October 3, 2015

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Notre Dame

When you draw up the biggest home game in over 30 years in your mind, you think of crisp, cool air, stars in the sky, green grass and bright lights.

However, when Clemson takes on Notre Dame on Saturday night, it will cold with torrential downpours and high winds. Think monsoon.

Nonetheless, the game must go on. Who has the upper hand when the Tigers and Fighting Irish play in what could be deemed Mud Bowl 2015.

NO. 6 NOTRE DAME (4-0) AT NO. 12 CLEMSON (3-0)
WHERE: Memorial Stadium (81,500)
KICKOFF: 8:22 p.m.

NOTRE DAME OFFENSE VS. CLEMSON DEFENSE: Brent Venables and the Clemson defense will have its toughest test to date with Deshone Kizer, Will Fuller, C.J. Prosise and the Notre Dame offense.

Kizer will be making his first road start as quarterback for the Fighting Irish. Look for Venables to call several blitzes on the first couple of plays to try and rattle the redshirt freshman.

Fuller is regarded as one of the top wide receivers in the country with six touchdowns and 133 receiving yards per game. Will Mackensie Alexander, Clemson’s All-American cornerback, have a statement game like he did in the Russell Athletic Bowl?

Prosise has 600 yards on 74 yards in just three games, and on a third of his carries defenders are touching him until he’s five yards past the line of scrimmage. That’s winning football. How will Venables attack the experienced offensive line of Notre Dame? Can Shaq Lawson, Scott Pagano, Christian Wilkins and Kevin Dodd get enough pressure on Kizer and stop Prosise?s

CLEMSON OFFENSE VS. NOTRE DAME DEFENSE: Clemson’s offense has looked really good at times and completely out of sync at times. Which unit will show up?

As much as people have complained about Deshaun Watson over the last two games, the sophomore signal caller is still completing over 70 percent of his passes and has thrown for 641 yards and seven touchdowns so far this season. He should his ability to run against Louisvill in the read option game, a nice shake up with running back Wayne Gallman as the option.

Gallman is a force in normal conditions bowling over defenders and picking up the tough yards. The redshirt sophomore has rushed for 310 yards this season, including 139 yards at Louisville.

For Clemson, the key will be opening up holes in the running game by hitting some passes to spread Notre Dame’s defense out. The Irish have a stout front seven, but thye are still on 55th in the nation in pass defense and 47th in rush defense. Clemson’s offensive line will need to pass protect and give Gallman space to run.

For me, the battle that will determine who wins and who loses is Clemson’s offensive line and Notre Dame’s defensive line.

Clemson’s special teams have been a mixed bag so far. Andy Teasdall has been serviceable at punter. Greg Huegel has looked good while kicking field goals and the return games have been ok. The problem has been on kickoff coverage. Dabo Swinney gave Ammon Lakip, who is returning from a three game suspension, kickoff duties and made some personnel changes in the coverage unit.

For the Irish, punter Tyler Newsome is a weapon, averaging 47.11 yards per punt, however, kicker Justin Yoon has struggled mightily. He’s missed to extra points and two field goals.

Which team can hit a field goal in gusty crosswinds when their team needs it?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN: Saturday’s game won’t be for the faint of heart. It’s going to be strength against strength game in monsoon like conditions with 35 mile per hour winds. The team that can avoid the costly turnovers and take care of the ball will emerge victorious.

I’m not sure that Notre Dame and Kizer quite know what they’re walking into, but despite the conditions Clemson fans will show ready to make a difference in the game. The noise combined with Clemson’s defense will be too much for the Irish offense to handle, while Watson and the Clemson offense do just enough to remain unbeaten.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess, Nikki Hood

September 22, 2015

Win a Clemson breast cancer awareness tee!

Happy Tuesday Clemson Girls! This weekend our Clemson football team has a bye week, so we want to shift gears and focus on a cause that is important to many Clemson Girls (and boys) everywhere -- Breast Cancer Awareness. October is breast cancer awareness month - and it is intended to bring greater awareness to breast cancer and breast cancer prevention. Many people are aware of breast cancer, but so many forget to do very simple tests that can catch the disease early when it's more easily treatable.

Queen of the Tailgate, a go-to online boutique for Clemson gameday dresses and accessories, is selling a 'Clemson Tiger Strong' breast cancer pink t-shirt and donating a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

Queen of the Tailgate would like to give away one of their Clemson Tiger Strong Breast Cancer Awareness t-shirts to one of you. Use the widget below to enter...

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Deadline for entries is 11:59 pm ET on Thursday, September 24. The winner will be contacted by email (Clemson Girl will not share entry emails or use the emails for any other purpose than to notify the winner). The winner will have 72 hours to respond to the email to claim their prize, otherwise we will draw a new winner.

Thanks to Queen of the Tailgate for sponsoring today's giveaway and helping to bring awareness to and raise money for breast cancer awareness!


September 17, 2015

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Louisville

It’s Thursday night. It’s a nationally televised game. It’s a sold out stadium with 55,000 people rooting against you. It’s why players come to Clemson to play football.

Clemson (2-0) takes to the road for the first time Thursday night for the ACC opener against the Louisville Cardinals (0-2), and if the Tigers’ expectations of an ACC championship and College Football Playoff appearance are to remain intact, this game is a must win.

Who has the upper hand? Let’s take a look.

CLEMSON OFFENSE VS. LOUISVILLE DEFENSE: Clemson’s offense got off to a slow start last week against Appalachian State, scoring just three points in the opening quarter, before jumping out to a huge lead at halftime off of several spectacular throws by Deshaun Watson and physical running by Wayne Gallman. Clemson has playmakers all over the field – Watson at quarterback, Gallman in the backfield, Charone Peake and Artavis Scott at wideout – but can the young offensive line block well enough to give the Tigers a chance? This will be Clemson’s toughest test of the season as the Cardinals have NFL talent all over the field on defense – Josh Harvey-Clemons at safety, Sheldon Rankins at defensive end and Devonte Fields at outside linebacker.

Clemson has the players to beat Louisville, but the offense will need to establish the run early to open up the passing lanes for Watson, and more importantly the wide receivers and tight ends will need to have their best blocking effort of the season.



The Cardinals offense has struggled mightily through the first two games of the season, so much so that head coach Bobby Petrino isn’t even sure who the starting quarterback will be in Thursday’s contest. The Cardinals had four turnovers last week against Houston, including two interceptions, and the running game has been anemic at times.

Clemson’s defense is giving up just 3.61 yards per carry, while the pass defense is ranked fifth nationally. If Clemson can get consistent pressure on the Louisville quarterbacks and not allow them to escape contain, it could be a long night for the Cardinals passing attack.


SPECIAL TEAMS: I’ve said it several times so far this season – Clemson has a new punter, place kicker, holder and snapper. How will those guys handle the pressure of playing in front of a raucous crowd? At punter, Andy Teasdall had a solid performance against App. State, but Louisville’s Joshua Appleby has more experience.

Both kickers have struggled as redshirt freshman Greg Huegel is 2-for-3 for Clemson and John Wallace is 2-for-5 for Louisville. Both teams have also struggled in the kickoff department with short kickoffs. This game could come down to field position.


WHAT WILL HAPPEN: On paper, Clemson is the more talented and more experienced team, but how will the 2015 Tigers handle going on the road for the first time? Both teams have freshmen left tackles going up against very good defensive ends. Clemson has the advantage in that they haven’t had a close game and haven’t had to fully show their hand on offense. What kind of wrinkles will offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott come up with on a short week?

If Clemson can avoid early turnovers and take the crowd out of the game early, they will return home from their first ever trip to Louisville, Kentucky with a victory.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess Nikki Hood

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