Clemson Football lost many key contributors to the NFL Draft and the transfer portal this past offseason, including Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne. Although these losses would hurt almost any college football team, they don’t hurt Clemson since they reload, not rebuild. With D.J. Uiagalelei and other young stars looking to blossom in their second season, the sky is the limit for this team. Now it's time to dive into their new depth chart and regular season schedule to see how this playoff-hopeful team will fare against their competition.
As mentioned earlier, Uiagalelei will be stepping into Clemson's offense as the new quarterback for the team. Uiagalelei put together two phenomenal starts this past season against Boston College and Notre Dame. He averaged 390.5 passing yards per game and three touchdowns in his two starts. Uiagalelei also adds a new fold to Clemson's offense, which is his mobility. Additionally, Clemson is set to return top-tier wide receiver Justyn Ross this season after Ross missed the previous year due to a neck injury. Clemson's offense looks like it won't skip a beat from last year, just like the defense. Clemson's defense is returning nine of their eleven defensive starters, including second-year monsters Bryan Breese and Myles Murphy. With Clemson's football roster looking dominant as always, let's take a look at their schedule.
To start the season, Clemson will play Georgia in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is considered to be each team's most formidable opponent of the season. Georgia is set to have one of their best teams in a while with Heisman contending quarterback JT Daniels, arguably one of the best tight end duos we've seen with Arik Gilberts and Darnel Washington, and a talented defense led by Jordan Davis, Nolan Smith and Tykee Smith. Clemson will also have to go against former Clemson corner Derion Kendrick, which adds a little fuel to the fire. Georgia is a great team that seems poised to win the SEC, but Clemson will win this challenging game due to the experience of their team and the ability to not have as many moving parts. Every starter for Clemson is either in at least their second season with the team or was a starter last season, which allows them to be firing on all cylinders early on. Georgia is talented and will put up a fight, but they likely won’t be at full force due to so many players needing to be acclimated with Georgia's team after transferring.
From that point forward, it will be smooth sailing. Clemson will host South Carolina State for their first home game of the season. If history tells us anything, Clemson will win this game with ease and put on a show in Death Valley.
Week three of the season, Clemson will host Georgia Tech for Fall Family Weekend. For those who don't remember, Clemson beat Georgia Tech last season 73-7. Although Georgia Tech will have a much better season than they did last year as they're led by second-year studs Jeff Simms and Jahmyr Gibbs, Clemson should still win this game easily. Maybe by a score of 52-14.
The following week, Clemson will go on the road to Raleigh, North Carolina, to face N.C. State. After a solid 8-4 season, North Carolina State hopes to build upon their record and win 10 games this year. Unfortunately, this game will be one of their losses. Clemson has too many weapons for North Carolina State to stop, and North Carolina State's standout wide receiver, Emeka Emezie, will have a tough time creating any separation against Clemson's secondary.
During week five, Clemson will host a matchup against one of the sneakiest teams in the ACC this year, Boston College. Boston College is returning one of the best quarterback-wide receiver duos in the nation with Phil Jurkovec and Zay Flowers. After coming up just short in their upset bid against Clemson last season, they hope to deliver on it this year. Like the other teams Clemson will face, Boston College will get the same result… a loss.
Clemson has a bye week before traveling to Syracuse. In recent years, Syracuse has always presented a problem to Clemson. It's like their kryptonite. Although this game will be close to start, Clemson will come up victorious due to the insane talent gap between the two teams. Clemson should win this game easily.
To continue their road trip, Clemson will play Pittsburgh the following week. Pittsburgh looks poised to have a strong year as they're led by senior quarterback Kenny Pickett and talented head coach Pat Narduzzi. Clemson should win this game easily since they have such a talented defense and will cancel Pittsburgh's offense. Maybe we'll see another one of Andrew Booth's phenomenal interceptions against Pittsburgh again. On top of that, Pittsburgh lost eight of their eleven defensive starters, so they'll have a hard time containing Clemson's potent offense.
On Oct. 30, Clemson will host Florida State at Death Valley. Although Florida State has been down on their luck in recent years, they hope that second-year coach Mike Norvell and transfer quarterback McKenzie Milton can be the answers they've been looking for. Clemson looks to extend their winning streak against Florida State to six, and it's safe to say they will. Although Florida State will be better than last year, they won't win this matchup against Clemson, and, unfortunately, COVID-19 can't bail Florida State out of this game like it did last year.
After playing Florida State, Clemson will travel to Louisville to face dual-threat quarterback Malik Cunningham. Last season, Louisville was projected to be one of the best teams in the ACC, with the trifecta of Cunningham, Hawkins and Atwell leading their offense. After posting a dismal 4-7 record, it’s safe to say things didn’t go as predicted. If you are picking up the trend, I think you know the prediction for this game...another Clemson win.
In an odd and unexpected matchup, Clemson will host UConn. Previously, UConn considered playing in the FCS instead of the FBS. After they play Clemson, they might finally decide that they should. This will be a slaughter, and Clemson will win this game by a lot.
In the second to last regular season game of the season, Clemson will host Wake Forest. Wake Forest is led by second-year starting quarterback Sam Hartman and standout wide receiver Jaquarii Roberson. Although Wake Forest will be a closer game than most might think, Clemson looks poised to take care of this matchup easily as they look ahead to the final game of the season.
In a rivalry matchup, Clemson will travel to Columbia, South Carolina, to show new Gamecock head coach, Shane Beamer, what it feels like to get the brakes beat off of you. South Carolina looks like a team that can win more than two games this year as they're led by standout running back Kevin Harris and two defensive studs, Kingsley Enagbare and Jordan Burch, but this game won't be one of them. In fact, the score may be so bad that this game might count as two losses for South Carolina, and Coach Beamer might end up quitting because of it. Clemson will destroy South Carolina and improve their winning streak against South Carolina to seven games.
Clemson is an extremely talented team led by many young studs and is poised to wreak havoc among college football. Clemson looks like a team that will go 12-0 this year and should be considered the team to beat in college football. Now the countdown to Sept. 4 begins.
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