Unlike the last few weeks, this team can pose a test for Clemson. I could see that Mike Glennon had real QB skills when he first stepped on the field against us a few seasons ago. While I may not have done what O'Brien did and let Russell Wilson go, I can see the reasons why he did it. NC State is going to put up some points here, and I don't expect a blowout anything like we've seen lately.
NC State's DL kicked our ass last year without Phil Price at LT. Brandon Thomas could not adjust to the speed of the pass rush and once State jumped ahead following some turnovers, they could key on the pass and our OL couldn't handle them. Though I don't see the same thing happening with turnovers, the pass rush ability is concerning.
I don't see myself being happy with our OL either way it turns out after this game. They have some stout run stoppers on the NC State side as well. We could see this one as a tune-up DL for what we'll face next week. Clemson is going to have to attack the State secondary with success, without giving up on the running game.
Behind that rush, State plays a zone coverage scheme similar to what Koenning played here. Can Tajh read the coverage they present and stay away from David Amerson? A good throw to his side is fine, because I'm confident in our receivers' abilities, but any that are bad could be asking for a turnover. When he has stunk this year it is when he's been too aggressive, so we may hope that he tries to do too much against Nuk Hopkins.
Any Clemson pass rush should result in sacks. Glennon is a statue in the pocket and not the type of guy who can improvise with his feet. I'd expect the same M.O. from Venables this week: drop 7-8 on 1st and 2nd down and zone blitz on 3rd down passing situations.
In the end I don't see Clemson losing this one at home. I figure we'll win by 2 TDs but have plenty of things to work on defensively.