Gameday Clemson

This is a bit odd being home on a Saturday not preparing for a long day of tailgating. At least there are a lot of quality games on television today.

It has been a while since I have felt good about our chances going into game against a quality, deep, athletic team like Clemson. With the spread earlier in the week at Clemson -18.5, it should be obvious to everyone that a Pack victory today would be a major, major upset. The Pack’s schedule won’t get any easier with #14 ECU coming to Raleigh next week followed by a game against #19 South Florida. South Florida had an impressive win against a ranked Kansas team last night.

Here are a couple of links about our game against Clemson:

Battered Pack turns to its Bench

But O’Brien, who has coached since 1975, said he has never lost so many skill players on offense to injury.

The list of the wounded includes:

* Top wide receiver Donald Bowens, out for the season with a lower back stress fracture.

* Running backs Jamelle Eugene (injured ankle) and Toney Baker (recovering from knee surgery), who will miss their third straight game today with no word yet on their return.

* Russell Wilson, who does return today but missed the last six quarters at quarterback with a concussion.

* Tight end Anthony Hill (strained chest muscle), who is missing his second straight game but might return.

* Backup tight end Matt Kushner suffered a knee injury in the second quarter last week. Late Thursday, the university said he is out for the year.

* Clem Johnson, who was expected to start at safety but suffered a broken jaw in the preseason and is out for the season.

Clemson luring N.C. athletes

Clemson, which hosts N.C. State on Saturday, landed three of’s top seven from North Carolina in 2007, including Charlotte Victory Christian defensive end Kourtnei Brown.

Matthews Butler High safety Spencer Adams and Fayetteville Sanford tight end Dwayne Allen, two of the top five in 2008, also picked Clemson. Although many North Carolina prospects for 2009 haven’t announced decisions, Clemson already has commitments from No. 9 Larry Raper of Shelby and No. 12 Tyler Shatley of East Burke.

Other games of interest:

*12:00 pm Cal @ Maryland, ESPN (Fridge needs this win today badly)
*12:00 pm Navy @ Duke, ESPNU (with TOB’s connection to Navy, go Navy!)
* 3:00 pm East Carolina @ Tulane, 850 am (Will the Pirates be looking past Tulane?)
* 3:30 pm Georgia Tech @ Virginia Tech, ABC (big Coastal Division matchup)
* 3:30 pm Michigan at Notre Dame, NBC (watching Charlie Weiss lose is always fun)
* 3:35 pm Georgia @ South Carolina, CBS
* 7:30 pm UVa at UConn, ESPNU (UVa’s QB is not playing today, Groh is in trouble)
* 8:00 pm Ohio St at USC (it will be strange pulling for Ohio St)
*10:30 pm Wisconsin at Fresno St, ESPN2 (two ranked teams as the last game of the night)

'08 Football General

17 Responses to Gameday Clemson

  1. Dogbreath 09/13/2008 at 8:38 AM #

    I grew up in Clemson, my dad coached there, my mom works there, my brother and sister graduated from there, I stay in contact with a lot of friends from there.

    The natives are restless, and very concerned about this game. Clemson is pretty beat up, too. They will start 3 freshman on the offensive line. Tommy Bowden is a lame duck coach. The fans truly are finished with him.

    My assessment is that their defensive front is not setup to take advantage of our weakness (offensive line), while our strenghts (defensive line) do counter their weaknesses (offensive line). I will be disappointed if we don’t scheme to stop the run because that is the key to shutting down Clemson’s offense. Our corners should be able to man up against Clemson’s receivers. They drop a ton of passes. If you can get a few 3 and outs early, their crowd will turn and it will get ugly down there.

    The team that comes out physical and sets the tone at the line of scrimmage will win.

    I know this is all master of the obvious type of stuff, but this game and matchup is pretty straightforward.

    I will be SHOCKED if we do not at least cover the spread.

  2. VaWolf82 09/13/2008 at 8:48 AM #

    I will be SHOCKED if we do not at least cover the spread.

    I hope you are not backing your conclusions with your money. State’s offense is so anemic that I don’t feel confident about covering any spread.

  3. Dogbreath 09/13/2008 at 8:50 AM #

    We will score at least 2 TDs today. I have a good feeling about that. I doubt Clemson will break 30 points.

  4. Daily Update 09/13/2008 at 8:55 AM #

    Vawolf82: Exactly. I don’t see us giving up less than 30 points.

    We have zero points against our last two division 1 opponents. This is likely the best team of either USC or Maryland last year and this game is probably in the toughest environment. It is going to be very, very hot down there as well.

  5. McPete 09/13/2008 at 9:00 AM #

    i do recall our game at clemson two years ago being fairly close, like a 22-14 loss. of course we were heavy underdogs then, too. IIRC, toney baker ran for over 150 yards. maybe we can keep it close like that again.

  6. LRM 09/13/2008 at 9:10 AM #

    Has Clemson stopped scoring on us yet from last year’s game?

  7. b 09/13/2008 at 9:45 AM #

    I see it as a 35-7 game, but I’m hopeful for some improvement like the FSU game last year to turn things around. They do have some problems that could make this game interesting if we are able to do anything offensively, and like Dobreath said if Clemson struggles their fans could turn on them and that might pucker ’em up a bit. Under Bowden, they have had serious problems with bad teams, a’ la Duke a few years back.

    Here’s to all our starters finishing the game.

  8. ChiefJoJo 09/13/2008 at 9:56 AM #

    I like the matchup of our DL vs their OL, but CU just has too many playmakers for us to hold down for 60 minutes, and I have little confidence in our O to keep our defense rested (see SC). I think we keep it close with our defense in the first half and make the Tigers nervous, but our D wears down and they pull away in the 2nd half. 34-17 Clemson.

  9. wufpup76 09/13/2008 at 10:07 AM #

    I’m with Dogbreath on this one … I have a feeling that we make it closer than expected

    Of course, I don’t know s**t – especially about football – but positive feelings abound 🙂

    Let’s go Pack!


    I’ll also be happy if we accomplish all of BJD’s goals listed in the previous post 😉

  10. Dogbreath 09/13/2008 at 10:13 AM #

    Our team responded very well when Beck was inserted last week. With Wilson getting the nod, the coaches obviously see something in him that gives us a chance to grind the clock, not turn the ball over, and counter the other team’s strengths. The read option package against Clemson’s depleted interior d-line should allow us to get some inside gains, and this offense counters Clemson’s speed off of the edge. I do not think you will see more than 20 pass attempts in this game – if we can help it.

    Hopefully the coaches drilled two things this week: 1) the offensive line needs to keep their pads low and drive their running blocks – we did not do this last week – but I have faith that our coaches can correct that; 2) Andre Brown needs to stay disciplined in the offense and take the 3-5 yard runs inside rather than trying to bounce to the edge. He will get stuffed against Clemson’s ends if he tries to do this. He is also prone to carrying the ball outside his pads and loses many fumbles out in space.

    We cannot have more than 2 turnovers, and need to win the margin.

    I think with Wilson, we have a better chance to control clock than with Beck, who gambles and relies to much on the big play, quick strike attack.

    We also need to contain the special teams big plays that Clemson can hit you with. Other than the kickoff return against Alabama, they did not do anything in that game. In fact, their offense looked about like ours against USC.

    This game feels like we hit the reset button on the season. Obviously we have many, many injuries to key players, but I think this is the week that the team shows some life and restores some hope for the season.

    State 26
    Clemson 23

  11. haze 09/13/2008 at 10:17 AM #

    Oddly, I think the ingredients are there for a decent showing from the Pack. Dog has hit most of them, especially our DL vs their OL.

    Still, it all comes down to our O running the spread effectively with Wilson. It seems too much to hope that it could run well BUT, what do we really know? We’ve not really seen this offense. If Russell and the O can be solid and not commit big TO’s, then we can rest the D a bit and stay close.

    With both O’s facing challenges, I think field position will be the critical factor, especially in the 1st half.

    I think we cover.

  12. RBCRowdy 09/13/2008 at 10:30 AM #

    Every game this season will have the same make-up. If we can move the ball offensively we have a shot. If we cant, the D will hold as long as it can keeping games close until the end.

    If the D can generate a turnover or two I think we pull it off, I also think we have some motivation after a couple of bad home losses to Clemson the last couple years.

  13. BJD95 09/13/2008 at 10:38 AM #

    Clemson likes to stick to their trends under Bowden. When they have an opportunity to take the elusive next step as a program, they shit the bed (see Alabama opener). This is why Bowden is not loved in Tiger Town.

    However, when Clemson’s collective back is against the wall – they usually whip serious ass. This is why Bowden has not been handed a pink slip.

    Guess which version we face today?

    Clemson 34, NC State 10.

  14. wpackman33 09/13/2008 at 10:40 AM #

    does anyone know where i can listen or watch on the internet. i don’t think accselect is covering this one.

    GO PACK!!

  15. McPete 09/13/2008 at 10:58 AM #

    wow. what is worse, acc football or the rascal flats’ intro song to the raycom broadcast? i mean, if you want to steal the monday night football hank williams thing, at least get waylon jennings or someone good.

  16. b 09/13/2008 at 11:07 AM #

    ruh-roh. That’s as good as we can hope for!!!!

  17. highstick 09/13/2008 at 9:38 PM #

    For what it’s worth, I just got back from the South Carolina-Georgia game and every Gamecock fan in Columbia was pulling for State today~

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