Don’t expect the sort of lackluster performance from Furman that Kent State offered last year – they are looking to do more than come in and collect their over a quarter of a million dollars. Multiple intriguing storylines connect the two schools: their time in the Southern Conference, to the Bockhorst brothers facing off, and Clemson student Harris Roberts playing at quarterback for Furman.
As repeated ad nauseum, Clay Hendrix runs a variation of the Air Force offense, which is a more diverse version of Paul Johnson’s Georgia Tech offense. Furman started off slow last year before striking iron to make the playoffs and a top 25 ranking to end the year. The good news for Furman is that they are experienced in their system and have the advantage of being the underdog in the opening game.
Furman is predicted to finish second and third in their conference (media, coaches respectively) and boasts three preseason first team players as well as four preseason second team players.
The chances Furman wins the game are slim, but they will put up an excellent fight. They should easily beat the predicted score of 42-0 according to Oddshark.
Keep in mind that the opening game doesn’t tell much about either team, as each team is planning with little information. This also makes previews harder to write, as there is little information and no tape of the current team to watch. Mistakes will occur frequently and coaches will test to see what works and what doesn’t work. Don’t jump to any conclusions about particular players, positons, or coaching decisions – just soak in the opening weekend of Clemson football against an underrated in state opponent.