Coastal Carolina vs Clemson Prediction


by - Senior Writer -
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It has been a heady couple of weeks for the Clemson football program – a huge win over Wake Forest at home, then a tombstone win over the Miami Hurricanes on the road. The end result is that the Tigers are firmly in the driver’s seat as they take the road to the ACC Championship game. However, the ACC march will sit on hold for a week as Clemson fans take in the many homecoming festivities and await the homecoming sacrificial lamb in Coastal Carolina. It might not be the best game from a standpoint of being close and exciting, but it is another chance to watch C.J. Spiller – after this, only two more times to watch him at home.


Coastal Carolina at Clemson


When Coastal Carolina Has the Ball

The Chants returned a ton of players from last season, but that experience hasn’t translated into a lot of success as Coastal is averaging just over 16 points per game. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said this week that Coastal runs an offense similar to what you see with Florida or West Virginia – quarterback in the shotgun, or the spread option. Quarterback Zach MacDowall is a threat running and throwing, but will have a hard time going anywhere against the bigger, faster Clemson defense. Coastal quarterbacks have also thrown 11 interceptions and just six touchdown passes. It might take some Halloween tricks, showing the Clemson defense something they haven’t seen on film, to move the ball effectively.


ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON


When Clemson Has the Ball

The Tiger offense has gotten back on track the past couple of weeks and a huge reason is that the tight ends have gotten more involved. Michael Palmer probably won’t play this week, but it won’t matter, because Dwayne Allen is a matchup nightmare for the Chants. Look for Spiller to get the ball early, and then look for Harper and Ellington to get a ton of carries from the middle of the game on. Swinney is a friend of Coastal head coach David Bennett, and the Clemson offense won’t be too imaginative or wild – just line ‘em up and knock ‘em over. The Coastal defense gave up 58 points and 575 yards of total offense to Liberty just a few weeks ago, so….


ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON


Special Teams

What can you say here? Other than the missed field goals at a few key times, the Clemson special teams have been outstanding this season. Spiller has three kickoff returns for touchdowns, one punt return for a touchdown, and just the threat that Spiller and Ford and Ellington pose has caused teams to kick away from the trio, and the Clemson offense has gotten great field position as a result. The Chants can pick their poison here – kick to them and take the chance of a big return, or give the Clemson offense a short field to work with. Richard Jackson’s 30-yard field goal last week that sent the Miami game into overtime was huge, and hopefully gives him some confidence as Clemson enters the stretch run. Dawson Zimmerman had a good day punting as well.


ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON


Coaching

Coastal head coach David Bennett has taken some heat because of the lack of production from the offense, but he backed first year offense coordinator Kevin Brown earlier this week. Clemson offensive coordinator Billy Napier has drawn his own share of ire this season, but the last two weeks have calmed the storm somewhat. Bennett led the Chants to a 9-3 record and the FCS playoffs in 2006, but the program has gone just 14-16 since then.


ADVANTAGE – CLEMSON


BOTTOM LINE

The last two games the Chants have played against FBS series opponents have not been pretty – a 66-10 loss at Penn St. last year and an 18-0 loss to Kent earlier this season. Combined, Coastal has gained just 352 yards of total offense in their last two games, a 45-point loss to Liberty and a 16-10 loss to Stony Brook last week. The Chants are coming out in all black, and the Tigers are going to wear all orange in a nod to Halloween, but this one will be over early and Clemson fans can get on with homecoming and Halloween celebrations at a decent hour.


THE PICK

CLEMSON 48, COASTAL 6

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