The 2012 season kicks off in just over three months. As the Tigers prepare for summer workouts TheClemsonInsider.com takes an early look at the 2012 opponents. The Tigers first ACC home game with be against rival Georgia Tech on October 6.
Date: Oct. 6, 2012
Location: Clemson, SC
2012 GT QUICK FACTS
Location: Atlanta, GA
Mascot: Yellow Jackets
Colors: Old Gold & White
Conference: Atlantic Coast (Coastal)
2011 Record – Overall (Conference): 8-5 (5-3)
Head Coach: Paul Johnson, 4th Season at GT (34-19)
Coordinators: Offensive Coordinator- Paul Johnson; Defensive Coordinator- Al Groh
Returning Lettermen: 49 (22 offense, 21 defense, 6 specialists)
Returning Starters: 13, 7 Offense, 6 Defense
Key Returning Players: QB- Tevin Washington, RB- Orwin Smith, CB- Rod Sweeting, C- Jay Finch
Key Losses: WR- Stephen Hill, RB- Roddy Jones, RB- Embry Peeples, LB- Julian Burnett
What to Expect: The Tigers have struggled at times to contain Paul Johnson and his option offense. They hope to channel the performance of 2010 when they shut down the GT offense in Death Valley. With new defensive coordinator Brent Venables in town, it will be very interesting what schemes he uses to slow down the Yellow Jacket attack.
The Tech defense also slowed down the Clemson offense in 2011, Andre Ellington did not play in this game and one would have to think that his absence played a key role. With him back and healthy in 2011, it will be interesting to see how Chad Morris and Clemson attack Al Groh’s defense. With a healthy Ellington, Morris should be able to take some of the pressure off Boyd and the passing game. This will force Georgia Tech into changing schemes focusing also on stopping the run. This added emphasis on stopping the run should open up more passing lanes for the Clemson offense.
If Clemson can slow down the option attack, while moving the ball on offense themselves they have a chance to take home the victory. The crowd can play a key role in this game. There will be many short yardage situations and it will be important for the Clemson fans to get behind this young defense, supporting them as they take on the tricky option offense.