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. Clemson will finish the ACC regular season when NC State visits Death Valley.
Date: Nov. 17, 2012
Location: Clemson, SC
2012 NCSU QUICK FACTS
Location: Raleigh, NC
Colors: Red & WHite
Conference: ACC (Atlantic)
2011 Record – Overall (Conference): 8-5 (4-4)
Head Coach: Tom O’Brien (33-30 in 5 years at N.C. State)
Coordinators: Offensive Coordinator- Dana Bible; Defensive Coordinator- Mike Archer
Returning Lettermen: 31 (11 offense, 16 defense, 4 specialists)
Returning Starters: 16 (7 offense, 7 defense, 2 specialist)
Key Returning Players: QB- Mike Glennon, RB- James Washington, CB- CJ Wilson, CB- David Amerson
Key Losses: WR- TJ Graham, TE- George Bryan, LB- Terrell Manning, LB- Audie Cole
What to Expect: In 2011, NC State handled Clemson on both sides of the ball. The Wolfpack forced Clemson into committing four turnovers, and scored 27 points in the second quarter, putting the game out of reach early. NC State also held Clemson to only 34 yards rushing, and sacked Clemson quarterbacks six times in the game.
Clemson will look for revenge against NC State in 2012. Clemson did not have Sammy Watkins in the 2011 matchup, and one could think his presence would have played a major difference. With Sammy Watkins in 2012, Chad Morris and Tajh Boyd will look to efficiently pass the ball against a NC State defense, one that returns the nation’s interceptions leader from 2011 in CB David Amerson. The Tigers must hold onto the football to win against the Wolfpack in 2012. If Clemson turns the ball over in 2012 as they did in the 2011 matchup, expect another long day for the Tigers. For Clemson to have success they must be able to run the football. If Clemson can run the football effectively it will take pressure off of the passing game. However, if Clemson is not able to run the ball, Tajh Boyd will have to find away to beat a talented NC State secondary.
Defensively, the Tigers must stop the run. The Wolfpack rushed for 145 yards against the Tigers in 2011. Their ability to run the ball opened up the passing game allowing Glennon to throw for 253 yards and three touchdowns. If Clemson can contain the NC State offense as well as not commit turnovers the Tigers will have a good chance to win in Death Valley. The Tigers will be looking for revenge so expect a top notch effort on both sides of the ball and a Clemson victory.