#Clemson VS Pittsburgh : Preview and Prediction
NO. 2/2 CLEMSON (12-0, 8-0 ACC) vs PITTSBURGH (7-5, 6-2 ACC)
SATURDAY, DEC. 1 8 P.M. ET
BANK OF AMERICA STADIUM (75,412)
CLEMSON/PITTSBURGH SERIES HISTORY:
– OVERALL: Clemson trails series, 0-2 - HOME: Clemson trails series, 0-1 - ROAD: N/A - NEUTRAL: Clemson trails series, 0-1 - LAST MEETING: Nov. 12, 2016 (43-42 L) – STREAK: Pitt, Won 2
TELEVISION: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor)
RADIO: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, Rodney Williams, Reggie Merriweather) **Sirius 94, XM 193, Internet 955**
RADIO: ESPN Radio (Bill Rosinski, David Norrie)
#2 Clemson shows up in the ‘Queen City” of Charlotte, NC with an unblemished record of 12-0 (8-0 ACC). The Tigers looking for their 4th consecutive ACC Title in and another trip to the College Football Playoff. Coach Dabo Swiney on the heels of the Tigers 8th consecutive 10 win season looks to again take the Tigers to the peak of the college football world. But only if the Tigers can get by a up and down Pitt squad that has worked its way through the ACC Coastal schedule and arrives in Charlotte at 7-5 on the year 6-2 in the ACC.
Pitt comes into this game fresh off a loss to the Hurricanes of Miami last week. A game that saw the Panthers struggle on offense. Clemson comes out of last week’s action with its 12th victory of the season after a 56-35 win over in-state rival South Carolina. A game that saw the Clemson defense get exposed on the 2nd level all night as South Carolina receivers found open space all over the field.
Both teams came into the week with plenty to work on inside their respective practice session from last weeks results. But this time of year it’s all about the next week and not back to the drawing bards scheme and fundamentally. So expect these two teams to show up and stick to what got them each here. Clemson won’t make any drastic changes after a week of self-evaluation and we do not expect Coach Narduzzi to have a knee-jerk reaction over his squads disappointing loss at the hands of the Hurricanes.
When Clemson Has the Ball:
The Pitt Defense will try and first stop the run to force the Tiger Freshman QB to beat them with his arm. All this in hopes that they can confuse the young freshman as he looks over coverages and blitz packages. This has not worked so far this season and it won’t work again on this night. What happens here is the Tigers pass efficiency will open up the run game later in the game and when the Pitt Defense is worn down from relentless pass rush attempts. So in fact what the Panthers intend to do will actually cause their own demise here as the depth on the Clemson offensive line versus the depth of the Pitt defensive line show itself quickly. And the Tigers will again reach above the 40 point level and find success in all areas of its game plan. Look for the Tigers Offense to attack the perimeter of the Panthers defense on Saturday. With a slew of screen passes and quick slants to the many targets Lawrence has frequented all season long.
When PITT has the ball:
The Tigers defense is looking for “redemption” after last week’s performance against their in-state rivals to close out the regular season. In a very non- Clemson like the way the Tigers managed to allow over 600 yards to the Gamecocks. This defense which has prided itself weekly on its the ability to shut down opponents strengths was in a way exposed on the back end as the Tigers safeties were out of position and taken advantage of by the SC offensive coaching staff on numerous occasions throughout last week’s contest. The Tigers won’t face anywhere near the talent level against this Pittsburgh squad as they did with a very savvy and feisty South Carolina squad. Never the less with Pitt and it’s entire gameplay predicated on the play action pass and its ability to fool and create space. Look for coach Narduzzi’s team to try and set up the run game from the outset using their tandem of backs. And building off that a screen and play action game they hope to supplement in lieu of the huge gap in talent here.
Look for the Panthers to try their best to be physical up front and establish their bread and butter run game. If they can then the success in the play action game could affect the Tigers. But our guess is the Pitt team finds hard treading against a fired up Clemson front looking to redeem themselves after last weeks anomaly that was the SC game. So expect less of the usual blitz packages and for Brent Venables two sit back and let his front four dials up the pressure all night long. Clemson’s DB’s will play press coverage from the outset as has been status quo for most of the season.
PITT Players to watch: #8 QB Kenny Pickett #22 Darrin Hall #30 Gadree Ollison
Prediction: Clemson 45- Pitt 10
Joy Suddeth(Publisher/Staff Photographer) : 35-7 Clemson
Lindsey Rhodes(Writer/Contributor) : 37-7 Clemson
Dean “the HAT” Cox (Contributor/Correspondent) . : 45-10 Clemson
Chayce Brock (Photographer/Contributor) : 49-10 Clemson
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