Dan Scott: Clemson-UNC Prediction


by - Correspondent -
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Dan Scott interview with Tommy Bowden Windows Media



I can see the fear in your eyes.


Back-to-back losing weeks picking these games has you weary that, once again, the Magic Helmet is on the fritz and where, by Goren, is the kid? The tension, as they say, is thick.


However, I don't feel any pressure. In fact, I actually have more confidence now than at any time in the past couple of years. Why? Simple. In the preseason I picked the Tigers to go 10-2. I knew one of the losses would come on the two game road trip to BC and FSU. I just happened to guess at the wrong one.


So in reality I'm still on track for a great season, just like Clemson. So, off we go again.


Clemson (2-1) hosting North Carolina (1-2)


When Clemson Has The Ball

North Carolina's defense is fresh off a performance in which it gave up 42 points and 521 total yards to Div. I-AA Furman. Tommy Bowden has tried to make the case that the Tar Heels' struggles in that game were due to a combination of a lack of intensity playing a I-AA opponent and the Paladins unconventional offense. Maybe so, but this is still a bad North Carolina defense. One the Tigers should exploit. Unhappy with the overall scope of his running game vs. Florida State, watch for Rob Spence to work hard at establishing the ground attack Saturday. Let's hope they still stay aggressive, though, and continue throwing the ball downfield.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



When UNC Has The Ball

Ronnie McGill is a tough running back, one the Tiger defense must account for from snap one Saturday. If Clemson can shut down the running game, a one-dimensional Tar Heel offense would be easy pickings for the Tiger D. The youngsters forced into playing time due to injury seemed to grow up a bit in the win over Florida State. The progress must continue this week. If it does, Clemson should be in good shape.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



SPECIAL TEAMS

The punt protection appears to be fixed. The kickoff coverage seems to be better. Now, about the extra points and field goals? Every week a new malady. And until the Tigers get that fixed...

ADVANTAGE - North Carolina



COACHING

While the progression of Rob Spence's offense is impressive, there's a heck of a story brewing on the defensive side of the ball. If Vic Koening's group continues to grow and improve despite the rash of injuries, he'd have to be a candidate for the national assistant coach of the year.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson



BOTTOM LINE

The only thing that keeps Clemson from winning this game is the dreaded letdown that has plagued this program the past couple of years. Frankly, this week I just don't see it.


THE PICK

Clemson 34, UNC 14

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