Keys To Victory
1) Decision Making – Georgia Tech’s defense leads the ACC in interceptions. It will be vital that Charlie Whitehurst makes the right decisions against Jon Tenuta’s defense. Tenuta prides himself on being unpredictable. The Yellow Jackets defense is not without holes, and Clemson should have some opportunities to do some damage through the air.
2) Stop The Supporting Cast – Calvin Johnson is a special talent, and he deserves the respect of every defense around the country. You cannot become consumed with stopping him. Reggie Ball, Damarius Bilbo, PJ Daniels, and Tashard Choice are all capable of big games. The key for Clemson’s defense is not completely shutting down Johnson, it is not letting the supporting cast run wild.
3) Never Let Up – Last year, one yard was the difference in Clemson winning and Clemson losing. The Tigers were unable to pick up one yard to gain the necessary first down to run out the clock. Things happen in this rivalry, and history says this game is never over until it is over.
4) Pressure Ball – If there is a weakness to Georgia Tech, it is the offensive line. The Yellow Jackets are young and undersized up front. Clemson will need to put pressure on Ball and force him to make bad decisions. Ball does not get sacked often, but he will throw the ball recklessly when under duress.
5) No Special Teams Mistakes – In a game that will likely not be decided until the fourth quarter, Clemson will not have room for special teams’ errors. A blocked punt or missed field goal could be the difference in the game. Clemson has been able to dodge bullets this year on special teams. The Tigers have had three punts blocked, and amazingly none have resulted in points. This a key game on the road and the Tigers will need to be near perfect in all three aspects of the game to win.