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Thursday News/What to Look for this Weekend

Trever Booker today was named to the Naismith Watch List in addition to being named a candidate for the Wooden award earlier in the year.  While preseason hype is worthless, it is nice to hear positive things about the Tiger Basketball program in October.

Michael Palmer received the Mackey Awardas national TE of the week.  Palmer gets major props from us, and all the credit and attention that he gains is well deserved.  Palmer is doubtful this wek after taking the tough hit last week and suffering from a concussion.  I think everyone realizes how serious concussions are and how important Michael Palmer is to this football team.  There is no need to risk Palmer this week against Coastal, and everyone knows this. 

Kantrell Brown will also sit this week.  Scotty Cooper should return after a few weeks on the sidelines.

David Bennett, current Coastal Carolina coach and former Clemson graduate assistant, will return to Death Valley this week.  Bennett was a GA under Coach Ford after playing ball at PC.  I encourage all to read about Bennett washing Coach Ford's truck in this P&C article.  This is absolutely classic.  Bennett got high marks from DF and has done a good job starting the Coastal program (3 conference titles since its inception).

As we all know, CJ Spiller is getting some Heisman run lately.  CJ has been nothing short of sensational on the football field.  However, for Spiller to keep this momentum going he will have to continue to throw up ridiculous numbers and this team must win games.  Spiller will more than likely have to do his damage on offense only, as Miami did not intentionally kick to him and I do not expect anyone else to either.  Spiller is what college football should be and deserves all the credit he is given for making this team go.

On to Coastal.  The Chanticleers enter the contest with a 3-4 record against some poor teams.  This should not be a contest, and don't expect too much excitement out of this game.  Clemson is vastly superior to Coastal in all areas of the game, and we should see a blowout.

Hopefully Clemson aint beeein rebellion this week , and takes care of business from the opening kick.

We expect the same things this week as we do every week out of the Tigers.  We expect this team to come out and play good fundamental football.  This should be a good game for Clemson to work on things and will give the coaches a good chance to get a lot of players in the game.  I will be extremely pissed if Clemson comes out and lays an egg again after beating Miami in Miami.  The '04 Duke game is the kind of crap by Tom that drove everyone crazy.

Offensively, we better see the line move the pile down the field.  I am sick and damn tired of not seeing any push on run plays.  While I think this offensive line is getting better, Clemson still cannot line up and run the ball at will (although, to Clemson's credit, the Tigers were able to get some tough yards last week with Harper when they were absolutely necessary).  I want to see Clemson line up, run a simple isolation play, knock the opposition to the ground, and pound the ball at times.

Ellington and Harper should get quite a few touches this week.  I would like to see Harper continue to run hard.  He has looked a lot more impressive over the past few weeks, running the ball well and throwing some important blocks.  We all know Ellington is quick and has a ton of moves.  I want to see him show that he can hold onto the football and be dependable to spell Spiller as we move down the home stretch of this season.

You will definitely see more of Cloy at Guard and Smith at Tackle. Both of these guys have seen considerable playing time the past two weeks, and the coaches have been pleased with the abilitiy to rest McLain and Austin during the game. Smith also allows for somewhat of a rotation at the tackle spot, and keeps Lambert at the LT position where he is allegedly more comfortable. The staff did not sub Cloy at center last week, and I think that will change against Coastal. (Lineman substitution was something I mistakenly ommitted before and have adjusted the article to include).

Without Palmer Saturday, we will see Allen featured.  I am interested in seeing his athleticism over the course of the game.  I am also eager to see an expanded rotation at the wide receiver position (assuming Clemson can take care of business early).  Clemson absolutely needs another WR who can go out and be depended upon to make big plays.

We should get to see a lot of Willy Korn Saturday.  This should excite the Byrnes crowd.  I will be interested to see if he will get at least a series or two with the first team offense.  I was less than impressed with Korn's passing against Wake, and hope to see better decision making and a little more velocity on throws.  I enjoy watching Korn tuck the ball and run, as he is extremely agile and can probably make things happen outside of the pocket.  Finally, getting Wade under center for a few meaningful plays (i.e., not kneeling in the victory formation) suits me fine.  I think everyone likes and respects Wade.  He finds a way to get on the field and make a contribution to this team despite being the 3rd team QB.  Wade plays a lot as a special teamer and contributes selflessly to this team.

Defensively, we need to see better play out of the linebackers.  The effort and ability is is definitely there, however technique has been lacking lately.  There was some confusion last week (Miami's unconventional and unbalanced formations confused portions of the defense, with defenders in incorrect gaps, etc...).  We have also seen linebackers take poor angles and get caught behind plays.

This week should be a tune up before the Tigers host a critical contest against FSU.  I hope Clemson can avoid their Tom Bowden tradition of playing to the level of their opponents.  To be a successful program, the season cannot be a roller coaster ride from week to week.  If Clemson wants to prove it is a legit team, we will need to see consistent play each week until the end of the year.  This is necessary against both Top 10 teams as well as poor football teams.


EDITED 8:02 AM 10/30/09