October 17, 2014

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Boston College

The Clemson Tigers have enjoyed success by winning three consecutive games in the friendly confines of Death Valley but now they have to show that they can win on the road, something they have yet to do in 2014.

Clemson played at Georgia to open the season and only mustered 21 points and then lost at top-ranked Florida State three weeks later.

With three of the final six games on the road, Clemson must channel its road warrior mentality and it starts this week in cool and overcast Boston, Massachusetts.

WHAT: No. 22 Clemson at Boston College
WHERE: Alumni Stadium
WHEN: Saturday, October 18th (3:30 p.m.)


Boston College is 2-2 at home this season with wins over the University of Southern California and the Maine Bears. In the game against No. 9 USC, Boston College rushed for 452 yards, while holding the Trojans to 337 total yards in the 37-31 victory. Clemson, on the other hand, is 0-2 away from Memorial Stadium in 2014. The Clemson defense has held up on its end - except for the fourth quarter at Georgia - in the two road losses but the offense sputtered, and there were critical breakdowns on special teams – Todd Gurley’s kickoff return for a touchdown and a combined three missed field goals in the games against Georgia and Florida State.

*EAGLES CAN RUN: Boston College’s rushing offense leads the ACC and is fourth in nation, averaging 315 yards per game. Eagles quarterback Tyler Murphy has 86 carries for 711 yards this season, a stat this is even more impressive when you look at Clemson’s entire team by comparison – the Tigers have 260 carries (174 more carries than Murphy) for 874 yards (just 136 more than Murphy).

The Eagles have also rushed for 20 touchdowns on the season, and they have five graduate students on the offensive line.

*DEFENSE WINS BALLGAMES: Clemson’s defense showed last week that they have matured this season and despite what the offense does on the field, they are fully capable of winning games on their own. A fumble recovery for a touchdown and a goal line stand with seconds left on the clock were enough for the Tigers to get the win over Louisville. The Tigers rank sixth in total defense giving up 286 yards per game, 11th in rushing defense giving up just over 100 yards on the ground and 17th in passing defense giving up 185 yards through the air. Defensive coordinator Brent Venables will have a challenge on his hands this weekend with Murphy and the Eagles ground attack but if defensive ends Vic Beasley and Corey Crawford and linebackers B.J. Goodson, Tony Steward and Ben Boulware can set the edge, the defense will be successful.

*WIN THE GAMES YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO WIN: Clemson has won 22 consecutive games over unranked opponents under head coach Dabo Swinney. All of the wins have come by at least six points. The streak is the longest in the nation. Florida State is second in terms of consecutive wins by at least six points over unranked teams with 20.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Clemson’s offense has struggled against good defenses, especially last week against Louisville’s top-ranked defense but offensive coordinator Chad Morris’ group should improve this week. Quarterback Cole Stoudt has had a full week of practice – after not taking any practice snaps before the Louisville game – and a very thin offensive line might get Joe Gore back this week. Boston College’s strength is running the ball whether it be with Murphy or running back Myles Willis, while Clemson’s defensive strength is against the run. I like Clemson’s defensive line, especially with Grady Jarrett manning the middle of the line in this matchup. Clemson’s offense will build off of the success they had late in the game against Louisville and will find a rhythm early.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele

October 10, 2014

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Louisville

The Louisville Cardinals will make the seven-hour trek to Clemson for the first time ever in the history of the two programs.

The Cardinals are the newbies in the ACC and with the departure of Maryland, the Tigers are looking for a new rival.

Could this be the beginning of a great series? Only time will tell.


WHAT: Louisville at No. 25 Clemson
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
WHEN: Saturday, October 10th (3:37 p.m.)


*DEFENSE: The Louisville Cardinals are bringing in the nation’s top ranked defense to Death Valley Saturday afternoon and if linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin’s comments are any indication, they fully expect to shut down quarterback Deshaun Watson and Clemson’s offense. The Cardinals haven’t allowed a touchdown in the last 13 quarters dating back to their 23-21 loss to Virginia on Sept. 13. The Cardinals have allowed just five field goals over the last 13 quarters. In the red zone this season, the Cardinals have allowed the opponents to score just five touchdowns in 16 opportunities.

The Cardinals have held five of their six opponents to less than 100 yards rushing after limiting Syracuse to 55 yards on Oct. 3. Louisville is 17-0 when allowing an opponent to rush for less than 100 yards in a game since the 2012 season. Louisville is allowing just 58.3 yards per game on the ground, which leads the ACC. The Cardinals are allowing just 2.0 yards per carry (350 yards on 174 attempts) with a long run of 26 yards.

The secondary has a wealth of experience – there are two seniors (cornerback Andrew Johnson and safety Terell Floyd) and two juniors (Gerod Holliman or James Sample at safety and cornerback Charles Gaines) in the starting rotation. Holliman leads the nation with seven interceptions.


*BEASLEY, JARRETT & COMPANY: If Clemson’s defense is mentioned in the national media the first name that comes up is senior defensive end Vic Beasley, who is tied with Michael Dean Perry and Gaines Adams for most career sacks. However, senior defensive tackle Grady Jarrett might just be the most dominant player on Clemson’s defense. This week Beasley, Jarrett and the rest of Clemson’s defensive line will have the opportunity to tee off on an offensive line that has been…..less than stellar. The Cardinals have allowed 19 sacks this season – 3.17 per game – for 142 lost yards.

*HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: The last time Louisville played in front of a crowd as big as they will see in Death Valley was in 2000 win the Cardinals traveled to Florida State. Add in the fact that Louisville’s starting quarterback will either be sophomore Will Gardner or freshman Reggie Bonnafon – neither of which have experience in front of a large hostile crowd. Louisville head coach Bobby Petrino didn’t do his offense or signal callers any favors when he told the media that Death Valley can’t possibly be any louder than Syracuse’s Carrier Dome, only fueling Clemson fans’ desire to make Memorial Stadium the most difficult place to play in all of college football.

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Louisville’s defense has put up great numbers through the first six games but they’ve yet to face an offense that’s ranked higher than 60th nationally. Mauldin will have his defensive teammates emotionally prepared to begin the game but Watson and the Tigers’ air raid attack will simply be too much for the Cardinals to handle. Offensively, Louisville wants to run the ball but outside of the fourth quarter at Georgia to begin the season, Clemson’s defense has been stellar against the run. The game may be close at halftime but the Tigers begin to pull away in the third quarter.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele

October 9, 2014

10 Tailgating Tips and Tricks

Who doesn't love tailgating? Especially with this beautiful Fall, October weather. While you start to prep for your tailgate for the Clemson vs. Louisville game this weekend, be sure to check out  these borderline genius, sometimes obvious, makes you  say "why didn't I think of that?" tailgate tips and tricks.

 1. Freeze water bottles to use in place of ice in your coolers. Less ice needed, and you'll have a cold water to drink by the time the game starts or on the ride home after the game when it melts.

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2. Raise your hand if you have more than one cooler at your tailgate... {raising hand} Coolers for water, coolers for food, coolers for soda, coolers for adult beverages. How many time do you watch someone open at least 2 coolers before finding the one with the beverage or food they were looking for? Save the labels from your beverage packages or buy removable sticker labels and label your coolers.

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3. An oldie, but a goodie and worth a reminder - the solo cup guide. Leave the measuring cups and shot glasses at home, and drink responsibly with the guiding lines of a solo cup.

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4. And speaking of a solo cups, save cups for the next home game and keep drinks from getting sipped by the wrong person by labeling your cups. You can buy special labels that stick on a cup (or beer can, or bottle, etc.) and all your tailgate guest needs to do is use their finger, a coin, or a key to write their name. Buy the classic 'Hello my name is...' labels and help your tailgate guests meet and greet.

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The labeling technique might also help you avoid that awkward "I know this is a friend of a friend of a friend... and they were here last weekend...but I can't remember their name?!?" moment.

5. Salt, pepper, seasoning and spice... here's a genius idea, save your empty Tic Tac containers and fill them with the different spices, salts and seasonings you typically take to the tailgate. Easier to stack and pack, and you're able to take just the right amount, vs. a large spice bottle.

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6. We have seen a number of clever ideas for this tailgate necessity - paper towels... but this one is a new one. You know that bungee cord you use to secure your tailgate items in the back of your car or truck? Repurpose it to easily attach your paper towel roll to the top of your tailgate tent, in between two chairs, from table to table, etc. We love tailgate tricks that take one object and give it multiple uses.

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7. The key to tailgating is to have as much as you could possibly need at your tailgate, but to also make sure everything fits in the back of your car. Chances are you're serving chips at your tailgate... usually you bring those large plastic bowls to dump them in, or leave the bag out for people to stick their hands in and grab on their own. Well, check out this trick you can easily do with the chip bag - turning it into its own chip bowl that will impress your tailgate guests.

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How to: fold the top edge inside the bag first, then begin rolling the bottom corners, up into the base of the bag, pushing the chips up as you go. 

8. Tailgating can make for a looong day. And sliding down the grass hills on cardboard, chasing footballs, and playing cornhole can only entertain the kids at your tailgate for so long. Here's a clever idea to help keep the kids entertained at the tailgate, and possibly even at the game. Tailgate bingo. Create your own tailgate cards, give the kids a crayon or washable marker, and like a scavenger hunt, have them keeping an eye out for different items, people, actions, etc. Whoever fills the card up first and calls 'Bingo' (or create your own clever buzzword... 'All In!') wins a prize of your choosing. Heck, I'd play this game too - looks like a lot of fun.

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9. Do you tailgate with a large group? Does everyone have assignments on what to bring and you spend the entire week before exchanging messages on Facebook planning? Let technology organize and manage the work for you and your group. Check out OurTailgate.com or use a free iPhone app like Tailgating or the Android app Tailgating Planner (only $0.99) to get your tailgate group organized stress free.

Tailgating iPhone app (left) and Tailgating Planner Android app (right)

And then do you spend time figuring out who spent what, who spent more, who owes who money... There are many, many free and relatively cheap apps that help you split expenses with friends. Splitwise is one of our favorites.

10. Finally... how are you going to remember to pack all of these things you need? Create your very own tailgate checklist with the staples you always pack for each game, for each football season. Laminate the list (DIY with laminating paper from Walmart). The lamination will not only keep the list in good shape from season to season, but you can use a dry erase marker to check off your items or take notes, then wipe it clean with a damp paper towel to erase. Here are two examples from Pinterest to get you started, but make the list your own!

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Have you used any of these tips or tricks at your tailgate before? What tailgate tips and tricks do you have up your sleeve that you would like to share?

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