Dan Scott: Ball State - Clemson Prediction


by - Correspondent -
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(WRITER'S NOTE: For three weeks I have made my pick with a goodly amount of both thought and research, and so far I've been able to pick the winner all three times. This week, however, the only information about Ball State considered for this box is the following: The Cardinals lost to a horrible Missouri team, 41-6, and had to come from behind to beat a putrid Division 1-AA Indiana State squad last week, 23-21. There are some very good football teams in the MAC. Ball State isn't one of them)


Ball State (1-1) at Clemson (2-1)


OFFENSE

After making slow progress and fighting itself with turnovers and missed opportunities, this is the week Clemson's offense gets better. Expect big days from quarterback Willie Simmons, tailback Yusef Kelly and any number of wide receivers. Also expect to get your first look at redshirt freshman quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, probably for most of the second half. After all, it's just Ball State.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson.


DEFENSE

Clemson has seen its share of star performers already this season, including Georgia's Musa Smith, Louisiana Tech's Luke McCown and Georgia Tech's Tony Hollings. Not to take anything away from Marcus Merriweather's performance last week against Indiana State (27 carries, 146 yards and three touchdowns), neither he nor his offensive line have faced a defense as good as this rejuvenated Clemson squad. Expect Marcus to have plenty of company in the backfield, only they'll be wearing the wrong colored jerseys. After all, it's just Ball State.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


SPECIAL TEAMS

Aaron Hunt's leg might need icing after he gets finished kicking all those extra points and the occasional field goal. Will there even be a Wynn Kopp sighting? After all, it's just Ball State.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


COACHING

Tommy Bowden will be looking for backups early. Bill Lynch will be looking for his game day paycheck and an early way out.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson


THE LOWDOWN

Clemson won't sweat much, if at all, in this one. It'll be a nice tuneup leading into the 11-day break before traveling to Florida State. After all, it's just Ball State.


THE PICK

Clemson 57, Ball State 10


Dan Scott covers Clemson University for the Florence Morning News. He also hosts SportsTalk from 10 a.m.-Noon, Monday-Friday, on WCCP-Fm, 104.9. Click here for Dan Scott's SportsTalk discussion board.

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