Clemson Must Prove It's Worth On The RoadSubmitted by Duane on Thu, 09/29/2011 - 18:42
#13 Clemson must now go on the road and prove itself after winning its' fourth game at home and its' second game against a ranked opponent. Clemson is leaving Death Valley for the first time this season. On a schedule that will not require the Tigers to leave the state of South Carolina two weeks in a row, with the only back to back away games being the last two contests of the season at NC State and arch rival , South Carolina, Clemson will be in strange territory when they travel to Blacksburg, VA to take on the #11 Hokies of Va Tech. Clemson struggled against the likes of Troy and Wofford at home, therefore many questioned Clemson's early development as a conference contender. But after a fierce battle with a rebuilding, defending national champion, Auburn, the Tigers really came together last weekend against a wounded but quality Florida State football team and controlled much of the game. However, all of these successes have been just below Howard's Rock, in the comfort of the Clemson home, known as "Death Valley."
Now Dabo Swinney and team must feel the intimidation of Lane Stadium at night, in Blacksburg. A place many has said is extremely uncomfortable at night. A 6:05PM game time will allow at least half of the game to be played under the lights. While the travel for the first time in the season will be a factor. The real challenge for the Tigers is can they continue to improve there efficiencies and execution on offense, creating spacing for big plays, while the defense continues to blow up plays and control the line of scrimmage, making third and long a frequent challenge for their opponent? Clemson has found a great aerial arsenal featuring Tajh Boyd to Duane Allen and an electrifying Sammy Watkins, along with a few depth chart jewels, which is only going to allow Andre Ellington to begin grinding out yards on the ground as you can no longer load the box on Clemson's offense. Both teams are 4-0, along with 20 other schools major programs, but the Hokies will sport a top five defense against the now potent Clemson offense.
So, it's two undefeated teams, nationally ranked, #11 Va Tech sporting the #4 defensive team in the country, #13 Clemson strutting a #13 offense into Lane Stadium. It's the first road test for the Tigers and the third home stand for the Hokies, but their first ACC conference game. Clemson can make a huge statement on Saturday evening, while the Hokies coached by legendary Frank Beamer, must stay focused and patient entering into a game that has four different scouting reports if you look at each of Clemson's victories. The last time Clemson went to Blacksburg highly ranked was 2006 and the results were painful, as Va Tech won 24-7 to spoil that road trip. This game is promised to be a candidate for game of the week by mid-evening, when the dust settles in Blacksburg, Va.
For More Pre-Game Note "click"