Key Events: UNC leaped out to a 7-0 lead within minutes of kickoff and held Clemson scoreless through the first quarter. After tying the score, Etienne fumbled and UNC capitalized by scoring on the ensuing possession.
Positives: When Clemson has ran the ball against two-high safety looks, they have fared well. The recievers are beating the UNC defensive backs with regularity as well. These advantages have not translated to a complete game – and therein lies the problem. Fortunately for the Tigers, they are tied at half.
Room for Improvement: Clemson’s early miscues and offensive struggles have come back to haunt them in this game as they are ripe for an upset. The defense can’t stop the Tar Heel offense on every possession and rightfully so – this is one of the best offenses in the conference. Clemson has the talent, but they need to play complimentary football and play up to their standard if they want to win, especially on the offensive line.
What to Watch For: This game isn’t about getting reps for backups or working out the kinks, its about survival. Former quarterback Tajh Boyd (on twitter) has pointed out two of UNC’s weaknesses – their defensive backs tracking the ball and Clemson’s ability to run the ball up the middle against two high safety looks.