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Georgia Tech Football: Things I Think I Know - Clemson

What do we know heading into Week 11?

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The offense has hit its stride, yet it’s gearing up for its biggest challenge thus far

Oh, how wonderful it was to comfortably win a game we should have won! This was the first game in quite some time where I wasn’t having a heart attack in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, our time to savor this win is limited, as we are Death Valley bound this Saturday to take on the fighting Dabos, and it will not be a stress-free game.

The Tech offense has been firing on all cylinders, especially in the run game. Running backs Dontae Smith and Jamal Haynes have proved that they are physical, fiery runners. Wide receiver Eric Singleton Jr. leads the nation in receiving yards per game as a freshman (69) and has become a difference-maker. Haynes King is playing with more poise and confidence than ever. Each of these players will all be tested this week, as Clemson ranks 6th in total defense, only allowing 273.8 yards per game. They gave the Catholics a hard time last Saturday, so don’t be surprised if we can’t produce the same amount of points as we have the last two weeks. However, we are 14th in total offense averaging 465.3 yards per game, so I don’t think anyone should write us off. If we can get hot, we can put together drives and help take some pressure off the defense. We say it a lot, but especially this week, winning the turnover battle will be vital for a win. Wearing out Clemson’s defense by creating turnovers could give us the edge we need if the game comes down to the wire. This should be a fun one.

Clemson has struggled against the ACC

Cade Klubnick and the Clemson offense have struggled at times this year. They haven’t been able to put up points against conference opponents, scoring 17 against Wake Forest, 17 against NC State, 20 against Miami, and only 7 against Duke. Let’s be honest, their wins have been a result of the defense bailing out their offense. They are 2-4 in the ACC and have not been able to find much success closing out these big games. This week, we have an opportunity to capitalize on a weak spot of theirs: their own conference.

This is a battle for bowl eligibility

After the win over Notre Dame on Saturday, Dabo said that if Clemson was a stock, we better “buy all we freakin’ can right now.” Sure, Clemson looked good and needed that win. They had their most impressive outing of the year and eased some criticism. This program has had a lot of pressure on them, and Clemson fans are growing uneasy with four losses this year. This will be the first year since 2010 that they finish with less than 10 wins. Expectations are high for the Tigers, and the people don’t know how to act when those are not met. Just ask Tyler from Spartanburg. Clemson needs this win, and they’re gonna fight hard for it. The thing is, we also want this win, and we need it for bowl eligibility, just as much as Clemson does. The line is now down to 14, but on Sunday night we opened up as 18-point underdogs, which honestly just feels disrespectful. But hey, we love being the underdog. Death Valley is not an easy place to win, and I think this we be a test to see if this team has turned the corner or not.

Speaking of... one more win and we’re bowling

For the first time since week 1 of 2020, we are over .500, and for the first time since 2018, we have a chance to play in December. The last few years have been so hard to be a Tech fan, and I would love nothing more than to make it back to a bowl game and end the year on a high note. Let’s see if we can get it done this week.

Go Jackets.