Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Clemson pounds Ball State 52-27

The Tigers thumped Ball State 52-27 in a game that wasn't even as close as the score may indicate.  I was in Amish country up in Wilton, Wisconsin this weekend, so I did not have a chance to see this game.  The game was basically over after the first half as Dabo Swinney only played the starters for one half of football.

The offense once again performed very well as Tajh Boyd connected with DeAndre Hopkins for three first-half touchdown passes.  Hopkins is no slouch.  A lot of the buzz is directed towards Sammy Watkins (who was serving the final game of his two-game suspension), but DeAndre Hopkins had legit ability before Watkins after graced the campus of Clemson University.  In past years, Kyle Parker threw to him and it was more difficult for him to shine, but Tajh Boyd has really brought out the best in him.  I think he has a legit shot to be a real player in the NFL, too.  Andre Ellington played sparingly in this one after gashing Auburn for over 200 yards rushing in the 26-19 season-opening win.

The next game at three p.m. on Saturday at home against Furman brings the return of Sammy Watkins and a final tune-up for a huge showdown with powerhouse Florida State.  I think Watkins will get his legs under him and be ready for a big game against the Seminoles.  I still am not worried about this team moving the ball, but the defense is still a bit concerning.  You can have a great defensive coordinator like Brett Venables to call the shots on that side of the ball, but he still needs the players to do what he wants the defense to do.  The problem is that these aren't Venables' guys that he helped recruit.  He has to make the most of what he's got.  There is no doubt that the defense has talent, it's just a matter of fusing that defense into a unit that plays together.

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