The newly No. 4 ranked Clemson Tigers head into Week 2 against FCS opponent South Carolina State, and here’s how this week’s matchup breaks down.
The SC State Bulldogs are in their 12th season under Buddy Pough, who holds an 88-40 record and won consecutive MEAC titles from 2008-10. The Bulldogs had their first losing season under Pough in 2012, finishing the season at 5-6. Since then, the Bulldogs have revamped their offense, and while they saw results in their opener, they lost 27-20 to Coastal Carolina. The Bulldogs have implemented a balanced, high tempo offense with receiver Tyler McDonald and running back Justin Taylor being the main producers of their offense. But against FCS opponents, the Tigers are 26-0, and this game will provide opportunity for valuable reps for the reserves and rest for the starters.
Unfortunately, injuries have sidelined freshmen defensive backs Mackensie Alexander and Korrin Wiggins, but opportunities are available for linebacker Ben Boulware and Jayron Kearse. This game also gives the Tigers a chance to clear up the last bit of rust, especially at receiver, and it gives the group some more game time action to get acclimated with Tajh Boyd before their Thursday night showdown in Raleigh, North Carolina.
It’s entirely likely that we will see backup quarterback Cole Stoudt in the game by the second quarter, and we will also see glimpses of freshmen receivers Germone Hopper, Mike Williams, and TJ Green. Even quarterback Chad Kelly should see some reps after coming off of his ACL injury.
If this were an FCS team like a Wofford, there would certainly be a degree of uncertainty. But this Tiger team is way too talented in all aspects when compared to a team like this. The biggest thing this game provides is an opportunity to see what you have in your reserves and so some fine tuning. When it comes down to it, Clemson wins handily before getting a 12-day preparation period for NC State.
Final Score: Clemson 56-7