Doeren: They Score In Bunches

RALEIGH, N.C. -- NC State head coach Dave Doeren knows there are several reasons why Clemson is one of the top football teams in the country.

The Tigers, currently ranked No. 3 in the country, will be a huge challenge for NC State.

"They are a team that has 19 starters back and a bunch of lettermen," said Wolfpack head coach Dave Doeren. "All their coaches... they've been together a long time so they have a lot of install."

For Clemson it starts on offense where they have a plethora of weapons.

"They have a lot of plays you have to defend and they have great depth," said Doeren. "Anytime you play a team like that it's challenging.

"[It is] their size and speed, the number of playmakers they have on offense. The thing you see is they just score in bunches in games. They get up on people early. In the second half they do a good job of running the football and in the first half they really jump out on people. We have to do a great job of staying in the game early."

Leading the way is star quarterback Tajh Boyd. A Heisman Trophy candidate, Clemson's signal-caller is a perfect fit for their uptempo, no-huddle offense.

"He's a Heisman candidate for a reason," Doeren stated. "He has a great arm, and he's very savvy back there. He makes good decisions.

"They'll run him when they need to... their design running game in the redzone and short-yardage. You have to know where he is and you have to contain him."

"He knows the offense really well," added senior cornerback Dontae Johnson. "I think this is his third-year starting and he is a great athlete that can make every throw on the field. Plus, he's a smart player and understands the game of football."

This week the Tigers lost one of those offensive weapons when starting wideout Charon Peake went down with a knee injury during practice.

How will it impact their offense?

"I don't think it does anything," said Doeren. "They'll just plug another stud in. They have a lot of four and five-star recruits over there, so they will just plug another guy in and go."

They also still have Sammy Watkins, considered to be one of the top wide receivers in the country.

"The kid can run," Johnson said of Watkins. "He makes catches he's supposed to make, and when he gets the ball you better tackle him. If you miss tackles he can go.

"He's very explosive and we have to limit his yards and explosive plays."

Explosive plays.

That might be the key to the game for the Wolfpack. They are going to need a few big plays on offense but also prevent the Tigers from scoring quickly when they have the ball.

"We have to limit their explosive plays," said Johnson. "They thrive off them. If we can limit those and make them march down the field, it should be a challenging game for them."

"It's all about preventing their big plays," added junior linebacker Brandon Pittman. "We have to keep the momentum down to a minimum and take care of business."

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