The Clemson Tigers had another magical year in 2017, finishing the regular season 12-1 with their lone loss being against the Syracuse Orange. There certainly were huge ups, winning the ACC against the Miami Hurricanes, but there has to be some disappointment losing to the buzzsaw known as the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFB Playoffs. This is a team that is poised to win again this year. Let’s take a look at what Clemson could do to the ACC this year.
First off, no conversation about Clemson can happen without talking about that defensive line. This group is going to be pure unadulterated nightmare fuel. Starting with Christian Wilkins who could arguably be the best defensive lineman in the country, an absolute freak who can control games on his own. Then add on Dexter Lawrence, who recently said that he was playing hurt last year, yet still finished the year with a handful of big plays. Oh, and there is also Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant who finished with 19 sacks between them. Opposing offensive lines are going to have major issues against this group, and they are going to take over games on their own.
On the offensive side of the ball, Kelly Bryant is the starter until he loses the job. He isn’t the most prolific passer in the game, but will keep defenses honest with his legs, running for over 600 yards last year. Lined up behind is possibly the quickest running back in the ACC, Travis Etienne, who is going to have to step up and be an every down back this year. Hunter Renfrow, Tee Higgins, and some incredible underclassmen should give the Tigers some great weapons . Of course, Dabo Swinney is an excellent recruiter, with blue chip recruits up and down the roster, so you can bet that there may be a freshman or two who leaps up the depth chart.
Over the next few days we are going to talk with Ryan Kantor of Shakin the Southland the SBNation Clemson Blog, talk about the recent success or lack there of the Eagles have had against Clemson, and lay out what BC has to do to win this matchup. Make sure to check out BCI for more information this week!