As we discussed in last week's post, we've divided the offense and the defense into three portions each. For the offense, the starting QB, the starting O-line, and the 2 deep for the remaining skill positions (WR, TE, RB) each comprise one-third of the offensive ratings (weighted one-third each) and are shown both separately and combined. As LSU showed us, QB play comprises a inordinate impact on the offense, so it makes sense that the lone starter would comprise 1/3 of the overall rating for the offense.
Troy's QB is one of their few three-star recruits on offense and they like to pass. In week one, he went 20-of-27 for 229 yards and two TDs before the back-ups entered in what ended up as a 57-17 blowout for Troy. It'll be interesting to see if they try to pick-on the field corner and avoid Tankersley. I will not argue that their passing attack is much better than Auburn's, but I do believe they'll rely on it more heavily.
Obviously you can see a pretty tremendous talent gap between Clemson and Troy. The majority of Troy's players are 2-star recruits. Many are not rated on the 24/7 composite and are therefore imputed as 2-star recruits (as is Hunter Renfrow). Clemson's offensive line will have a big advantage in this game and we will want to see them road grade in front of Gallman. Against Auburn's elite D-line, that didn't happen. It should against Troy.
On defense, the two-deep on the defensive line, the linebacking corps, and the secondary each comprise one-third and are shown both split out and combined.
The biggest gap on the defense can be found on the defensive line, where Clemson has no excuse not to dominate. Frankly, the gaps are huge everywhere.
So after a scary, but excellent road win, what are we looking for in this contest with such a big talent gap? I'll lay out just a couple things I'm hoping to see:
- Dominance from the offensive line and Wayne Gallman. Auburn slowed Clemson's rushing attack, but they may be elite on the D-line. There is no such excuse for Troy. We should be able to run at will.
- Improved performance from Jordan Leggett. He had a "2013 Martavis Bryant vs. UGA" type performance. He didn't understand a play-call which forced Dabo to call a timeout. He got a false start moments later. He also had a drop in the game and finished with no catches. We continue to have high expectations from Jordan. We should start seeing it this week.
- Watson connects on the deep ball. Aside from one perfect ball to Renfrow, the Tigers attack included fewer deep shots than expected. Whether that was part of the game plan or based on what the defense gave them I am not sure, but against Troy they should have a few game breaking touchdowns.
- Better distribution in the passing game. Mike Williams had to carry the load. If this continues, he'll see plenty of double-teams. Other receivers need to step up and make plays. Where was Scott on screen plays? Deon Cain deep? Utilize all those weapons!
- Another bust-free game from the Clemson secondary.