3 Keys to Victory

Containing the misdirection attack of Wake Forest will be critical for the Clemson defense Saturday.

DON'T BE FOOLED: The Deacs won't run as much option as they have in years past, but you can expect a decent dose of misdirection. That means the Clemson defense can't be fooled when a play starts in one direction because it can easily be taken back the opposite way. In addition, Wake Forest has more speed than previous seasons with players like Kevin Marion and Kenneth Moore. Moore is second in the league in the receiving and third on the Deacs in rushing with three touchdowns. Running backs Josh Adams (recruited by Clemson) and Micah Andrews are also dangerous threats in the misdirection game.

CONTAIN SPECIAL TEAMS: Wake Forest leads the ACC in kickoff returns, averaging over 24 yards per attempt. KR Kevin Marion is as dangerous as they come and given the Tigers inability to contain kick returns earlier in the year, this is one of the major keys in Saturday's game. Remember, Marion returned the opening kickoff 93 yards last season against Clemson. Also keep in mind the Deacs have scored nine non-offensive touchdowns this year, including two on special teams and kicker Sam Swank is one of the best in the country. The Tigers can ill-afford any sort of special teams mishap and expect to win this game.

JUMP AHEAD EARLY: Surprisingly, Clemson has struggled out of the gates in each of its last three games. In fact, the Tigers have actually trailed in the first quarter against Central Michigan, Maryland and Duke. Given the expected atmosphere in Death Valley Saturday afternoon, if the Tigers could get ahead early, it could be all the momentum needed to help the crowd remain in the game and assist the Tigers in getting the victory. Not surprisingly, Wake Forest traditionally starts strong and has scored on its opening drive in each of its last three games.

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