Saturday, September 03, 2016

Predictions: Clemson

Can Clemson run the table a second straight year? They’ve lost some talent off last year’s remarkable team, especially on defense. This year they have to play in Tallahassee. Besides FSU, the most serious test will be a home game against Louisville. Should Watson stay healthy, this year’s team may be better positioned to beat Bama in the national championship game. Will they?
09.03 at Auburn. Tigers vs. Tigers. Auburn may be down, but they’re still a decent SEC team, superior to most of the ACC schools Clemson is used to facing. No cakewalk here. Clemson could go into halftime trailing. Whether they come back and pull away is completely up to them. I say they will, but the final will be much closer than everyone expects. 1-0.
09.10 vs Troy. No sweat. 2-0.
09.17 vs SC State. Why does SC State submit themselves to the same beatdown every year? Besides the payday, of course. Every year they come in thinking this is the year. Every year they are wrong. Why don’t they go play someone else? 3-0.
09.22 at Georgia Tech. Clemson players and fans seem to think Tech has some sort of home hex against them. As long as Watson stays healthy, the Tigers won’t have a problem this year. 4-0.
10.01 vs Louisville. Last year at home the Cardinals made a game of it. That will be tougher in Death Valley. 5-0.
10.07 at BC. No cakewalk, especially in the first half. But Clemson will pull away in the second. 6-0.
10.15 vs NC State. The Wolfpack always seems to play well at Clemson. But they always seem to lose at the end. Same script this year. 7-0.
10.29 at FSU. Clemson rolls into Tallahassee undefeated, number two in the nation. 7-0. Winner heads to the ACC Championship Game and a spot in the playoff. It’s the Tigers’ game to lose, and they do. A fumble here, interception there. Missed field goal, plus another unforeseen special teams breakdown or two. Noles win. 8-1.
11.05 vs Syracuse. Tigers take out their frustrations on the Orangemen. 9-1.
11.12 vs Pitt. Another win. 10-1.
11.19 at Wake Forest. The Deacons play tough for a half, but the Tigers pull away in the fourth. 11-1.
11.26 vs South Carolina. Tigers run up the score, but they finish the season on the outside looking in. 12-1.

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