First off, who the heck is this Bone guy and why does he think he needs to start a new post to share his opinion. I just like trying to articulate my sports opinion on paper if people read it or not. So here it is.
This Clemson game is an interesting one to say the least. Even though I'm a homer, I firmly believe you don't have to be one to agree that FSU has a superior offense, significantly better special teams, and a vastly superior defense.
Yes, Clemson has a very VERY nice set of skill position players. Boyd has a firm grasp on their misdirection/hurry up offense and executes it very very well. Watkins and Hopkins are guys you don't want to get the ball in the open field. Ellington would get snaps at FSU. However, there are more players on offense than the QB, the RB, and 2 WRs. Which brings me to their OL. Their OL unit has serious question marks after losing veterans from a unit that struggled last season. They only return 2 guys with enough snaps to be considered experienced. "But Bone, that sounds like FSU's OL also." You are right, but our OL doesn't have to go against one of the the best, if not the best, and deepest DLs in the country. Not to mention how experienced FSU's DL is as well. I just feel that this element of the game, Clemson's OL vs FSU's DL, is a heavy advantage for FSU. I will address another advantage related to this matchup in my next paragraph.
I can't speak for all of you, but when I think of effective fast break offenses, the list is Oregon, Oklahoma, Clemson, and then everybody else. I don't really follow Oregon, but because we've played Oklahoma the past 2 years, I've read many times and come to understand that a fast break/hurry up offense just is not the same on the road in a loud and hostile environment. Tallahassee and Doak Campbell stadium will be the loudest and most hostile stadium any player on Clemson's roster has every played in come Saturday night. There will be miscues. There will be delay of game penalties. There will be time outs used by Clemson because they have to. The inexperience on the OL will show it's face when things get the loudest, especially when we show them a 3 front. If they can't communicate their blocking assignments effectively or quickly enough, and you know how much I feel the Clemson OL vs FSU DL matchup is an advantage for FSU, a variety of negative outcomes for Clemson could result. Missed blocking assignments put their QB in danger and can put them in more predictable play calling situations, as in passing situations in long yardage. Personally, I think that is the LAST place Dabo and Boyd want to be. Our relentless pass rush will pin their ears back. Our DBs will be able to "cheat" a little because they know a pass is being called. Then of course is the WRs not getting the right call. When the QB and the WRs are not on the same page, interceptions happen. Doak will play a significant factor in this game and I'm not sure Dabo can prepare his team for it. Some lessons and experience are only learned by jumping in the fire and Clemson has not experienced anything like Doak will be come Saturday.
I'm sorry, but FSU and most of our fans, myself included, never gave or wanted to give Clemson the respect they deserved. Clemson has earned their place at the table as our 3rd rival. They recruit high level talent. Dabo, no matter what you think of his personality, has been able to attract some of the most respected coordinators in the country to Clemson. So now Clemson has our FULL attention, unlike years past when it was just the Clemson game, now it's THE Clemson game. We don't dislike Clemson, we HATE Clemson. Our fans won't be loud, they will be ROWDY. I promise you our team and coaches are putting in the time and focus for this game on a level that is on par with the Miami and Florida games, the way Dabo and Clemson have prepared for FSU in years past. I'm not sure this Clemson team is talented enough yet to handle a fully loaded, talented, well coached, experienced and veteran FSU team at home. When I read the message boards, all I read about is Watkins, Hopkins, Ellington, Watkins, Boyd and Watkins. I never hear people talking about a defensive front that will cause havoc in our backfield or stonewall our rushing attack. I don't read about people worrying about a bunch of seasoned, ballhawking DBs. I see nobody concerned about an OL that will pave the road with us. Not that I think we will kill them by 50, but FSU clearly has the better team and the Vegas line reflects it.
I feel this game will play out like slow death for Clemson. They will score and we will score, but we will score more. As the game and the quarters roll on, we will slowly but surely build on our lead. Look for the score to follow something like this quarter by quarter.
End of 1st: CU: 7 FSU: 10---2nd: CU: 13 FSU: 24---3rd: CU: 17 FSU: 31---4th CU: 24 FSU: 42
Now let me add that I feel I'm being generous to Clemson. They scored 26 on a very bad Auburn team and our defense is significantly better than Auburn's. Yes, they have Watkins back, but I don't think it's going to win them the game. Jimbo's offense, while not as fast as I would like, is perfect for bleeding Clemson to death. His slower and methodical drives will keep Boyd and his offense from finding their groove. I mean they gave up 260 yards rushing and 27 points to Ball State. Ball State, Florida State is not. I honestly feel that the score is more likely to be 42-13 rather than 21-24 or 37-42.
I just have to add that last year Clemson had one heck of a set of favorable circumstances entering that game. They had home field advantage and an FSU team riddled with injuries. We were missing 4 WRs, I think we were missing a DB at some point in the game, and a little thing called our starting QB. Not to mention that regardless of injuries along our OL, we weren't able to push around and dominate ULM and Charleston Southern...AND we still almost beat them. Clemson got worse on D and less talented on their OL, while FSU simply got better all over the field. Go Noles!!!