Presbyterian and Clemson Prediction

by - Senior Writer -

Welcome to Week Two of the college football season. If you are a fan of big plays and lots of points, then the Presbyterian-Clemson game on Saturday is just for you.

The Blue Hose come to Clemson looking for their first win in a long time, but it won’t happen this week. In fact, there are a lot of things working against the Blue Hose in their matchup with the Tigers.

PC currently has the longest losing streak in FCS at 15 games. The Blue Hose last won a game Nov.
1, 2008 against Liberty by a 31-28 margin.

PC is looking for its first road win since Oct. 20, 2007, when The Blue Hose defeated Coastal Carolina 41-34. PC is also looking for its first win in the month of September since a 34-27 victory over North Carolina Central September 29, 2007.

Presbyterian head Harold Nichols has a team full of youngsters, with only five fifth-year seniors on the squad, and he took a whopping 37 freshmen and sophomores to Wake Forest last week.

None of those above facts really matter, however, as the Blue Hose are just overmatched all over the field.

Presbyterian at Clemson

When Presbyterian Has the Ball
The Blue Hose managed a respectable 362 yards against the Demon Deacons a week ago, but the play that drew the most attention was the trick play that scored a touchdown. It was a skip pass, behind the line of scrimmage, to receiver Derrick Overholt who then threw the ball to Michael Ruff for a 68-yard touchdown, a part of Ruff’s career day. He had four catches [as many catches as he had all of last season] for 122 yards. PC has a good running back in Trandon Dendy, and the Tigers struggled against the run against North Texas, but the Tigers front seven should handle the PC front fairly easily.


When Clemson Has the Ball

The Blue Hose gave up 415 yards on the ground to Wake Forest last week, for an average of 8.3 yards per rush. And while the Demon Deacons have some very good players, they don’t have Jamie Harper, Andre Ellington and company. Clemson could and should be able to run almost at will against the PC defense. However, with a road tilt at Auburn the following week, it’s almost imperative that quarterback Kyle Parker and the receivers work on the passing game. The young receivers stepped up in a limited role last week, and this week provides the perfect opportunity for Parker to develop rapport with one or more receivers.


Special Teams

Freshman kicker Chandler Catanzaro was perfect on all five of his extra point attempts last week, punter Dawson Zimmerman had a career day that included a 79-yarder, and Marcus Gilchrist showed he can provide a spark in the return game. The big question now is – how will Catanzaro handle field goal attempts? PC averaged 37.9 yards per punt last week, and just 19 yards on kickoff returns, so Clemson has the advantage all across the board.



Three of Presbyterian’s coaches have ACC ties - Andrew Ford, Tom Evangelista and Brandon Sarver. However, Nichols is still looking for his first win as Presbyterian’s head coach as the program struggles in their move to Division 1, and that win won’t come this week.


Really, the only things to watch for in this one are – can the defense tackle better, stop the run and get off the field on third down, and can the offense find a better rhythm in the passing game. Just like last week, when Andre Ellington took the game’s second play 60 yards for a touchdown, fireworks could come early and often. Presbyterian was down 21-0 to Wake Forest before they even achieved a first down, so don’t dawdle too long at your tailgate spot. Some of the game’s best moments could happen before you reach your seat.



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