2: Things that Clemson must do.
1. Continue the improvement on the defensive line.
With each game, the Clemson defensive line is getting better and better - and in turn, growing more and more confident. Last week versus Duke, Clemson played almost everybody they had up front, giving players such as Reader and Watkins valuable experience. Over the last three games, Clemson has given up an average of only 66.67 rushing yards in the 2nd half. With former LB Sean Petty now under center for the Terrapins, if Clemson can continue to stop the run, it will be a long day for the Maryland offense.
2. Remain balanced on offense.
Make no mistake; this Maryland defense will challenge the Tigers. Maryland is ranked 11th in the country in total defense (20th passing & 18th rushing). Even with Ellington going out after his first carry last week versus Duke, the Tigers still managed to run for 339 yards. That level of success on the ground will force the Maryland defense to account for the run, and in effect put Boyd and the Tigers passing game in a key position to pick apart the Maryland secondary.
4: Players to watch.
1. Andre Ellington - Ellington left the Duke game after his first carry, a 26-yard gain, with a hamstring injury. The Maryland defense is ranked 18th in the nation versus the run. The Tigers will need Ellington in order to stay balanced, and keep the Maryland defense honest.
2. Sammy Watkins - Why Watkins? Since his return versus Wake, he and Hopkins have traded big games. Maryland is Sammy’s turn.
3. Stefon Diggs - Diggs is an ultra talented freshman WR for the Terrapins. He leads Maryland in receiving yards and touchdowns. Not only do the Tigers have to account for him in the passing game, Diggs is also a threat in the return game.
4. Sean Petty – Petty started the season as a LB in the Maryland defense. However, after losing 4 quarterbacks to injury, he has been called under center to lead the Terrapin offense. The 6-foot-1, 230 pound QB is a threat on the ground, but can also throw the football. He connected with Diggs for a 23-yard touchdown last week versus GT.
7: Predictions on the game.
1. The Terrapin defense is allowing a mere 191.56 passing yards per game. Clemson will more than double that total.
2. The Terrapin defense is allowing 21.67 points per game (33rd in the nation). Clemson will double that as well; and in turn score more than 38 points for the 9th straight game.
3. It’s Sammy Watkins’ turn for a big game – he goes for over 100 yards and at least 1 touchdown.
4. The Tiger defense continues its trend, and gives up less than 100 yards rushing in the 2nd half.
5. Vic Beasley has at least one sack.
6. The Clemson defense forces at least two turnovers.
7. Dabo Swinney and the Tigers break the record for consecutive wins (12) in Death Valley.