3 Keys to Victory

Cullen Harper, the defensive line and Jimmy Maners headline our three keys to victory this week.

PROBLEM SOLVED? After seeing a snap sail five feet over his head and having a punt blocked against Florida State, punter Jimmy Maners has been put in just about every situation possible in just one start. Simply put, he doesn't want to have to deal with those kinds of situations ever again in his career. Long snapper Colin Leonard has been Mr. Dependable until last week and Clemson's punt protection was solid until one of the up-backs blocked in the wrong direction. The Tigers can ill-afford any more similar slip-ups the rest of the season and expect to compete for an ACC Championship. A good start in solidifying Clemson's special teams would be an error free game Saturday. That means every player on the punt team must be on the same page.

SO FAR SO GOOD: Quarterback Cullen Harper did all that was asked of him Monday night against Florida State - he managed the offense without making any major mistakes. While he did miss two downfield throws in the fourth quarter that would have iced the game, he did provide more stability at the position than Will Proctor did at the end of last season. To continue improvement, Harper must complete those medium-range passes as the season goes along - including Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe.

STOP CALVIN: Louisiana-Monroe will have no problem handing the football to star running back Calvin Dawson 35 times Saturday. He gives the Warhawks the best chance to keep this game close. That means Clemson's defensive line has to remain focused and not over pursue against La.-Monroe's option attack. If Dawson gets close to the 150 yard range, the Warhawks have the ability to keep this one closer than expected.

CUTigers.com Top Stories