Clemson vs. The Citadel Prediction and Notes
|Friday, September 18, 2020, 1:01 PM- -|
The Citadel gets just five chances to play in this unusual and weird season, and chance No. 2 happens Saturday against the top team in the land.
The Bulldogs went on the road and lost at South Florida last week to Jeff Scott’s new club, taking just 60 players and playing just 42 in the process. Things will be a little more difficult this week.
NO. 1/1 CLEMSON (1-0, 1-0 ACC) vs. THE CITADEL (0-1)
WHEN: SATURDAY, SEPT. 19, 4 P.M. ET
WHERE: MEMORIAL STADIUM, CLEMSON, S.C. (81,500)
TELEVISION: ACC Network (Anish Shroff, Tom Luginbill, Eric Wood)
RADIO: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)
SATELLITE RADIO: Sirius 81, XM 81, Internet 81
CLEMSON/THE CITADEL SERIES HISTORY
OVERALL: Clemson leads series, 32-5-1
HOME: Clemson leads series, 14-1
ROAD: Clemson leads series, 13-1
NEUTRAL: Clemson leads series, 5-3-1
LAST MEETING: Nov. 18, 2017 (61-3, W) - STREAK: Clemson, Won 17
*The Bulldogs and Tigers have met 38 times prior, but 25 of those game happened between 1909-1936. The teams have played four times since 2000. Clemson holds a 32-5-1 advantage in the series.
*Current Citadel special teams coordinator Turner West is the son of former Clemson head coach Tommy West. Tommy served as the head coach of the Tigers from 1993-98. He was also a Tiger assistant from 1982-89.
* Clemson enters its 2020 home opener riding a school-record 22-game home winning streak, the nation's longest active streak. Clemson's home crowds have seldom left disappointed in the College Football Playoff era, as the Tigers are an FBS-best 41-1 at home since 2014.
Saturday's contest will be played 78 years to the date following Clemson's first game at Memorial Stadium, as the Tigers opened the facility that would later become known colloquially as Death Valley with a 32-13 defeat of Presbyterian College on Sept. 19, 1942. T
Though the facility has since expanded to 81,500, current circumstances will result in Saturday's game being played in front of a comparable capacity to the stadium's 1942 configuration, as the stadium opened that year with capacity for about 20,000 spectators. An estimated crowd of approximately 5,000 attended the facility's debut
*Death Valley has played host to 33 of running back Travis Etienne's 57 career rushing touchdowns and 34 of his 64 career total touchdowns. On Saturday, it could also be the site of Etienne's foray into the NCAA record books. Etienne enters Saturday's contest having scored a touchdown (rushing or receiving) in 37 of his 44 career games, already an ACC record for the most career games scoring a touchdown. With a touchdown of any kind on Saturday, Etienne can tie Florida's Tim Tebow (38 games from 2006-09) and Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon (38 from 2012-15) for the Football Bowl Subdivision record in that category.
*Entering this week's contest, Clemson is a perfect 34-0 against Football Championship Subdivision teams since the NCAA formed the division prior to the 1978 season (Southern Conference schools became I-AA in 1982.) Clemson has outscored FCS teams by a 1422-239 margin all-time, an average victory margin of 34.8 points. Clemson has won 33 of the 34 games by double digits, including each of the last eight by at least 34 points. Only one FCS squad has stayed within double digits of Clemson. Clemson defeated Wofford, 35-27, in 2011, with Wofford’s 27 points standing as the most by an FCS school against Clemson.
WHEN THE CITADEL HAS THE BALL
The Bulldog offense revolves around quarterback Brandon Rainey, who enters the game just 11 yards shy of eclipsing the 2,000-rushing yard mark in his career. He will become the school’s 16th member of the 2,000-yard club. He currently ranks 6th all-time for rushing yards by a quarterback. Rainey was the leading rusher in the 27-6 loss at USF last weekend, carrying the ball 20 times for 65 yards. He was just 4-for-18 through the air for 84 yards in the Bulldogs’ option offense.
B-Back Logan Braucht had 13 carries for 35 yards, while Raleigh Webb had two carries for 50 yards (including a 41-yarder). Ryan McCarthy and Keefe White each caught two passes.
Clemson is no stranger to the option offense, but many of the defensive newcomers will have their first look at it in college. Expect linebacker James Skalski and veteran defensive tackles like Nyles Pinckney and Jordan Williams to have the defense ready to play with gap integrity.
WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL
Bulldog senior All-American linebacker Willie Eubanks III posted 12 solo tackles in the season opener. He added three tackles-for-loss and a sack.
At Wake Forest, Trevor Lawrence rushed for a pair of scores and threw a 12-yard touchdown pass. He finished the game by going 22-of-28 for 351 yards and a touchdown. Running back Travis Etienne carried 17 times for 102 yards and a touchdown. As a team, the Tigers amassed 561 yards of offense in the victory over Wake, with 376 coming through the air.
The Bulldogs allowed USF just 102 yards through the air last week, but they also allowed 302 yards on the ground. That doesn’t bode well for Saturday.
The Bulldogs averaged just 31.7 yards per punt on six punts last week, but freshman kicker Colby Kintner kicked two field goals of over 40 yards. Clemson’s BT Potter hit three field goals last week and punter Will Spiers started the season by averaging 42.75 yards per punt against the Demon Deacons.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
The Citadel will come in and give it the old college try, hoping to catch the Tigers’ defense looking the wrong way and extending drives and chewing the clock. The problem is that there aren’t enough playmakers on that side of the ball, while the Tigers have playmakers all over the field, on both sides of the ball. It will get out of hand, quickly, and the big question at the end of the game will be how many players played for Clemson.
FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 52, CITADEL 7
Mickey Plyler - 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM - 57-6 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 42-7 Clemson (picking same score all reg. season)
Nikki Hood - Staff writer - 59-7 Clemson
Brandon Rink - Staff writer - 55-0 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 62-6 Clemson