Thursday, September 17, 2009

Know Your Opponents: Clemson Tigers Offense

This Saturday our Eagles travel down to Clemson, SC and Death Valley to play Atlantic Division foe. The Eagles (2-0) are coming off two big victory's over weak opponents while the Clemson Tigers (1-1) are coming in off of an ACC loss vs. Georgia Tech. Although they are coming off a loss they are still a very good and will be a great test for the Eagles. However, this blog post is going to be the beginning of a new series where we take a look at our opponent in a very in-depth manner.

First we are going to take a look at the offensive side of the ball for the Clemson offense.
Quarterback: Out of the summer, the Clemson Tigers announced that Red-Shirt Freshman Kyle Parker had won the quarterback competition beating out Sophomore Willy Korn. Parker is a pro-style quarterback who has a very strong arm and can make the deep throw very well. He struggles with pressure as he is still adjusting to the speed of College Football and if you can get pressure on him you may be able to force him into a few mistakes. However, if you let him sit in the pocket and let him find his receivers he can make you pay.

Running Backs: C.J. Spiller is the main guy in the backfield and he isa huge threat for all defenses in the league. He is a dynamic back with insane speed who has gotten better at running the ball between the tackles and who can also catch the ball for the big play. Spiller is a game changer and is definitely someone the Eagles need to contain and not allow him to change the game. Jamie Harper is Spiller's backup but he won't see the field that much unless Spiller gets hurt or the offense is really ineffective.

Fullback: With a back like Spiller back there you won't see many, if any carries from the fullback Rendrick Taylor, but he play a big role in blocking and opening up holes for Spiller. As we know, all C.J. Spiller needs is the smallest of holes to make a huge play so he is a key player in the Tigers offense when he is on the field.

Wide Receivers: The Tigers suffered a huge blow this week when they found out Junior Wide Receiver Xavier Dye has left their football team. He was one of the few players who had much experience catching the ball outside of Jacoby Ford. While Ford is another one of those burners who can use his speed to kill you and make plays on the field, this allows the Eagles defensive backs to key in on him and slow him down. Clemson is going to need some of their younger receivers like Terrance Ashe, Brandon Clear and Marquan Jones to step up to help out Kyle Parker and fill in the void left by the loss of Dye.

Tight End: This position may help the Tigers stabilize the loss of Dye a little bit because they get a lot of experience and leadership out of Senior Michael Palmer and they are going to need all of what he brings to help offset the inexperience at the Wide Receiver position.

Offensive Line: The Clemson Tigers offensive line is probably going to be one of the biggest keys of the game. Their performance could win or lose them the game. Last year the offensive line was definitely the weak point of the Clemson team and last week they were man-handled by the Georgia Tech defensive line in the 1st half before they improved two-fold in the second half. If they play well and give Kyle Parker time to throw and open holes for C.J. Spiller to run they will most likely win the game. But if they allow BC to get pressure on the QB and stuff the run they may be in trouble. Left Guard Thomas Austin is probabl their team leader on the line, as he is their lone 5th year Senior on the line. Left Tackle Chris Hairston is the only on upperclassmen on the line (Junior) as Center Mason Cloy, Right Guard Antoine McClain and Right Tackle Landon Walker are all Sophomore's and are all the reason why we don't know what we will get.

Clemson's offensive keys to the Game:
1. Get the Ball to C.J. Spiler: He is their best offensive player and he needs to have the ball as much as possible with as many opportunities to make that big play, as possible.
2. Offensive Line: As stated above the Tigers have been inconsistant, at best, on the offensive line and they are going to need to get rid of the inconsistantcy and open up holes and give Parker time to throw if they want to win.
3. Hold on to the ball: BC's secondary is know to have a bunch of ball hawkers back there and the defense has been in the top 5 in interceptions for the past 3 years, so Parker is going to need to be careful and avoid turnovers for Clemson to win the game.

Come back tomorrow for a look at the Clemson Tigers Defense and Special Teams! Go Eagles!


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