Senior Day is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of those that have been around the program for the last four or five years – the players who have given everything on the field, the training staff and the student assistants who make sure everything runs smoothly and guardians of Tiger pride – the cheerleaders, rally cats and Tiger Band members.
Saturday will also serve as Military Appreciation Day – a time to honor Clemson’s military heritage as well as current and former military personnel and those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
And, oh by the way, there’s a football game that has to be played. We’re going to do things a little differently this week. Instead of reasons why each team can, we’re going to take a look at three things Clemson fans should want to see in Saturday’s game.
WHO: Georgia St. at No. 22 Clemson
WHEN: Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 3:30 p.m.
WHERE: Memorial Stadium
NO INJURIES: Unfortunately for Clemson the injury bug hit early often this season starting when Zac Brook suffered a season-ending foot injury during fall camp. Then the Tigers have lost four players to knee injuries – offensive lineman Oliver Jones, safety/linebacker Travis Blanks, tight end D.J. Greenlee and running back Adam Choice. Martin Jenkins and Charone Peake have also missed significant time at points this season, but the biggest blow came when freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson broke his hand against Louisville. Things started to look a little brighter for the Tigers’ signal caller but then last week against Georgia Tech, Watson suffered a knee injury. Luckily, it doesn’t appear to be as serious as first thought, but his status for next week’s rivalry game against South Carolina is still up in the air. Corey Crawford, B.J. Goodson and David Beasley also suffered injuries last week that leaves their status for Saturday’s game in doubt. Hopefully this week, in what should be a final tune up for South Carolina, there won’t be any injuries and the starters can come out early in the second half and rest up for next week’s showdown.
COLE STOUDT REGAINS HIS CONFIDENCE: Senior quarterback Cole Stoudt’s play against Georgia Tech and his spot at the top of the depth chart for Saturday’s game has divided Clemson’s fan base over the last few days, causing bickering and fighting amongst the fans, but like it or not, Stoudt is the starter this week and may be called upon next week. Thus, Stoudt needs to regain the confidence that he had during Clemson’s previous five games when he was named offensive MVP twice and led his team to five consecutive wins. He has had a tumultuous year after being the named the starter at the beginning of the season to losing the job early in first quarter against Florida and then being called off the bench after Watson’s injury against Louisville to once again losing the job against Georgia Tech and then last week’s horrific performance. Can Stoudt rebound once again and help the Tigers finish out a successful season? Only time will tell.
OFFENSIVE LINE: The offensive line has been well – a work in progress – this season. They’ve had their good moments and their bad but no matter who the starting quarterback is next week against South Carolina, the line will need to protect and open up the running lanes for Wayne Gallman and company. This is the perfect game to get that last little bit of chemistry and continuity going. Will the return of Jay Guillermo spark the offensive line? Will David Beasley be healthy enough to get any playing time?
WHAT WILL HAPPEN: There should never been any doubt in who will win this game. Saturday should be all about honoring the seniors and the military and fans should expect to show up early and enjoy the fanfare throughout the day. The game should be more about perfecting technique and fundamentals and Clemson goes into the final home stretch of the season. Get an early lead and get the youngsters in there for one last little bit of game experience.
FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 42 – GEORGIA STATE 3
Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Steele Hood