On ESPN’s College Football Live this week, ESPN college football analysts Greg McElroy and Joey Galloway discussed the potential impact of bad weather in Saturday’s game between fifth-ranked Clemson (4-0, 2-0 ACC) and No. 10 NC State (4-0, 0-0) at Death Valley.
The conditions could possibly include heavy rainfall and wind, and with that, the ground game would figure to be of utmost importance for both teams.
McElroy was asked, if that’s the case, if he favors either the Tigers or Wolfpack in terms of their rushing attack.
“It’s a really good call because honestly so much about being able to run the ball effectively is who you’re running it against,” McElroy said. “So, I think if you look at both NC State and Clemson’s front sevens defensively, you’re going to have to earn your yards, there’s no doubt about it. I think if I had to favor one over the other, I would lean just ever so slightly in favor of Will Shipley and this Clemson Tiger rushing attack. But I also think if there were one offensive line in the ball game that I would lean towards, it’d probably towards NC State.
“So, it’s a little bit of a coin toss, and it’s a really interesting aspect. Because so much of the conversation will center around DJ Uiagalelei, so much of the conversation will center around Devin Leary and is this his time to really break through and is this a statement opportunity for NC State? Whereas it might ultimately be the rushing game that leads to who is victorious in the game itself. So, I think that’s definitely gonna be a huge aspect for both these teams to try to establish it, especially if weather and the elements are a factor.”
Galloway hopes the weather cooperates Saturday so the talents of Uiagalelei and Leary can be on full display.
“I think we have to find out what the weather is like for sure to figure out if these quarterbacks, if Leary and DJ U, are playing to their top capabilities, then the run game is sort of secondary,” Galloway said. “So, I don’t have a lean either way. Greg, you sounded like you were about 50-50 on each side of that, who has the better run game. Everything will be focused around these quarterbacks and how they play in this game.
“And absolutely hoping for good weather because we want to see these guys. There’s so much talk about these ACC quarterbacks before the season began, Leary and DJ U being in that conversation, you want to see them perform head to head just like we saw last week with DJ U going against Sam Hartman.”
Saturday’s game is slated to kick off at 7:30 p.m. on ABC.
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