PASS FIRST, RUN SECOND: With an offensive line that has yet to come into its own, the Tigers have become much better throwing the football with Cullen Harper and Aaron Kelly than running with James Davis and C.J. Spiller. That's not to suggest Davis and Spiller can't put up big numbers, but teams are continuing to crowd the box to force the Tigers to the air first. Harper must continue to check into pass plays in running situations and be able to convert on those plays. Pass first, then establish the run once the Maryland defense begins to loosen up.
AVOID THE BREAKDOWNS: On special teams that is. Special teams killed the Tigers in their only two losses of the season which included blocked punts, fumbled punt returns, kickoff returns for touchdowns, punt returns for touchdowns and missed field goals. Avoid giving up the big play and convert on all extra points and field goals and Clemson stands a good chance to win this game. Maryland has had their own special teams issues this year, but not as bad as the Tigers. Just be average here and Clemson should be in position to win the game in the fourth quarter.
MAKE SURE THE DEFENSE BOARDS THE TEAM PLANE: Assuming the defense that has played the first seven games shows up Saturday and there is no monumental letdown, the Tigers should be fine. QB Sam Hollenbach did a great job of picking apart Clemson's zone last season, but he's gone. Replacing him is Chris Turner and possibly Jordan Steffy (who entered the season as the starter but has been injured). Neither has been as effective as Hollenbach. If the Tigers force Maryland into long drives chances are Turner or Steffy will eventually make a big mistake. Clemson has been dominant this season against better offensive teams and there is no reason to expect that to change Saturday, especially against the Terps' banged up offensive line.
3 Keys to Victory
CUTigers.com Top Stories
WATSON WINS DAVEY O'BRIEN AWARDWatch our interview with Deshaun Watson following the receipt of his second consecutive Davey O'Brien Award at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta!
CUTigers.comYesterday at 11:11 AM
CFP HEAD COACHES' JOINT PRESS CONFERENCEWatch Clemson Head Coach Dabo Swinney, Urban Meyer, Nick Saban and Chris Petersen discuss the upcoming College Football Playoff from the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta at…
CUTigers.comYesterday at 11:03 AM
RECRUITING RADAR: ACC CHAMPS!In our weekly Recruiting Radar, CUTigers Recruiting Analyst Gary McDaniel updates you on the latest news and intel on the Clemson recruiting front!
CUTigers.comTuesday at 3:12 PM
SPECIAL OFFER: 15% OFF FIESTA BOWL TICKETS!NOW THROUGH MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY ONLY: 10% ticket discount for CUTigers.com Premium Members is increased to 15%!
CUTigers.comMonday at 12:33 PM