The Eagles have the top passing attack in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but their rushing game is the conference's second worst. The deficiency was most glaring against Northwestern, when the Eagles ran it 21 times for just 25 yards, with none of their three running backs able to break through.
“We need to be able to run the ball this game, especially after how poorly we were in the Northwestern game,” said captain and left tackle Emmett Cleary.
Defensively, Clemson is third worst in the conference against both the run and pass, pounding the ball on the ground will go a long way in icing the Tigers offense. Clemson's putting up 39 points a game, and it doesn't take them long to light up the scoreboard (their offense is on the field just about 28 minutes a game, ninth in the ACC).
“Against an offense as explosive as theirs, if we can hold onto the ball that's almost the best defense. We did a terrible job of that [against Northwestern]. We were very sporadic -- a couple long drives but a couple three and outs. Against a good offense like Northwestern's and then Clemson's, we've got to help our defense out a little bit.”
- Michael Vega
- Mark Blaudschun
- Nancy Marrapese-Burrell