As we prepare for Saturday's big matchup with the Clemson Tigers, we got the opportunity to chat with Shakin The Southland to talk all things Tigers. Check them out!
BC Interruption: BC clearly is strongest running the ball. Clemson looked completely lost against UGA, but since has only allowed an average of 55 yards a game on the ground. What has changed?
Shakin The Southland: Two things changed: one is we haven't been facing the best running back, and probably the best player in the nation. Gurley is a freak of nature and it was no surprise he had success against us. The other big issue against Georgia was depth. We had 2 starters on our defense suspended against Georgia, and once the 4th quarter hit, UGA just kept hammering away at our 3rd string defensive lineman until he broke. But for 3 quarters we did fine handling the UGA rushing game so I don't think it is as much of a change as it is being at full strength.
BCI: The injury of Deshaun Watson is a huge blow for Clemson. What should Eagles fans know about Cole Stoudt in terms of strengths, weaknesses and the the injury he sustained two week ago?
STS: Cole Stoudt is your garden variety QB. He doesn't have a great arm and his running isn't pretty. If BC wants to win they need to blitz often and play smart coverage. We don't have much of a running game and Cole isn't a huge threat to run the ball. His shoulder injury doesn't seem to be a concern this week. There aren't any reports of him being limited in practice, so it is hard for me to say there will be a problem on Saturday. Honestly the best way to describe this team may be a 2012 LSU side. A really good defense with an average/below average QB. The defense will probably have to bail out the offense in this one.
BCI: BC fans will never forget Tajh Boyd, Andre Ellington, Nuke Hopkins and Sammy Watkins. Who will be the offensive weapon on Saturday that we all need to know?
STS: You'll have to gameplan for Mike Williams and Gerome Hopper. While both lack the consistency and explosiveness of Hopkins and Watkins, they are extremely dangerous and only need a step to beat any DB. The real question is if Stoudt can make the read to get them the ball. Don't be surprised to see a lot of screens.
The one name you may not know about is Wayne Gallman. The runningback seems to be the only competent player at the position, or at least he's the only one that can actually deal with an OL that makes orange traffic cones seem competent. If you notice Gallman this weekend it means Clemson is cruising to a pretty comfortable victory.
BCI: How do you see the rest of the season play out for Clemson given the uncertainty at quarterback?
STS: Even without Watson, Clemson should win every game on their schedule until South Carolina at the end of the year. If we are lucky we'll get Watson back for the Georgia Tech game in 5 weeks and that will give him enough time to get comfortable again before playing the Chickens. With Watson we should easily beat USC and honestly we probably should with Stoudt. There is too much talent on defense and the offense has enough weapons without Watson to win as well. Anything else is going to be an extremely disappointing season.
BCI: Final thoughts, predictions for Saturday's game?
STS: I think this game ends up like our game against Louisville. It will be close the whole time and Clemson pulls out a win. I do think it is a little less heart-attack inducing for Clemson fans though, Louisville had a much better passing game to keep Clemson honest and the lack of that for BC makes this a 10 point game in the end.