in some talent to Orangeburg. The Bulldogs started off slow against Benedict last week – leading 14-0 at the half – before reeling off 49 second half points in the 63-0 victory. The Bulldogs finished with 541 total yards. Adrian Kollock was 15-18 for 160 yards through the air, but the run game accounted for 380 yards as seven different rushers racked up at least 30 yards. For a Clemson defense that got gashed in the run game in the fourth quarter last week, the fly sweep could be a dangerous thing. The Bulldogs were stingy on the ground, a dangerous recipe for a Clemson team that struggled in the run game at times last week.

WHY CLEMSON MIGHT WIN THE GAME

Too much talent - The Bulldogs were one of the best defenses in the FCS last season, and the Tigers still racked up 512 yards of total offense in what was little more than a cameo for many of the starters. Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 231
Dublin, OH

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was 19-of-20 for 143 yards and three touchdowns in a backup role, and if Stoudt leaves he has a talented understudy in freshman Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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. In fact, the Tigers have a lot of talented youngsters who will see a lot of playing time Saturday in backup roles, all of them hoping to get a chance to impress the coaches in a game situation. Included in that mix are freshmen running backs Wayne GallmanWayne Gallman
RS Fr. Running Back
#9 6-1, 209
Loganville, GA

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and Adam ChoiceAdam Choice
Fr. Running Back
#26 5-10, 211
Thomasville, GA

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, wide receivers Artavis ScottArtavis Scott
Fr. Wide Receiver
#3 5-11, 190
Oldsmar, FL

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and Demarre KittDemarre Kitt
Fr. Wide Receiver
#8 6-1, 183
Tyrone, GA

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and offensive guard Tyrone CrowderTyrone Crowder
RS Fr. Offensive Guard
#55 6-2, 322
Marston, NC

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. On the defensive side of the ball, it will be the first chance for Clemson fans to see (in person anyway) defensive tackle Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 292
Honolulu, HI

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, Ebenezer OgundekoEbenezer Ogundeko
RS Fr. Defensive End
#1 6-3, 246
Brooklyn, NY

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and a bevy of talent in the secondary, including MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Cornerback
#2 5-11, 190
Immokalee, FL

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.

This is a big week for this team - What we’ve heard out of Clemson this week is that practices have been brutal and tough, and that head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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has been pushing this team harder than ever this week. That tells me that last week’s loss resonates with this team, and the coaches are doing everything they can to get it out of everybody’s system. That means this is a big game – not from a standpoint of what a win means nationally- but from a standpoint of getting back some confidence and swagger with Florida St. sitting just over the horizon. This game is the perfect situation for this team this week, especially with an off week next week. This is also a big week for the defense – which gets Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 276
Columbus, GA

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back at defensive end – to prove that last week was a fluke. Special teams also need to take a step forward – could we see Alexander at punt return? Will the kickoff coverage problems be fixed?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

I think this offense is still trying to find an identity – that was easy to see last week when the Tigers ran the ball with success in the first half but struggled once Georgia made adjustments. Are they a running team? Will this squad have more success throwing the football, following the pattern that Morris had over his first three seasons in Clemson? That might make for a slightly slow start Saturday – especially with the early start time – before things get into gear. This Clemson team won’t score as easily as it did last season, but the defense will help and the Tigers will begin to pull away.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 44, SC STATE 10


GUEST PREDICTIONS
Mickey Plyler - 6AM-9AM EST on WCCP 105.5FM - 45-10 Clemson

Dutch Coleman - 9AM-12PM EST on WCCP 105.5FM - 52-13 Clemson

Nikki Steele - TigerNet Writer - 52-10 Clemson

Tony Crumpton - TigerNet's Associate Editor - 49-13 Clemson

Lawton Swann - Clemson Sports Talk / TigerNet Talk - Coming Soon

Pigskin Prophet - 44-10 Clemson



GameActualDavid HoodMickey PlylerTony CrumptonNikki SteeleLawton SwannPigskin ProphetDutch Coleman
Georgia45-21 UGA27-24 CU27-23 CU28-27 CU24-21 UGA31-23 CU23-16 CU31-20 CU
Points - 0003000

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




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