Once again, ACC sets Clemson up with a very favorable slate of games
Clemson’s 2019 Football Schedule seems to be one that was made for a champion.
Just a little more than a week after the Tigers took back the national championship from Alabama with a 44-16 thumping in Santa Clara, Calif, the Atlantic Coast Conference released its 2019 football schedule.
The ACC treated its four-time defending champion very well, I must say.
After playing Georgia Tech in the season opener on a Thursday night, thanks to playing in the inaugural game on ESPN’s ACC Network, Clemson will get two extra days to prep for Texas A&M, who will not open their season until Saturday, Aug. 31.
Those two extra days will come in handy for the coaching staff as they try to figure out a way to stop an Aggies’ offense that will be much better in year two under Jimbo Fisher.
In Week 3, Clemson heads to the site of its last ACC defeat, the Carrier Dome in Syracuse. However, the Orange will be breaking in a new quarterback, offensive line and defensive line so the pickin’s might be just right for the Tigers.
After its game with the Orange, the schedule opens up as they play Charlotte and North Carolina (in Chapel Hill) before getting a bye week after Week 5. Then they come back and get Florida State at home before heading to Louisville. Boston College and Wofford visit Death Valley in back-to-back weeks before heading to Raleigh for another late-season date with Dave Doeren and his NC State Wolfpack.
The Tigers return home to take on Wake Forest, get a second bye week, and then head to Columbia for its annual battle with rival South Carolina.
As you can see, the Tigers once again have a very manageable schedule. The top part of the schedule is difficult, but its manageable.
With nine starters returning on offense, including quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne and wide receivers Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers and Justyn Ross, the Tigers will more than likely run through the ACC for a fifth straight year.
Granted, there are some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball. However, understand Clemson played an average of 72 players a game this season, more than any other college football team.
Head coach Dabo Swinney and defensive coordinator Brent Venables made sure guys like Xavier Thomas, Nyles Pinckney, Jordan Williams, Justin Foster, James Skalski, Chad Smith and Shaq Smith got the experience they needed in key moments.
They also return veteran starters on the back end in hybrid linebacker/safety Isaiah Simmons, perhaps the best football player on the team, safeties Tanner Muse and K’Von Wallace and cornerback A.J. Terrell.
Then there are guys like Kyler McMichael and Mario Goodrich, who got valuable experience as well.
The team the Tigers return will definitely compete for another spot in the College Football Playoff. With the schedule they have, the will more than likely be there.
So, the ACC did it right. When you house the defending national champions, you make sure you give them a schedule that was built for a champion.
2019 Clemson Football Schedule:
(Home games bolded; all games on Saturday unless otherwise listed)
Aug. 29 (Thursday): GEORGIA TECH
Sept. 7: TEXAS A&M
Sept. 14: at Syracuse
Sept. 21: CHARLOTTE
Sept. 28: at North Carolina
Oct. 12: FLORIDA STATE
Oct. 19: at Louisville
Oct. 26: BOSTON COLLEGE
Nov. 2: WOFFORD
Nov. 9: at NC State
Nov. 16: WAKE FOREST
Nov. 30: at South Carolina