September 11, 2015

Game Prediction - Clemson vs. Appalachian State

The Clemson Tigers got off to a fast and furious start a week ago, but how will they fair with a step up in competition?

Will Deshaun Watson continue to shine? Will the defense continue to thrive and prove there won’t be a drop-off after losing so much talent from the 2014 squad?

Let’s take a look at some of the things to watch as the Clemson takes on Appalachian State.

WHEN: September 5, 2015 at 12:30 p.m.
WHERE: Clemson Memorial Stadium



The Appalachian State Mountaineers are known for their aggressive style of defense – a smothering run defense and a lockdown man-to-man pass defense. In 2014, the Mountaineers were 25th in total defense, 22nd in pass defense (195 yards per game) and 25th in rush defense (152 yards per game), and they return nine starters off of that squad. However, I’m not quite sure how well App. State will fair should they decide to stick with their traditional man-to-man coverage against Clemson’s wide receivers. Charone Peake, Artavis Scott, Ray-Ray McCloud, Deon Cain and Germone Hopper may be able to use their speed to exploit the single coverage.

*PASS RUSH: With the triple-option offense that Wofford ran a week ago, we truly didn’t get to see what defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd were capable of because the Terriers were focused on running the ball. This week, however, the Mountaineers will run a more balanced attack, setting the stage for Lawson, Dodd, and company to put their pass rush skills to the test and show just what the defensive line is capable of.

*SPREAD OFFENSE: Saturday’s game will be the battle of two talented quarterbacks and two spread offenses. Clemson’s Deshaun Watson shined last week against Wofford in his first action since tearing his ACL last November. Watson completed 18-22 passes for 194 yards and two scores. The Tigers amassed over 500 yards of total offense and have a good mix of speed on the edge at the wide receiver position as well as a solid running attack behind Wayne Gallman.

For the Mountaineers, quarterback Taylor Lamb is calling the shots at quarterback. Lamb was 16- of-21 passes for 209 yards and a career high-tying three touchdowns in a little over two quarters of game action. App State junior running back Marcus Cox ran for 105 yards and a touchdown on just 11 carries. In all, App. State totaled 663 yards of total offense in its season opener against Howard.

*SPECIAL TEAMS: I mentioned last week that I wanted to see Clemson’s special teams in action as the Tigers had new starters in kickoff return, punt return, punter, kicker, snapper and holder. Artavis Scott answered all of the questions as Clemson’s starting punt returner, but I need to see more out of the kicking game. Greg Huegel was 6-for-6 in extra points, but how will he do when he lines up for a field goal? Can punter Andy Teasdall put together a more consistent performance?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN – The Mountaineers will no doubt be tougher test than what Clemson faced last week, however, head coach Dabo Swinney has made his team focus on every game no matter the opponent. Appalachian State will score points, and it will be a close game in the third quarter, but in the end Clemson’s speed and talented depth will just be too much.


Post written by Clemson Girl Sports Bloggess, Nikki Hood

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