Presbyterian College at Clemson Tigers
Location: Clemson, SC
Kick Off: 3:30 EDT
PC Head Football Coach: Herald Nichols (PC c/o '89)
Years at PC: Entering Second Season
Record at PC: 0 Wins 12 Losses
PC represents the Big South Conference and participates in Division 1-AA. The Blue Hose have been a member of the Big South and D1-AA since the 2007-2008 academic year. Interestingly, PC head man Herald Nichols is the third head coach at PC. Nichols replaced Byrnes High School Architect Bobby Bentley (also a PC alum) at PC after Bentley resigned to work for the Spartanburg School District again as OC at Byrnes.
Why we play PC and not Wofford or Georgia Southern, as preparation for Georgia Tech, is beyond our comprehension, but we'll continue to preview them anyway....NCAA Football Predictions would say we're going to win by at least 500 points.
2009 PC Season Results:
PC was 0-11 last season in Nichols first season as coach of the Blue Hose. The PC website has all the scores and notes on the games of '09 available here. Without too much research, I will go out on a limb and say that 2009 was not a memorable season in Clinton, SC. The Blue Hose are continuing their transition to Division I-AA and are understandably going to struggle moving up a division.
So far, Presbyterian has participated in one contest to date, a drubbing against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Here is a recap of the 53-13 beating PC took last Thursday in Winston-Salem. I would recommend checking out the trick play PC used to get on the board against Wake but do have to question why a team qould pull this bad boy out down 28. Whatever the case, check it out here:
Nothing against PC, but this game should be a mere tune up for the Tigers as we will be traveling to the Plains to take on the Auburn Tigers next Saturday. Clemson will be attempting to gain more of a rhythm offensively, particularly throwing the football. We would like to see Billy Napier do a better job of calling plays--read between the lines, line up and run the freaking ball--at least early on. Kyle Parker showed last week that he has a lot of necessary improvement if Clemson is to equal last year's win total.
Defensively, we MUST improve our technique. Missing tackles is unacceptable. Additionally, our linebackers absolutely have to get better at reading and sticking to their keys. This has been a weakness for a while now and will keep Clemson from winning games. Clemson's entire defense needs to work on making correct reads and filling/controlling gaps as required.
One item of interest is PC's secondary coach, Andy Ford, played football and graduated from Clemson. You will probably remember both Andy and his twin brother (Peter) on some early/mid-90's football teams.
We used to call them "Burnt" and "Toast" respectively.....
From this week's press conferences:
What do you know about Presbyterian College?
Kevin Steele. "Surprisingly we do watch film on them.
"We know a good bit about them. We've watched a lot of tape on them since Sunday. Those guys had 362 yards against Wake Forest. Obviously they know how to move the football. The running back is a powerful guy. He's not just going to take the first shot and go to the ground. He's kind of a thick, heavier back. He's 5-9, 215 pounds. He's kind of a fireplug guy who runs with power. You won't just run up there and arm tackle him. We'll have to make sure we're not tackling the same way we were last week. The quarterback is someone who does a really good job of throwing the intermediate, short routes. He's accurate and gets it out of his hand quick. One of their wideouts has really, really good speed and can make people miss in space."
Question: You're looking for trick plays, too, I take it?
"You always have to prepare for that. The thing about it is, usually when you play certain teams, you get a lot of stuff thrown at you in terms of different formations, different plays, different, different, different. Of the first 34 plays last week, I can't tell you that any of them looked the same. They were all different. But hey, that's not their job to stop themselves. Their job is to draw them up and see how many different ways they can do things. So I'm sure we'll see a lot of different things."
Question: What did you think about the trick play they ran against Wake Forest last week?
"It made national news, I'm sure. They executed it perfectly. Perfectly. There were three guys out there who can tackle the guy and everybody stopped and just looked at him."
Question: Had you seen that one before?
"Yeah. Yeah I have. You coach for Bobby Bowden, you see a lot of things."
Q: As you approach this weekend's game, do you see any changes in how you deploy personnel in terms of rotation?
"Yes. Yes. Very good question. We have to tweak some things in terms of making them more in sync. We made some changes that really didn't work very well, because it broke down some communication and just the feel of a certain guy at a certain place and that was the way it is Ö then it was changed. We have to tweak that back and will. I'd rather not elaborate on what exactly that is.
"I also think there were some instances where first-time communication .. an example hypothetically would be when Kavell Conner looked out at Chris Chancellor and made a communication call to him, those guys had been around each other a lot. When Tig Willard is looking out there and telling Coty Sensabaugh, it was a new experience. Sometimes that didn't all transfer."
Question. Could you play more base than you did against North Texas?
"We're not going to put a SAM, MIKE and WILL out there and ask them to match up with wide receivers in space. That's not fair. Some people do it. But that's not what we do."
Jarvis Jenkins has an MCL Sprain, and will likely be held out. Theres no need to play him. Brandon Maye will be held out, as we predicted. Theres no reason to play him this weekend and it won't hurt Tig Willard in the long run to get the extra PT. Miguel Chavis is probable to play, but don't look for him to play much when we go up big. We'll be watching Rennie Moore and Tyler Shatley in Jenkins' place; we certainly need the depth (particularly for next season if you haven't noticed the numbers at DT).
As to what PC runs offensively, its another spread team that will show some of the same looks that both North Texas and Auburn will show. We will benefit from seeing it over and over. I know the coaching staff is spending considerable time this week preparing for Auburn as well....don't listen to them on the "We're concentrating on PC" garbage. Thats just coachspeak.
There wasn't much to go on from Napier's press conference except to praise the young WRs a little and to say that we'll see a rotation set after this weekend's game.
Xavier Dye Certain players will find themselves on the bench for lack of effort and some of the young guys will get more looks this weekend.
Blue Hose defensive coordinator Tom Evangelista is a former Clemson graduate assistant in 2003 (under John Lovett), who also was the co-defensive coordinator at Furman in 2007 when the Tigers played the Paladins. Additionally he is the former DC at SC State.
"Good, sound scheme," Swinney said. "They don’t bust very often. They have a lot of movement."
By this he means that you will see alot of pre-snap shifting (called stemming) and post-snap stunting from the smaller linemen to create a pass rush against a more massive Clemson front 5.
John Lovett is a 4-4 guy essentially, though you all remember we "officially" were a 4-3 team, he likes to play an 8-man front and C3 behind it. This is a similar scheme but with more twisting (crisscrossing DL and LBs on blitzes) and LB stunting.
Either way, PC is outmatched by far and Clemson should have no trouble putting up 50 points. If we don't, you'll hear us bitch about the reasons why next week.