Clemson Football: 5 Biggest Questions Heading Into 2015
Several questions surround the Clemson Program. Here are 5 of the biggest questions you have to ask heading into the 2015 football season.
1. Can Coach Swinney beat FSU?
Excluding the 2013 matchup in Death Valley, Coach Swinney and the Clemson Tigers let the noles slip out of their grasp the past three season's. In 2012 and 2014 the Noles came from behind to win the game. Last year Shaun Maguire threw for over 300 yards after only having 18 hours to prepare. Clemson came in heavily favored to win the game, and yet the noles came out victorious in overtime. Shaun Maguire will have another shot again this year, but he will have to do it in Death Valley. It's name is correctly tagged, Frank Howard Field at Memorial stadium is one of the toughest places to play. This year will be no different. Clemson has reloaded on defense, and has a Heisman candidate at quarterback. Deshaun Watson had high expectations coming into the 2014 season, but injuries kept him off the field. This year could very well be different. The Tigers defense is elite and there's just too much talent on the offensive side of the ball to think that FSU will win this matchup. The Tiger's will rout the Nole's on their way to the ACC Championship and The College Football Playoff's.
2. Can Deshaun Watson stay healthy?
In order for Watson to stay on the field, he has to be smarter when on the run. His freshman "put the team on my back" attitude last year cost him valuable playing time. This year he has to show growth and let his team help him. Unlimited playmakers and great coaching will help Watson overcome those little rookie mistakes and put the tiger's in the playoff's.
3. Defense wins championships, will Clemson's?
Let's not jump the gun here, but Clemson has easily reloaded this year. Look for defensive end Shaq Lawson to lead the defensive line, he was a top high school prospect and in time will be an every down threat for the Tiger's. Sophomore cornerback Mackensie Alexander headlines the secondary and will be an immediate threat to signal-caller's throughout the league. Don’t be surprised to see him at the top of the ranking's nationally at the end of the season. Linebacker Ben Boulware will also wreak havoc along the trenches’ for Coach Venable's this year.
4. Will Special Team's slow down the Tiger’s?
This is a tough question. Ammon Lakip missed a couple kicks in Tallahassee last year. The loss was surely a team loss, but there was six points left off the board. Imagine how different the playoffs would’ve looked if Clemson beat FSU. Lakip went 21 for 28, even missing an extra point last season. He didn’t have an attempt outside the 50 yard mark. He is a senior this year and is absolutely expected to be better. Although he hit 75% of his kicks, misses hurt. Especially against your division rival that you have to beat to have any chance to obtain any pre-season goals. Bradley Pinnion is a solid punter. There shouldn’t be any worries in that department.
5. Can Clemson keep from "CLEMSONING" this season?
Every year the tigers seem to find a way to lose, or throw the season away. Although Coach Sweeney always finds himself at the end of joke's circling the college football campfire, this year’s team is no joke. Elite defense, tons of talent and skill on the offensive side of the ball, and a quarterback that has no ceiling. This year will be special for the Clemson Tigers. Coach Sweeney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables are very good at utilizing their players to the fullest. They have recruited to fit their game plan, and it's finally beginning to show.