X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

NCAA Football Clemson Tigers

Clemson Football 2014: 5 Questions Going Into The Season

1 of 11

Clemson Football 2014: 5 Questions Entering the Season

Clemson Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Overall, the Clemson football team had a good season in 2013. On offense, they ranked 10th in passing (333.1 YPG) and 57th in rushing (174.6 YPG). They averaged 40.2 points per game (ninth) on offense, and their defense allowed 22.2 points per game (ranked 24th). The Tigers are ranked 16th in the preseason USA TODAY poll. What are five questions facing them entering the 2014 season?

5. Will They Have Another 1,000-Yard Rusher?

Clemson Football
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

5. Will They Have Another 1,000-Yard Rusher?

Clemson Football
Mark Dolejs-USA TODAY Sports

Roderick McDowell rushed for 1,025 yards in 2013. It was the third consecutive season the Tigers had a 1,000-yard rusher, a first in school history. Will a RB step up for the Tigers in 2014? Senior D.J. Howard? Maybe one of the juniors Zac Brooks and C.J. Davidson? Redshirt freshman Tyshon Dye tore his Achilles’ in February and is not expected to return until late October. Will Wayne Gallman, another redshirt freshman, grab the reins at RB?

4. Can QB Cole Stoudt Replace the Production of Tajh Boyd?

Clemson Football
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

4. Can QB Cole Stoudt Replace the Production of Tajh Boyd?

Clemson Football
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Boyd is currently in camp with the New York Jets. In each of the last three seasons, Boyd threw for just under 4,000 yards and over 30 TDs. That is a lot of production that has left Death Valley. When he’s seen the field, Stoudt has looked good, but can he be productive as a starter over the course of an entire season?

3. Who Will Replace the Production of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant?

Clemson Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

3. Who Will Replace the Production of Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant?

Clemson Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Watkins burst onto the scene in 2011 with 1,219 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. Due to some injury problems, he took a step back in 2012, but he was back at it in 2013, torching defenses for 101 catches, 1,464 yards and 12 TDs. Will Adam Humphries, Mike Williams or Charone Peake step up and be the go-to guy for the Tigers?

2. Will They Stop the Losing Streak Against South Carolina?

Clemson Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

2. Will They Stop the Losing Streak Against South Carolina?

Clemson Football
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers play the Gamecocks on Nov. 29 at home. The Tigers lead the series 65-42-4 in this heated rivalry, but they have lost five straight. Other than when an ACC title is at stake or maybe a bowl game, this is the most important game for Tigers fans each season. Dabo Swinney is a great head coach, but he hasn’t achieved his goal of beating South Carolina. Is 2014 the season Swinney reaches his goal, and the Tigers end their losing streak?

1. Will They Win the ACC?

Clemson Football
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

1. Will They Win the ACC?

Clemson Football
Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

The Tigers won their first six games of the 2013 season, which set up a showdown with FSU at home, a game that was essentially for the Atlantic Division. FSU embarrassed Clemson, winning 51-14. Heading into 2014 FSU and Clemson are still the two best teams in the ACC, but they play in the same division so they can’t meet in the ACC title game. The Tigers will probably have to beat FSU if they want to earn a trip to the ACC title game.