After coming up short in Athens, the Clemson Tigers will look to rebound in their first home football game of the 2014 season. The Tigers will take on South Carolina State from the MEAC, who defeated Division II Benedict College by a score of 63-0, in Columbia, SC last Saturday. Saturday’s game is a 12:30 kickoff on Raycom/ACC Network and will be Youth Day at Memorial Stadium. Fans should also a halftime treat as the Marching 101 from SCSU will more than likely be performing, as they did last year. It should be a fun opener for Tiger fans.
What Happened Last Week: Clemson went into Athens and played a hard fought game, but UGA was just too much. The Tigers opened up the show by zipping down the field on a 7 yard drive that finished with a 1 yard touchdown run by running back DJ Howard. Freshman Deshaun Watson entered the game at QB in the second quarter, where he through a perfect pass to senior Charone Peake, who is returning from a knee injury in 2013, who took it in for a 30 yard touchdown. CJ Davidson also added a Tiger touchdown by leaping over a pile of lineman to land in the end zone. Davidson came to Clemson as a high jumper before walking on the football team. While the score was all knotted at 21 going into the half, Clemson could not hang on for the next 2 quarters. The Tigers were held to no scores, no rushing yards, 15 passing yards, and just 1 first down after halftime. The Dawgs’ offense wore down the Clemson’s D, as Todd Gurley busted off an 18 yard and a 51 yard touchdown run in the fourth, with Nick Chubb running for a 47 yard touchdown between those scores.
What To Watch For This Week: Clemson freshman and young guys should get more playing time. Cole Stoudt played well at QB, going 16/29 with 144 yards passing, but Deshaun Watson’s quick score only added more to his legend. I expect to see Watson for at least a quarter against SC State, assuming Clemson is taking care of business. More playing time for Watson means everyone can gauge his game vs Stoudt more accurately, so a solid game from Deshaun could up the pressure on Stoudt. The other 2 youngsters we want to see are running backs Wayne Gallman and Adam Choice. Gallman has 1 rush for 5 yards against UGA while Choice did not enter the game. Once Zach Brooks was injured in the preseason, Gallman moved up the depth chart and the redshirt was taken off of Choice, so Tiger fans expected to see more than what they saw of these two in week 1. This game should provide plenty of reps for each player to give the fans more of an idea about how these 2 stack up vs DJ Howard and CJ Davidson.
Prediction: This is your typical early season non-conference game against a smaller in-state school for a big program like Clemson. There should not be too many shockers and the score should not be close. This will be a good opportunity for the players and coaches to work on some things, while everyone in Orange and Purple can get the taste of last week’s loss out of their mouth. My prediction: Clemson 49 SC State 17