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Clemson vs. Charlotte's prediction: Nothing beats a night game in Death Valley




by David Hood
Senior Writer

  Clemson plays Charlotte at 7.30pm Saturday

Clemson plays Charlotte at 7.30pm Saturday

Nothing beats a night game in Death Valley.

The Charlotte 49ers will call Saturday night in a non-conference matchup for a top-ranked Clemson team that began the season by playing three Power 5 teams. This will be the first game played between the two programs.

CHARLOTTE 49ERS (2-1; C-USA: 0-0) at No. 1 / # 1 CLEMSON TIGERS (3-0; ACC: 2-0)

WHEN: Sat., September 21, 7:30 p.m. pm

VAR: Memorial Stadium (81,500), Clemson, SC

TELEVISION: ACC Network (Dave O & # 39; Brien, Tim Hasselbeck, Katie George)

RADIO: Clemson Tigers Network (Don Munson, CJ Player Tim Bourret, Reggie Merriweather)

** Sirius 134, XM 193, Internet 955 **

NOTABLE

* Saturday's competition will be Clemson's 150th game led by Dabo Swinney . Swinney's 149 career games as head coach are the second most in school history, releasing the 295 games coached by College Football Hall of Famer Frank Howard during the 1940-69 season. With a career record of 119-30, Swinney participates in the competition with a career-winning percentage of .799, the 17th best winning percentage of all college football coaches at the college with at least 10 years of experience. Swinney passed Bob Stoops (.798) with Clemson's win at Syracuse last week. With a win this week, Swinney can improve her winning percentage to .800 and become the 17th coach (at least 10 seasons in major college football) to reach that career mark all the time.

* Clemson is in the middle of a school record 18-game winning streak with the 2018 season opener. Clemson's dominance in this span has been partially driven by the line of scrutiny, with Clemson having a 68-19 edge over opponents in sacks in that timeframe. Clemson's +49 margin in sacks since 2018 is by far the top difference in the country, as no other program can boast a sack differential greater than +33 since 2018.

* Three games during 2019, Clemson has already recorded two 600-yard games offensively. Clemson's school year record for 600-yard games is three, as is the 2012, 2017 and 2018 season. Clemson's eight 600-yard games since 2017 are tied for fourth most in the country. Clemson hammered Syracuse to 15 tackles for loss and eight sacks last week. It was Clemson's 11th consecutive game in multiple sacks, as no team has held Clemson to a sack or fewer since October 20, 2018 (one against NC State).

* Clemson tries to win a 14th row in a row with 14 points or more, which would tie for the third longest row in the AP Poll era (since 1936).

* Clemson is trying to win its 18th consecutive row at Memorial Stadium, which goes back to a 56-7 victory against South Carolina on November 25, 2016. The current 17-player series is the second longest home strike in Clemson history, with just a 21-match Memorial Stadium winning line in 2013-16.

WHEN CHARLOTTE HAS THE BALL

Charlotte leads Conference USA and ranks in FBS top 20 in points (47.4 ppg), rushing offense (296.7 / g) and total offense (522.3 / g ). Charlotte has scored over 40 points in three straight games (49, 41, 52) for the first time in school history. The 49s have posted 500+ turns of total offense in all three games. Charlotte's 52 points in the victory over UMass are the most scored by the 49ers against an FBS opponent, breaking the mark on 41 sets in the previous match against Appalachian State.

Senior running back Benny LeMay, a Doak Walker graduate and all-C USA selection, has rushed after 100-plus laps in all three games and scored five touchdowns. He has rushed for over 100 yards in five straight games, dating back to last year, and has 10 such games in his career.

Six receivers have taken five-plus passes and 49ers nine pass TDs have gone to six different receivers. Freshman wide receiver Micaleous Elder leads the team with 201 yards (67.0 / g) and owns a 100-yard performance (119 y in App State). Cam Dollar (157; 52.3 / g) and Victor Tucker (131; 43.7 / g) averaged 40-plus turns per game. Tucker, Dollar and Tyler Ringwood lead the team with two receiving TDs. Charlotte has 9 matching TDs. They had 10 last year. Quarterback Chris Reynolds leads C-USA and ranks 15th in FBS with a passing efficiency of 178.4. His 7 TD passes 2nd in C-USA; 21st in FBS. His 9.32 lap / pass attempt is 23rd in FBS.

The 49ers will try to drive football, especially if Clemson uses the dime look they used during the first three games of the season. If the 49ers have had success early, defensive coordinator Brent Venables may need to return to a four-man front. Even if they fall behind, they will play football.

ADVANTAGE: CLEMSON

WHEN CLEMSON HAS THE BALL

Charlotte leads C-USA and ranks 5th in FBS with 4.33 sacks / gm. Charlotte has matched her school play with individual games with 5.0 sacks twice this season (against Gardner-Webb; against UMass). Redshirts defensive end Alex Highsmith, a Bednarik Watch Lister and preseason all-C-USA selection, is ranked second in the country with 1.3 sacks per game and Swinney says he may be the best defender the Tigers have faced all season. He matched the 49ers' single game with 2.0 sacks in each of the first two games. With 4.0 sacks, Highsmith is within 1.0 sacks of individual season records (5.0, Larry Ogunjobi, 2014).

Clemson's offense has posted points and yards but still has work to do to be an effective unit. The Tigers are 69th overall in third-down conversions this season, converting just 14 of 35 attempts. It has to get better as the Tigers progress. Clemson is also 44th in sales margins and 68th in red zonomagos.

Yes, there is work to be done but the offense averages a lot of 544 yards total offense, 251 yards rushing and 293.3 yards through the air per game.

The 49ers will be a challenge to be sure but expect the offense to be better this week. Look for clashing coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott to find a rhythm of return Travis Etienne and find cohesion in the passing game that doesn't involve as many 50- 50 balls along the sideline. This would be a good week to get the tight ends involved and get more details for wide receiver Amari Rodgers .

BENEFIT: CLEMSON

SPECIAL TEAMS

Check this out – Clemson plays a team that does not have a Punter of the Year candidate. But sophomore Connor Bowler is averaging 45 yards per point this season at just 10 points. Kicker Jonathan Cruz was Player of the Year for the C-USA Preseason Special Teams and has hit his only field goal attempt this season after hitting 17 of 22 field goals last season. Cruz also handles kickoffs and gets touchbacks about half the time.

Clemson begins to find a track with kicker B.T. Potter, who has hit four of his six field goal attempts this season. Potter has also done damage to kickoffs and earned 16 touchbacks in 18 attempts. Punter Will Spiers is averaging 40.92 meters per point this season, a little over a yard better than last season and just on average from his rookie campaign. He can hit the big one and he can hit a short.

The Tigers have not yet started the return game, but I would like to see Rodgers get more of an opportunity. He drives with a purpose and can provide a spark for special teams.

BENEFIT: EVEN

WHAT WILL HAPPEN

The 49ers have good players and they come out ready to fight. But there is a difference between having some good players and having fantastic players all over the pitch, and hopefully the benefit of a night game at home will help Clemson. Clemson will move the ball and score points at an even pace as the offense begins to find the consistency it is looking for. The result is not in doubt when the team hit the half.

FINAL SCORE: CLEMSON 44, CHARLOTTE 13

Mickey Plyler – 6-9 AM on WCCP 105.5FM – 59-10 Clemson

Tony Crumpton – Associate Editor – 49-10 Clemson

Nikki Hood – Staff Writer – 56-17 Clemson

Brandon Rink – Staff Writer – 55-13 Clemson

Pigskin Prophet 49-10 Clemson

Game Actual David Hood Mickey Plyler Tony Crumpton Nikki Hood Brandon Rink Pigskin Prophet
Georgia Tech 52-14 CU 44-13 CU 52-17 CU 45-13 CU 42-17 CU 48-13 47-9
Texas A&M 24-10 CU 41-27 CU 37-20 CU 38 -24 CU 38-27 CU 45-27 31-23 [1 9659060] Syracuse 41-6 CU 40 -16 CU 41-17 CU 42-13 CU 42-17 CU 45-13 37-13
Points 3 5 5 3 3 5

* Points: 3 points for the best prediction of the week (tiebreaker is Clemson points), 2 points to choose points exactly, 1 point to choose the right winner

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