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Looking back at those July Early Previews

Posted by cuorange on August 20, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveThe reality of fall camp has set in. It’s easy in July to overlook issues that your team may have and play up the positives. Surely the offensive line must be better you say. Surely, one of those wide receivers will jump out and become the go-to guy. No doubt one of those kickers will be the next Chris Gardocki – that always happens at Clemson, right?

Not so much. Less than a month later it’s apparent the offensive line is paper thin and only somewhat improved, the wide receivers are inconsistent and the kickers, well, they aren’t very good at this point.

Add all that up and throw in an inexperienced quarterback and thin defensive line and linebacker corps and there’s no way I can predict a 9-3 season at this point.

On the bright side, the offensive struggles have come with minimal participation from C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford, the biggest two weapons on offense. What and who we are seeing (and hearing about) in camp won’t be the same thing we see starting September 5.

Maybe this offensive line gels (and doesn’t get injured). Maybe a receiver or two steps up. Maybe a kicker suddenly finds the middle of the uprights. Maybe Kyle Parker becomes the next Colt McCoy.

Too many maybes.

At this point, I would say realistically Clemson is looking at a 7-5 season. That could change, depending on the maybes above, but sitting here in mid-August that’s a lot to ask.

The defense will be “salty” – that’s Dabo’s word and I believe it. I believe they will be improved over last year, whether it shows up in the stats or not. Also, when you have C.J. Spiller on the field you can literally score on any play.

I look for a lot of 14-10, 17-14 type games and this is where the kicking game will hurt Clemson. The Tigers will be in every game and have a chance to win most of them, but the combination of an inexperienced quarterback, iffy offensive line and weak kicking game doesn’t bode well. Things could change in the next three weeks and I may feel different on September 6th or 11th, who knows. But right now, I don’t see 9-3.

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4 Responses to “Looking back at those July Early Previews”

  1. aeargle said

    I’m thinking 8-4.

    • cuorange said

      8-4? With all the issues I listed? I guess, it’s possible…but after last year my expectations have been lowered!

  2. […] pretty solid Clemson blog, CUOrange, that I have been reading recently offers a less than orange kool-aid fueled perspective on this […]

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