There were no injures to come out of Thursday’s game.
There were no injures to come out of Thursday’s game.
Yesterday I re-iterated that Clemson should beat hapless Temple by 40, even though I expected a closer game. Well I was eating the words of my prediciton by the end of the first half. But the events of last night have added to my clarity of the quality of our future opponents.
On to Georgia Tech:
It’s homecoming. Gameday will be there. Both teams will be in the top-15. I honestly have no idea what to expect. Both teams have strong rushing offenses and strong rushing defenses. Statistically Clemson is a little stronger in most categories. But GT took it to Virginia Tech on special teams (before almost getting it taken to them by Maryland) and that has been a bit of a weakness this season. Throw in a couple of the injuries the Tigers have endured and I’m just not sure what to think. I’ll re-evaluate this game in a week, but the Tigers should win by 10.
I’m a little pressed for time right now, so this will have to come in two installments. Before I go on to look at the next 4 upcoming games, let me quickly comment on last week’s game.
In previous forecasts, I had called for Clemson to win by 20. Obviously they did not win by 20, nor even the 16 required to cover the spread. They did, however, manage to play 3 horrible offensive quarters and walk away with a 10 point victory. Major credit goes to the Clemson defense for keeping it close for those quarters. They made the Wake offense look average at best. If we could go back and put in an average special teams performance ::coughs:: kickoffs ::coughs:: and the typical offense, the Tigers would have won by 30. The published news reports would have called Wake a pretender. Instead “they are for real.” I hope it gets taken to them in their next 6 games not because I harbor ill will toward the team but because I’m sick of seeing them get undeserved credit as some kind of really good team. If they win at NC State and UNC I’ll eat my words. And since rooting against teams based on media hype ::coughs:: Notre Dame ::coughs:: doesn’t ever work out for me, I’ll be keeping a bottle of A1 around because I’m sure those words will be tough as leather and taste like ass.
And let me add this about my forecasts. I’m including a forecast margin of victory and then a prediction. The forecast is what I think the Tigers are realisticaly capable of winning by. Anything less will be disappointing. It means that the team either underperformed or I gave too little credit to the opposition. The predictions will serve more as my gut instinct and what I would bet on if I were gambling.
And because I’m busy and we have a Thursday night game, I’ll get this published and do the rest tomorrow.
On to the Temple game. Read the rest of this entry »
Two weeks ago I looked ahead to Clemson’s 4 upcoming opponents. At the time they were UNC, La Tech, Wake, and Temple. It seemed clear (and still seems) that Clemson should win all these games by 20 points or more.
UNC – check
La Tech – check
Wake, Temple – TBD
Although I didn’t post it, I meant to update the margins after the victory at UNC. To be more specific, I’d say a 30 point margin against La Tech would be reasonable while 20 and 40 points against Wake Forest and Temple, respectively, seem like reasonable bets. The early line on the Clemson-Wake matchup is Clemson -15.
Let me just say that if we don’t make it past Wake, I’ll be on suicide watch and the rest of the season won’t matter. But if, we get past Wake and then Temple (and that one’s not even in doubt, is it?) then we face Georgia Tech as our Homecoming opponent and Virginia Tech just 5 days later in Blacksburg.
Suddenly Georgia Tech looms much larger and Virginia Tech still looms large but a bit diminished. Read the rest of this entry »
We’re now three games into the season and we are not totally devastated. The FAU game went as planned. The trip to Boston was heartbreaking. But Saturday’s triumph over Florida State provides solid footing for optimism. Of course extrapolation is a dangerous tool, especially as you move further away from your source data. Projecting 4 games into the future based on 3 games in the past falls in the ‘danger’ category. However, I just can’t help myself. Right now the glass is
half 2/3rds full.
If there is a time for a letdown game, this is the time for it. Everyone remembers the Miami/Duke win/loss combo of 2004. There is no reason, however, why the FSU/UNC win/loss combo of 2006 should come into play. And let’s face it, the next 4 games are nothing compared to the last two. There’s no good reason why we shouldn’t be 6-1 when Georgia Tech comes to town. Why do I say that? There are four reasons: UNC, Louisiana Tech, Wake Forest, and Temple.
Certainly there is reason for concern. I won’t get into that here. Instead, this is just a brief reminder that these 4 teams just aren’t that good — or at least that’s how it looks right now.
UNC has played three home games, dropping two of them to Rutgers and Virginia Tech, and almost dropping the third to DI-AA Furman. Maybe their strength is playing on the road? Their offense isn’t statistically bad, but their rushing defense appears to be suspect.
La. Tech has only played two games: first getting killed by Nebraska then winning by 10 over DI-AA Nicholls State (who did only marginally worse against Nebraska). Like UNC, they have mediocre offensive stats, but their rushing defense is even worse, ranked at 106th nationally. They may be able to play A&M close next week, but that’s only because it is almost impossible to have confidence in Coach Fran’s team. Either way, they played patsy to Nebraska, then had to come from behind against patsy Nicholl’s State.
Wake Forest has stumbled along to a 3-0 start. Their rush defense may be good, but their offense lacks firepower. The near-loss to Duke has me questioning the team. What’s worse, is that their next two games look completely winnable as well. Despite the fawning man-love by the media for Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron, his team just doesn’t look good — they even got beat by Kentucky! After them, the Deacs face off against DI-AA Liberty. Wake is likely the toughest game on Liberty’s schedule this year. Still it is hard to gauge Wake since they don’t really play anyone.
Then there’s Temple. The Owls are averaging a DI-A worst 1 point per game. They’re also giving up more than 44 points per game, with each of the last two teams putting up 62.
We should win all these games by at least 20 points.
If we want to be considered among the best in the nation, we need to dominate the next four games.
The Hokies beat UNC in Chapel Hill by 25. La. Tech fell by 39 to Nebraska. Wake Forest almost lost to Duke who put up goose eggs against Richmond and Virginia Tech. Temple is just sad.
The early line against UNC has us favored by 16. Furman put up 42 against them. La. Tech and Temple have cupcake written all over them. And Wake? Well it’s time for us to smack the smirk off their faces.
Individually, none of the games looms very large. Collectively, they are 1/3 of our season and every bit as important as the games against Techs or South Carolina. This is the part of the season where we get to stretch our legs. And we’d better damn well do it.
The game that was supposed to be on a Saturday in Philadelphia, then moved to Charlotte on a Thursday night with no television now has television. It will be broadcast anyway. It will be on ESPNU, the channel that no one except sports bars seems to have.
And not that it matters much, but Temple does have a new coach this year.