Clemson vs. Wofford Prediction: Can Wofford hang tough against the Tigers?
|Friday, November 1, 2019, 1:08 PM- -|
Wofford and Clemson meet again and both have playoff hopes heading into the final month of the season.
Clemson is 8-0 and in line to earn another berth in the College Football Playoff. Wofford enters the game with a 5-2 record and is looking for a return to the FCS Playoffs after reaching the second-round last season with a 9-4 overall record and a 6-2 mark as Southern Conference Champions.
Most important, however, is the fact Clemson honors its proud military heritage with Military Appreciation Day.
NO. 4/3 CLEMSON (8-0, 6-0 ACC) vs. WOFFORD (5-2, 4-1 SOCON)
WHEN: SATURDAY, NOV. 2, 4:00 P.M. ET
WHERE: MEMORIAL STADIUM (81,500), CLEMSON, S.C.
TELEVISION: ACC Network (Chris Cotter, Mark Herzlich, Kelsey Riggs)
RADIO: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, C.J. Spiller, Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)
**Sirius 137, XM 193, Internet 955**
OVERALL: Clemson leads series, 12-3
HOME: Clemson leads series, 8-0
ROAD: Clemson leads series, 4-3
LAST MEETING: Sept. 5, 2015 (49-10, W)
STREAK: Clemson, Won 5
*At 124-30 for his career, Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney enters this week in search of his 125th career victory. Per records maintained by Sports Reference, he would become the 10th coach in major college football history to reach 125 wins in 155 or fewer games, joining George Woodruff (142), Urban Meyer (148), Bob Neyland (148), Chris Petersen (151), Joe Paterno (153), Fielding Yost (153), Barry Switzer (153), Bud Wilkinson (153) and Henry Williams (154).
*Including his three rushing touchdowns against Boston College last week, running back Travis Etienne enters this week with 46 career rushing touchdowns and 49 career total touchdowns, putting him within striking distance of "Thunder and Lightning" for school records in each category. "Thunder" James Davis presently holds the school record with 47 career rushing touchdowns across the 2005-08 seasons, a mark Etienne can tie with one rushing touchdown or break with two rushing touchdowns. "Lightning" C.J. Spiller holds the Clemson record in total touchdowns with 51, a record Etienne can tie with two touchdowns or break with three touchdowns.
*In 124 years and 1,256 games of Clemson football, the Tigers have never posted 45 points in four consecutive games in school history. This week, Clemson can post a fourth straight 45-point performance for the first time.
*Clemson is attempting to open a season 9-0 for the sixth time in program history and the fourth time in the last five years (1948, 1981, 2015, 2016 and 2018). Clemson earned conference titles in all of the previous five seasons in which it opened 9-0 and earned national championships in three of those years.
*The 2019 Clemson seniors are attempting to win their 50th game in the last four years to become the ninth senior class in FBS history to accomplish the feat. The 50th win would tie the 2019 Clemson seniors with the 2017 senior class for the second-most career wins in school history.
*Clemson is attempting to win a 21st consecutive home game to tie the longest home winning streak in school history, set across the 2013-16 seasons. Clemson's last home loss came on Nov. 12, 2016, against Pitt. The current 20-game streak is only the second home winning streak of at least 20 games in school history. It represents the second-longest active streak in the country.
*Prior to being named head coach at Wofford in 2018, Josh Conklin spent three seasons as defensive coordinator at Pitt. In 2016, Pitt earned a 43-42 win over Clemson.
WHEN WOFFORD HAS THE BALL
At quarterback, Joe Newman and Miller Mosley both see action. Newman started all seven games and is 42-of-76 passing with five touchdowns and he has 760 rushing yards, along with 11 rushing touchdowns while Mosley is 4-of-9 passing and has 94 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Wofford is second in the FCS with a rushing attack that pounds out 367.1 yards per game. Blake Morgan has 423 rushing yards and five touchdowns, Jacquez Allen has 381 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Nathan Walker has 269 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The offensive line returns all five starters from last season. D’mauriae VanCleave has 15 catches for 199 yards to lead all receivers, while T.J. Luther has added seven catches for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
If Wofford wants to keep it close, it won’t come through the air. The Terriers will need to run the football, and then run it some more, with success. That hasn’t happened often this season against a Clemson defense that has been stingy against both the run and the pass. With defensive tackle Tyler Davis clogging the middle and end Justin Foster adding another layer to his game Brent Venables’ group has been really good.
WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL
The Terriers aren’t slack on the defensive side of the ball. Dimitri Redwood leads the team with 32 tackles, followed by Ryan Titus and Jireh Wilson with 27. Wilson has 4.5 sacks to lead the team ... Michael Mason has a team-high 7.0 tackles for loss. George Gbesee, Mason Alstatt, Jireh Wilson, Keyvaun Cobb and DT Wilson have one interception each, while Gbesee has a team-best seven pass break-ups.
It won’t be enough against a Clemson offense that is hitting its stride. The Terriers know they don’t have a great chance at stopping Clemson’s stable of playmakers. The Tigers should be able to impose their will offensively, starting with the running game and the offensive line.
Luke Carter is 6-of-8 on field goals, made all 34 PATs and has a 39.0 average on punts. Clemson’s special teams have been average, as we’ve said for weeks. There still doesn’t appear to be a consistent option on field goals. Except for Florida State, the punting has been better than it was last season, and it looks like Joseph Ngata (kickoff return) and Amari Rodgers (punt return) have been close to breaking a return.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN
The Terriers are talented, and they came into Death Valley in 2011 and put a scare into the home folks. However, Clemson’s talent is far better than it was on that day in 2011, and it will show early. Etienne will run and have success early and set a couple of records and the passing game will do enough to get the reserves into the game early.
FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 56, WOFFORD 7
Mickey Plyler - 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM - 52-14 Clemson
Tony Crumpton - Associate Editor - 55-7 Clemson
Nikki Hood - Staff writer - 59-7 Clemson
Brandon Rink - Staff writer 55-10 Clemson
Pigskin Prophet - 65-7 Clemson
|Game||Actual||David Hood||Mickey Plyler||Tony Crumpton||Nikki Hood||Brandon Rink||Pigskin Prophet|
|Georgia Tech||52-14 CU||44-13 CU||52-17 CU||45-13 CU||42-17 CU||48-13 CU||47-9 CU|
|Texas A&M||24-10 CU||41-27 CU||37-20 CU||38-24 CU||38-27 CU||45-27 CU||31-23 CU|
|Syracuse||41-6 CU||40-16 CU||41-17 CU||42-13 CU||42-17 CU||45-13 CU||37-13 CU|
|Charlotte||52-10 CU||44-13 CU||59-10 CU||49-10 CU||42-17 CU||55-13 CU||49-10 CU|
|UNC||21-20 CU||45-13 CU||52-17 CU||38-13 CU||47-10 CU||45-10 CU||48-13 CU|
|Florida State||45-14 CU||41-14 CU||42-20 CU||45-17 CU||52-17 CU||41-17 CU||45-14 CU|
|Louisville||45-10 CU||45-17 CU||52-20 CU||38-14 CU||56-20 CU||48-17 CU||47-21 CU|
|BC||59-7 CU||49-14 CU||45-14 CU||45-13 CU||49-7 CU||48-14 CU||51-10 CU|
* Points: 3 pts for best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson score), 2 pts for picking score exactly, 1 pt for picking the correct winner