Finally, it’s Game Week

Finally, it’s Game Week

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Finally, it’s Game Week

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Monday Morning Quarterback

Welcome to game week!

Today is the official start of game week at Clemson as the top-ranked Tigers get set to host Georgia Tech Thursday at Memorial Stadium in Clemson.

Today, the media will meet with head coach Dabo Swinney, as part of his weekly press conference, and then select players. Of course, this is a little unusual week at Clemson. Swinney’s weekly press conference is normally on Tuesday, but since the season kicks off on Thursday night, he has changed things up for this one week.

The topics today should be what we all expect. The Yellow Jackets of course will be one of them. They will come to Death Valley with a new head coach in Geoff Collins and a new offense.

Gone is the Paul Johnson’s triple-option offense that Brent Venables mastered at defending. Now, Clemson must get ready for a fast-paced up-tempo style in which they will spread the defense out and want to throw the ball more.

Collins comes from Temple, where in his two years he improved the Owls’ offense greatly. Last year, Collins’ offense improved in scoring, total offense, passing yards and rushing yards.

The Owls averaged 34.9 points per game, nearly 10 more points than the year before. They averaged 409.5 yards, which was a 21-yard net gain per game for total offense. Collins is known as an offensive guru. And though he likes to throw the ball, Temple averaged 4.1 yards per carry in his final year there.

In the short time Collins has been in Atlanta he has already begun to overhaul Tech’s program from the inside out, bringing in the latest equipment to help with analytics, studying the way the team practices, branding the program, planning for facility upgrades and making the program more appealing to the younger audience and recruits with more of a behind-the-scene look at the program through all the social media platforms.

Swinney has been impressed with the job Collins has already done in his short time in Atlanta.

“He did an awesome job at Temple and we are just kind of studying that,” Swinney said. “These games are hard. Last year, we opened with a triple-option team and then we had to turn around and go to (Texas) A&M, so we had to look at Notre Dame and Florida State tape. So, it is hard when you do not get a lot of time to study the personnel and doing what you anticipate doing. So, it is what it is.”

One of the things the Tigers don’t know yet is who will quarterback the Yellow Jackets. Lucas Johnson, Tobias Oliver and James Graham have battled for the starting job throughout camp and all three could play against the Tigers.

“We have a base offense we can run with all of them,” Collins said to the Associated Press on Sunday. “I will not say much more than that.”

The three quarterbacks have combined to throw just 17 touchdowns in their careers to this point. Oliver ran Johnson’s triple-option offense last year and rushed for 876 yards and 12 touchdowns. Obviously, it is going to be different seeing Oliver in the spread and throwing the football this time around against the Tigers, and Tech’s unique skill sets at quarterback, “gives us an advantage in some ways,” Collins said to the AP.

We will finally get to see in which ways on Thursday night at Death Valley, as we finally get to talk about a football game and not practice. I’m so glad it is Game Week.

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