Keys To A Victory Over The Wolfpack
Saturday's matchup is very vital to both Clemson and NC State's late season success. Clemson could prove that they have bounced back from the rough start with a win, and NC State could remain in the hunt for a New Year's Day bowl berth with a win. Clemson may have to play their best game of the year on Saturday to win, but here are some things that could key a victory on Saturday:
1.) Stay Disciplined: NC State may try and bait the Tigers into personal foul penalties. The Tigers must not play NC State's game. Against the Wolfpack's defense, the team cannot afford to have 15 yard penalty set a drive back.
2.) Stop McClendon: Jay Davis has started playing better over the last few games, but as T.A. McClendon goes so does the Wolfpack offense. McClendon has had problems with injury, but is a very dangerous threat when healthy. McClendon will be as good a back as Clemson has seen all year. With the injuries on the offensive line, Clemson will need to take away the run.
3.) Strike Early: When Clemson turn things around against Florida State last year, they set the tone early on defense and offense. If the offense can come out and score early, it could add to the confidence they built on the final drive against Maryland. A three and out on the first possession may not bode well for the offense on Saturday.
4.) Hit the Deep Ball: Last week, Charlie Whitehurst missed on a couple of deep balls. NC State plays of lot of man coverage, and they will give Airese Currie and Kelvin Grant chances deep. For Clemson to win on Saturday, they must hit the big plays that have been missing from this offense so far this year.
5.) Win the Turnover Battle: NC State has had the same problems with turnovers that has faced the Tigers this year. NC State has a minus-10 ratio in the turnover battle this year. The Tiger defense was able to force more turnovers last week against Maryland. If the defense can create a short field for the offense good things could happen for the Tigers.
Prediction: This one is too close to call. Five minutes to go in the fourth quarter the Tigers will have a chance to turn the season around. The Tigers have to prove they can make the plays against a quality team.