Dan Scott: Georgia Tech - Clemson Prediction


by - Correspondent -
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QUARTERBACK

Tech's Reggie Ball is dangerous and, as a sophomore, seems to have matured a great deal. Whitehurst, despite what Clemson coach Tommy Bowden called an "average" performance last week, still made huge throws at just the right time. You have to figure the sellout crowd at Death Valley gets its money's worth here.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

 

RUNNING BACK

Yusef Kelly will split more time with Reggie Merriweather and Kyle Browning in the Clemson backfield tonight. For the Yellow Jackets, P.J. Daniels will carry the load and then some, hoping to help the Tech offense set the early tone.

ADVANTAGE - Georgia Tech

WIDE RECEIVERS

Chansi Stuckey's coming out party last week was a site to behold, Airese Currie turned in the kind of performance you would expect from a veteran, and Kelvin Grant made a clutch catch that sent the game to overtime. Any questions about the Clemson receivers as a group were answered, at least in the first game. Tech's most established receiver, senior Nate Curry, was listed as doubtful for this game earlier in the week after suffering a head injury last week vs. Samford.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

 

OFFENSIVE LINE

Bowden graded his offensive line play as good, but said they need to do a better job of sustaining blocks for longer periods of time. Expect to see second teamers such as Dustin Fry, Roman Fry and Barry Richardson get more reps this week. Tech has a big, experienced unit which cleared the way for Daniels' huge year last season.

ADVANTAGE - Georgia Tech

 

RUN DEFENSE

Clemson's front seven will get a better, more traditional test this week with Daniels and Co. Leroy Hill showed little, if any, effects from his sprained ankle last week. He played so well that it hasn't been an issue with the media this week. Tech's defensive tackles, like Clemson's, are something of a question mark early this season.

ADVANTAGE - EVEN

 

PASS DEFENSE

Take away the 85-yard miracle pass a week ago and Clemson pretty well locked down the Wake Forest passing game. Tech quarterback Reggie Ball will be a better test this week because of his scrambling and ability to make plays on the run. The Yellow Jackets' secondary, led by 6-foot-3 safety James Butler, is big and experienced, the kind of unit which could give Clemson's receivers a bit of trouble.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

 

SPECIAL TEAMS

With kicker Stephen Furr's confidence riding high after his strong finish last week, Clemson's special teams has a chance to be one of the more well-rounded units at the school in recent years. A blocked punt and a punt return for a touchdown highlighted last week's play. Tech's specialists are a veteran group, save for kicker Travis Bell. Bell, a freshman, made all four of his extra point kicks last week.

ADVANTAGE - Clemson

 

THE PICK

Clemson 27, Georgia Tech 17

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