Friday, September 18, 2009

Know your Oppoents: Clemson Tiges Defense and Special Teams

In continuing what I strated in part one of this series, today I am going to take a look at the Clemson Defensive side of the ball and their Special Teams. Lets just right into things by looking at the Clemson defense.

Defensive Line: The Clemson defensive line is definitely one of the strengths of the Tiger team. Lead by heralded defensive end Ricky Sapp, the Tigers can get pressure on the QB and stuff the run. Last weekend vs. Georgia Tech, the Clemson comeback was led by defensive tackles Jarvis Jenkins and Brandon Thompson. So even though Sapp gets the most notoriety, these guys are no slouches by any means. Sapp will be complimented by Da'Quan Bowers at the other defensive end position.

Linebackers: If there is any weakness on the Clemson defense Linebacker would probably be that weakness. This corp is led by sophomore Middle Linebacker Brandon Maye, who a big, athletic, quick guy who is all over the field. He is flanked on the field by Will Linebacker Kavell Conner and Strong Side Linebacker Kevin Alexander. They are both good players, but they aren't guys who will blow you away with their skill.

Defensive Backs: The Clemson defensive backfield is led by strong safety DeAndre McDaniel. He is a big hitter and he is their leading tackler and also leads the team on defense in interceptions. He plays alongside free safety Marcus Gilchrist. Those two play in the inside while cornerbacks Chris Chancellor and Crezdon Butler play on the outside. Chancellor is a 5th year senior and is a great cover corner who will get the occasional interception. It will be in Boston College's best interest in throwing the ball to the other side of the field at Butler's side.

Now we are going to take a look at the dynamic special teams that Clemson puts out on the field.

Kicker: Junior kicker Richard Jackson is starting for the first time since coming to Clemson he have been good thus far this year hitting 5 of 7 kicks but he has yet to have to kick in a pressure situation. His inexperience as a starter and lack of experience in pressure situations must be alarming to Clemson fans.

Punter: Dawson Zimmerman has been decent for Clemson this year. Averaging 36.3 yards per punt in 8 punts this year. He will need to get a little more yardage however, once we get into ACC play.

Kickoff/Punt Returns: The dynamic duo of C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford are what make this part of the game very scary for opposing teams. Both of them having blazing speed who can break "the big one" on every kickoff/punt are a huge threat and make teams have to plan around kicking off to them.

There is your look at the Clemson Tigers! Hopefully you gained at least a little bit of knowledge for the game this weekend, but either way it was still fun researching this stuff. Go Eagles!


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