week 3 for Clemson Football over here. It’s amazing to think of. It looks like just last week we couldn’t wait for the season to start and after Saturday we will be a quarter of the way through the season. this week Tigers pass under lights and host Louisiana Tech Bulldogs in Death Valley.
With some receivers struggling, Tiger fans are excited about the debut of real new player Adam Randall, who is coming off an ACL injury. It’s hard to believe that hopes for a recipient heart are in the hands of a real new student coming out of a major injury/surgery, but here we go.
Last week, I marveled at the dominance of Tiger Defense. What a difference it makes in a week where the Tigers couldn’t stop the screen or the highly motivated and athletic Foreman team. It shouldn’t happen, no matter how good the Paladins are in the Southern Conference.
*** I’d be remiss if I didn’t put #E11aStrong in this preview, as really sad news swept over Tiger Nation this week with the death of Ella Bresee, Brian’s younger sister. I send my deepest condolences to all family members. ***
Here’s your preview of Louisiana Tech Bulldogs traveling east from Ruston, Louisiana.
Discount: Louisiana Tech Bulldogs – 9/17 8pm EST – Clemson, SC – Memorial Stadium
Coach Sony Combi He entered his first year as a head coach after spending the past nine years as an offensive coordinator at TCU and Texas Tech. He is known as one of the most creative minds in college football and brings Air Raid style to Ruston. The former game-turned-midfielder for Texas Tech brings a passion for the offensive side of football and an exciting brand of football.
joint offensive coordinator Scott Bar (TEs) is also in his freshman year at Ruston after a stint at Navarro College in Texas. His co-coordinator Jake Brown (WRs) has experience as a Quality Control Analyst and Trainer under Cumbie at Texas Tech. As far as coach Cumbie has two OCs, he takes most of the control of the offense.
The Bulldogs lost their season opener to the Missouri Tigers 52-24 and followed up that disappointment by putting on Stephen F. Austin 52-17. Offense averages 38 points per game over two games a season.
Here is a look at the expected start in Office:
quarterback – Matthew Downing – Junior – 21-38197 yards. 1 TD; 3 intelligence
running back – Marquis Crosby – Student – 23-221-2 TDs
wide future – Harris smoke – Junior – 8-62-1TD
wide future – Trey Harris – Junior – 11-128-1TD
wide future – Kyle Maxwell A student in his second year of study
tight end – Griffin Hebert – Large – 4-156-2TDs
correct intervention – Carson Bruno – student
right keeper – Isaac Ellis – newbie
center – Abraham Dolphin – big
left guard – Joshua Mott – big
left intervention – Dakota White A student in his second year of study
Matthew Downing is the expected starter for the Tigers’ next game, but it was Parker McNeill who led the Bulldogs to victory a week ago. Expect to see both quarterbacks at LaTech this weekend. They both have experience in a combi attack and know that they must take the ball out quickly in order to counter this defensive front pressure from the Tigers.
This is an air raid attack. For those who don’t know what that means, you can probably tell by name alone. They try to use the pass to open the running game. And if the air attack doesn’t work at first, keep throwing. It is based on a large number of quick throws in space for the playmakers. Lots of screens too, and if the last couple of weeks are any indication, Clemson could be in trouble on that front.
Dabo Sweeney discussed a few pass hunters by name this week at his weekly press conference. Tight End Griffin Hebert and Broad Future Smoke Harris were notables. Both players seem to have touched the ball more than most of their teammates and we can expect a lot of the same on Saturday.
The offensive line isn’t being asked to do much the way the ball goes out so fast, but this is a veteran loaded unit outside right tackle Carson Bruno who is a freshman. The unit is led by Abraham Delphine.
On the defensive side of the ball: Defensive Coordinator Scott Power He has a great name to be a defensive coordinator or strength and conditioning coach. Power is in his freshman year at Louisiana Tech after coming off last week’s opponent Stephen F Austin where he was also DC.
Here is a look at the key elements expected for defense:
defensive end – Dishon hole – starter – 4 screws; 2 TFL
defensive end – Joseph Mason – Beginner – 1 intervention
defensive intervention – Rashid Layles Juniors – 4 entries
defensive intervention – Kiev Rose – Beginner – 2 interventions
back line – Khairy Morrison – Beginner – 6 interventions
back line – Tyler Groups – junior – 16 interventions; 1.5 TFL
back line – Hugh Davis – juniors – 11 acquisitions; 1.5 bags
back corner – Willie Roberts – beginners – 3 interventions; 1 PBU
back corner – Miles Brooks – junior – 4 interventions; 1 TFL
safety – Peggy Williamson – juniors – 10 interventions; 1 TFL
safety – Jayden Cole – beginners – 9 interventions; 1 TFL; 1 intelligence
Although it was expected to finish ninth in the USA Conference, Louisiana Tech was a nightmare for the Clemson Football Defense game.
It’s no secret that Sonny Cumbie’s offense is what makes this team go. Defense is a work in progress for Coach Power. Giving up an average of 34.5 points per game doesn’t bode well for a successful season. The bright spots are in the linebackers and safety positions with Tyler Grubbs and Jayden Cole respected. Clemson has every opportunity to capitalize on a team facing defensive challenges.
Here are the expected starters in the special teams:
the gambler – Austin McCready Junior Student – 40.5 yards average.
kicker – Jacob Barnes – secondary – 2-3; long from 33
lottery yield – Harris smoke Junior – 12 yards average
kick back – Solomon Lewis Freshman – 31 yards average.
Louisiana Tech was expected to take ninth in a pre-season media poll at the USA Conference, yet it looks like a nightmare for Clemson’s defense. Similar to Pittsburgh and the tight shovel pass from 2015, teams will test Clemson’s high defensive front with plenty of passes and fast screens. LaTech will be no different this weekend.
I think Clemson will outlast a Bulldog in a massive atmosphere at night in the valley. But, I think this might be closer than it should be, and I don’t think Clemson covers the extravagant spread.
Louisiana Tech bulldog