Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Clemson preview

Three previews and three rounds of me being off in anticipating what BC’s coaching staff would do. We are 2-1 so they must being doing something right. Undeterred, I’ll continue guessing and giving my opinions on BC’s potential gameplans.

Offense -- what BC will do

BC has started each game passing. It worked against BYU and Army. Against Florida State it worked out perfectly…for the Seminoles. With a redshirt sophomore starting his first road game, I think they will finally start the game off with a heavy dose of run. The line played well on Saturday and if they open up enough holes they can make the day a lot easier on Ryan. We are all still waiting for Whitworth or Callender to step up and become the featured back. Unless one of them gets hot, expect them to split the carries. You can run on the Tigers. Both Miami and Texas A&M rushed for more than 200 yards.

I think Bible and TOB will keep the offense simple for Ryan. I don’t expect too much pocket passing. He seems most comfortable on rollouts and bootlegs. He stretched the field against Florida State, but I don’t know if that was by design or just taking what Florida State was giving.

Expected the opposite of last week from the coaches -- lots of run early and some long passes if they are available.

Offense -- what I think BC should do

Miami was able to wear on the Tigers. We don’t have a game-breaker like Moss, but our offensive line should have the advantage. I would like to see BC establish the run early and give Ryan plays he can succeed with. The short dumping stuff that Porter relies on might not be Ryan’s sweet spot. The kid gets into his pump fakes, so I hope they give him some slower developing plays and look downfield with Lester and Robinson. Although he didn’t break anything last week, I would like to see them get Blackmon involved on the screens again.

Defense -- what BC will do

Last week the defense was creative and aggressive. This week I think they will revert to a more conservative scheme. This is two fold. First Clemson will use a lot of no-huddle, so the defensive rotation will be harder. The other reason I think they will stay conservative, is that Clemson does not get into the endzone as easily as Florida State. Like BYU, I think Spaz will be content to let the move the ball down the field and come away with a field goal.

Defense -- what I think BC should do

I loved last week’s aggressiveness and would like to see more of it. If we give Whitehurst time, I am afraid that he will pick us apart all day. Mix coverages. Blitz from every location. It was working against Florida State. The Seminoles had their most success moving the ball when BC called off the dogs.

When we last went against Spence, BC played conservatively and relied on the line creating most of the pressure and using zone to intercept passes. That was a different time and place. Don’t allow Clemson to move up and down the field. Too risky. Go for broke and pressure Whitehurst.

Special teams -- what BC will do

BC has done a good job containing returns this season. This might be a field position game and Clemson’s return units are suspect. I think BC will punt away in nearly every situation. Going for it on the road or trying long kicks with Ohliger is futile.

Special teams -- what I think BC should do

They had the Tribble-Blackmon optional reverse return in last week but didn’t use it. Hopefully they can this week. Other than holding my breath that we can avoid mistakes in the kicking game there is not much else to say on special teams.

Final Prediction

Until things start to look really bad, I will continue to predict BC victories. While a totally different atmosphere than last week’s game, this one is as important. BC needs to give Ryan a better effort than he got last November. If they pound Clemson and keep it close, we can win.

Final Score: BC 23, Clemson 20.

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