Clemson vs. SC State Prediction


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Clemson vs. SC State Prediction

Clemson is home for the second week in a row, and for the second time the Tigers will be a heavy favorite to knock off the undermanned visitor.

That didn’t work out last week, but quarterback Deshaun Watson has vowed to have more fun and head coach Dabo Swinney says he hopes the offensive miscues will be fixed in the final tune-up before conference play starts next week.

Clemson has a short week to prepare for Georgia Tech – travelling to Atlanta and Bobby Dodd Stadium for a Thursday night clash with the Jackets – so the offense has to get it in gear before the short week.

When: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2016
Where: Memorial Stadium, Clemson, S.C. (81,500)
Kickoff: 12:04 p.m. (EST)
Tickets: Available (800-CLEMSON) or via clemsontigers.com
TV: FOX REGIONAL NETWORK (Wes Durham, James Bates, Jenn Hildreth)
Radio: Clemson Radio Network (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Michael Palmer)
Satellite Radio: (Sirius Radio ch. 134, XM Radio ch. 194)

SERIES HISTORY

Overall Record: Clemson leads 3-0
at Clemson: Clemson leads 3-0
First Meeting: Clemson 54-0 in 2008
Last Meeting: Clemson 73-7 in 2014

*Fast Fact – Clemson and South Carolina St. – despite the proximity – have met just three previous times in football and all have come since 2008. It was a 54-0 Clemson victory in 2008, a 52-13 Clemson win in 2013 and a 73-7 win in 2014. That’s 179-20 if you’re keeping count.

THE MATCHUP

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

South Carolina St. has given up 91 points and 61 first downs in two games while giving up 1,189 total yards of offense. Linebacker Darius Leonard has 12 total tackles to lead the Bulldogs. Defensive end Gregtavious Newell has 1.5 of the Bulldogs’ six overall sacks, but this really isn’t about the matchup between South Carolina St. and Clemson, it’s about Clemson’s offense finding a rhythm and having fun again. Watson completed just over 50% of his passes last week against Troy, and he’s been off on the deep ball in both games. Here’s what Clemson fans want to see – establish the running game and see more fire from the offensive line, which was suspect last week against Troy. Once the running game is established, get Watson and his receivers into some kind of rhythm before the substitutions begin to flow. ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON.

WHEN SOUTH CAROLINA ST. HAS THE BALL

Running back Bishop Ford has 19 carries for the Bulldogs, but just 52 yards for a 2.3 yards per carry average. Quarterback Caleb York has been a little more efficient in the running game, gaining 78 yards on his 16 carries. In the passing game, York has completed just 43.9% of his passes (29-for-66) with two touchdowns. Lynard Jamison has eight receptions for 83 yards to lead the receivers. On Clemson’s side, the Tigers have started out each of the first two games in dominant fashion but have wilted at the end. Some of that has to do with the inability of the offense to sustain a drive, and some of it is missed assignments. With Georgia Tech looming, those missed assignments have to be cleaned up. It’s also time for the defensive ends to assert themselves while the young linebackers have to compensate for the loss of Ben Boulware, who isn’t expected to play. The key word for the defense this week, however, is finish. The Tigers have to play four quarters, no matter who is in the game. ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON.

SPECIAL TEAMS
Kicker Greg Huegel knocked all of his kickoffs into the endzone last week, and he’s been good on field goals. Punter Andy Teasdall had a bad day after being more than effective at Auburn. I said last week it was time for a return for a touchdown and Ray-Ray McCloud gave Clemson just that – almost. He dropped the ball before crossing the goal line, but came back and had another nice return. Special teams still aren’t great, but they are getting better. State has no punt returns on the season and are average on kickoff returns. ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

As I said earlier, this game is more about Clemson’s offense getting back in rhythm and the defense putting four quarters together before traveling to Georgia Tech than it is about the matchup with South Carolina St. Clemson will scuffle early – bringing uneasiness to the crowd – but Watson hits Cain on a long touchdown pass late in the first quarter and the offense begins to roll from there. Watson is out midway through the third quarter.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 52, SC STATE 10


GUEST PREDICTIONS
Mickey Plyler - 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM - 48-0 Clemson
Scott Cole - 12-3 PM on WCCP 105.5FM - 56-10 Clemson
Lawton Swann - 6-8 PM on Fox Sports Radio 1400 and iHeart Radio - 52-10 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 45-10 Clemson
Nikki Steele - Staff writer - 49-3 Clemson
Tom Meares - Staff writer - Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 55-13 Clemson

GameActualDavid HoodMickey PlylerTony CrumptonNikki SteeleLawton SwannScott ColeTom MearesPigskin Prophet
Auburn19-13 CU37-20 CU31-17 CU31-21 CU35-24 CU38-17 CU31-17 CU38-13 CU44-17 CU
Troy30-24 CU47-13 CU41-17 CU44-10 CU51-17 CU45-14 CU35-13 CU55-10 CU55-13 CU
Points - 25222722

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


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