In Athlon Sports’ preseason national magazine that came out this weekend, the publication predicts Clemson to run away with the ACC Championship for a seventh consecutive year.
Athlon predicts Clemson to go 13-0 overall and 8-0 in the ACC, including a win over North Carolina in the ACC Championship Game. The Tar Heels are favored to win the Coastal Division with a 6-2 record.
There is a logical reason why the Tigers are predicted to run away with the league crown again. In its position rankings for the ACC, Athlon lists Clemson No. 1 in six of the seven positions, including at running back where the Tigers have to replace the ACC’s all-time leading rusher, touchdown producer and scorer in Travis Etienne.
Only at quarterback, where North Carolina has second-team preseason All-American Sam Howell, are the Tigers not list first. However, even with a question mark at backup quarterback thanks to Taisun Phommachanh’s torn Achilles, Clemson is still ranked No. 2.
Sophomore D.J. Uiagalelei is right on Howell’s heels, though. Athlon has the Clemson starter listed as a third-team All-American.
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said on the ACC Network’s Packer & Durham Show last Thursday that Phommachanh’s rehab is going well and they’re encouraged about where he is during the process.
“I anticipate at some point we will be able to move him back in and get some work out of him,” Elliott said. “We got some freshmen coming in that are highly recruited. We have a couple of walk-ons coming in. So, obviously, with Taisun going down in the spring game, it creates a little bit of anxiety, but as we progress and see kind of how he is progressing with his recovery, we feel good where we are at.”
The Tigers have won 28 straight regular season games against opponents that are currently in the league and 31 straight overall counting the 2017, ’18 and ’19 ACC Championship Game.
Clemson is 52-2 against current ACC teams since 2015, and that includes a 5-0 mark in the ACC Championship Game.
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