clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Let's take a deeper look at Clemson - a Q&A with Mark Gordon of Shakin The Southland

New, 60 comments

Mark writes for Clemson's SBNation site, Shakin The Southland, and was kind enough to swing by to answer some questions for the game on Saturday. I also answered some questions from his colleague, @Ryan_Kantor, and you can find those over on their site here.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

BTP: Since pulling out some close wins against Louisville on the road and Notre Dame at home, Clemson has looked seemingly unstoppable. Do you think the win over Notre Dame instilled a lot of confidence in this team that they can really beat anyone?

MG: The Notre Dame win was taken in two different perspectives from Clemson fans. You are exactly right in that the team took confidence in the fact that yes, the team believes that they have the talent and the coaching staff to beat anybody in the country. From the fans perspective, there were some questions about the team's ability to hold a lead as Notre Dame came storming back in the 4th quarter. Those feelings have been dispelled with big wins over Georgia Tech and Miami. I believe you are right that the Notre Dame win was a turning point in the season that made the team truly believes in themselves.

BTP: Other than Deshaun Watson, who is a sensational QB, who on Clemson's offense should NC State fans be concerned about?

MG: Deshaun Watson, rightfully so, draws much of the media attention when it comes to the Tigers offense. Due to Watson's media coverage, a lot of fans don't realize that Clemson is in fact a run first team. Keep an eye out for RB Wayne Gallman. Gallman has rushed for 702 yards with 6 touchdowns this season and has rushed for 100 yards in every game with the exception of the Boston College game. Gallman runs low and hard and is known for tough 5 to 10 yard runs and will occasionally break a long run. Look for Clemson to feed him the ball early and often.

BTP: With Florida State looming next weekend, where the winner is likely going to win the Atlantic Division, is there any concern that the Tigers might overlook the Pack?

MG: With Dabo Swinney at the helm, Clemson fans are no longer afraid of looking ahead when it comes to the schedule. Dabo begins and ends every press conference with "the next game on the schedule is the biggest game of the year." Dabo knows that the Tigers are going to get every teams best shot and that looking ahead will result in a loss.

BTP: Any major injuries to report heading into the game this weekend?

MG: With the exception of WR Mike Williams who was potentially lost for the season in the first game of the year against Wofford with a broken bone in his neck, Clemson has managed to be injury free up to this point of the year. The main injury has been starting Center Ryan Norton. Norton has missed most of the season with a right knee injury but his hole has effectively been filled by Jay Guillermo who has been named ACC Offensive Lineman of the week twice during Norton's absence. Norton is expected to be available, but look for Guillermo to continue to see most of the playing time.

BTP: Let's get a prediction on the game.

MG: If there is one thing that Clemson fans are aware of, it is that we do NOT play well in Raleigh. Although this team looks to be much different from the teams in the past, that thought will remain in the back of many fans minds. I look for Clemson to grab an early lead and hang on for a 10 point victory.

Many thanks to Mark and Ryan for working with us this week. Make sure to check out all the great work they do over at Shakin The Southland.