Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Blogger summer assessment: Clemson

Preview magazines don’t cover everything. National analysts can often be wrong. So who do you turn to when you want to get real scoop on an opponent? Answer: a fellow fan. In an effort to fill these dog days of summer with a few morsels of information, I’ve asked Peter from Tiger Pundit to give us a quick take on Clemson.

What is the one thing the experts have wrong about this year's Clemson team?

PF from Tiger Pundit: A lot of experts are expecting our defense to be as good as last year's, but losing a player like Tye Hill is a big loss. Teams may be able to pass on us a little more than they did last year. Then again, running against us could be very tough. Our linebackers, led by Anthony Waters, are excellent, and defensive end Gaines Adams is projected to be a first-round draft pick.

You have a lot of returning parts on offense including a second year with Offensive Coordinator Spence, yet will have a new QB. What do you think will give?

PF from Tiger Pundit: Hmmm. Well, I hope this doesn't come across the wrong way, but I don't really think anything will "give." Spence has made a name for himself already, we have all five starters back on the offensive line (according to the Clemson spring football media guide, we're a combined 39-9 all time in the four seasons when we've had all five starters back on the line), and QB Will Proctor is not completely inexperienced: He had nearly 300 yards passing last year in limited playing time and led the Tigers to a victory in last year's season opener against Texas A&M after Charlie Whitehurst got hurt. Proctor also started and led the way to a victory over Duke. But with ACC Freshman of the Year James Davis, tough runner Reggie Merriweather and freshman-superstar-in-the-making C.J. Spiller joining him in the backfield, Proctor may be more valuable as a field manager than someone we'll absolutely need to get a win. (That's a theory I've seen floated in some preseason stories.) Then again, he'll have some talented and experienced receivers to throw to (Chansi Stuckey, Aaron Kelly, Rendrick Taylor -- who is a monster and a hell of an athlete -- and Tyler Grisham).

Clemson is in most Top 25s and listed as sleeper to win the conference. What are your expectations for the season?

PF from Tiger Pundit: For the first time in quite a while, I am really optimistic about the season. I don't see us losing more than two games this year. Then again, I've felt this way about a couple of other Tommy Bowden teams and been severely disappointed. But it really feels like all the pieces are in place for a good season.

Finally, do you think Clemson will beat BC this year?

PF from Tiger Pundit: Don't hate me, but I think we will beat the Eagles this year. I'm expecting a tough, close game, though.

For more information on Clemson, please check out Tiger Pundit.


BCMike said...

Great idea to get other fan's perspectives...very interesting. Can we see more from other folks throughout the ACC?

ATL_eagle said...

There will be more in the coming weeks.