Clemson vs GT Preview and Prediction


by - Correspondent -
    |
Saturday's matchup features two of the nation's most innovative offensive coordinators in Clemson's Rich Rodriguez and Georgia Tech's Ralph Friedgen.

With a much-anticipated matchup with Florida State less than two weeks away,
could it be that Clemson might overlook a dangerous Georgia Tech team this weekend?
It's possible, but considering that no player on the Tiger roster has ever beaten
the Yellow Jackets, it certainly isn't likely.



QUARTERBACKS- Despite getting off to a slow start, Georgia Tech triggerman
George Godsey has shown flashes of brilliance, particularly as of late. The
6-2, 210-pound junior is currently ranked second in passing efficiency in the
ACC and has thrown for an impressive 15 touchdowns and only four interceptions.
While Godsey edges out Clemson's Woodrow Dantzler in passing accuracy, he doesn't
come close to matching the Tiger quarterback's explosive running ability and
athleticism. Should Dantzler be unable to go on Saturday due to an ankle bruise
suffered against North Carolina, Willie Simmons certainly appears capable of
leading the Tiger offense after last week's relief performance.

Advantage: Clemson



RUNNING BACKS- After gaining 89 yards on 25 carries and drawing the ire
of Tommy Bowden for playing soft without the ball, look for Travis Zachery to
come out strong against the Yellow Jackets. Georgia Tech's Joe Burns packs a
dangerous combination of power and explosiveness, with the 205 -pound tailback
leading his team in both rushing yards per game (71.1) and rushing touchdowns
(eight).

Advantage: Even



CLEMSON RECEIVERS VS. GEORGIA TECH SECONDARY- The Yellow Jackets are
next to last in the ACC at stopping the pass, giving up a whopping 291 yards
per game and 12 touchdowns. Rod Gardner and the Clemson receiving corps will
need to come up with another solid performance for the Tiger offense to be successful.

Advantage: Clemson



GEORGIA TECH RECEIVERS VS. CLEMSON SECONDARY- Unless Clemson dramatically
improves its deep-ball coverage, the Tigers could be in serous trouble against
a talented Yellow Jacket receiving unit. Junior Kelly Campbell is an all-ACC
caliber threat while sophomore Will Glover appears to be a star in the making.

Advantage: Georgia Tech



CLEMSON OFFENSIVE LINE VS. GEORGIA TECH DEFENSIVE LINE- While teams have
been quick to burn Georgia Tech through the air, the Yellow Jackets have been
particularly dominant against the run, holding opponents to just under 100 yards
per game. Sophomore Greg Gathers anchors a Tech unit that has improved dramatically
as the season has progressed. The Clemson offensive line will be looking to
bounce back after the team's lowest rushing output of the season last week at
North Carolina.

Advantage: Even



GEORGIA TECH OFFENSIVE LINE VS. CLEMSON DEFENSIVE LINE- Godsey's strong
suit certainly isn't his mobility, a fact that makes it critical for the Tiger
defensive front to apply pressure consistently throughout the afternoon. The
Yellow Jacket offensive line has been effective thus far in pass protection
(respectable 14 sacks allowed) and solid in paving the way for Tech runners.

Advantage: Georgia Tech



LINEBACKERS- Both teams boast superb linebacking corps, with Keith Adams
and Chad Carson leading the way for Clemson and Ricardo Winsbush and true freshman
Daryl Smith sparking the Yellow Jackets. For the Tiger linebackers, stopping
flat passes to the Georgia Tech tight ends and running backs will be huge.

Advantage: Clemson



SPECIAL TEAMS- Georgia Tech's Dan Dyke is third nationally in punting
with a 45.5-yard per punt average while placekicker Luke Manget has connected
on a respectable 7-10 attempts, including a long of 50 yards. As for the Tigers,
Joe Don Reames has been solid as returning punts. Otherwise, Clemson's special
teams play has been consistently inconsistent.

Advantage: Georgia Tech



COACHING- Saturday's matchup features two of the nation's most innovative
offensive coordinators in Clemson's Rich Rodriguez and Georgia Tech's Ralph
Friedgen. Rodriguez' "Indy 500" offense is unique in the speed in
which it operates while Fridgen's attack features a mind-numbing array of formations
and sets. Defensively, both teams have shown a penchant for allowing a big play,
and, considering the explosiveness of the offenses involved, yardage could pile
up at an astonishing rate as the game progresses. Should they finally figure
out how to stop the deep ball, Clemson could potentially win by a convincing
margin. Otherwise, look for this one to go down to the wire in a game saturated
with bowl implications for both schools.

Advantage: Even

PREDICTION- Clemson- 38 Georgia Tech- 28

Rate this Story:
0 votes

Send Feedback to David Harry: Email | Comment
    |
Loading...

Herbstreit: 'Frightening' defense has Clemson as Playoff favorite

Venables says Saturday sets up to be a bloody nose kind of day

Photos: Clemson vs. Louisville - 2

Clemson ranked No. 1 in CBSSports.com's 2017 performances

Clemson-Louisville was most-watched prime-time game

Five Questions Answered

Inside the Road Trip: Big game vibe was missing from Louisville

Former Clemson LB traded to Dolphins

Don't want to get smacked by Wilkins? Don't score. Or play rock-paper-scissors
Sign Up for E-Mail News Alerts
Features
Updates
Daily Digest