ESPN's McElroy talks Clemson's schedule, gives prediction for Tigers

ESPN's McElroy talks Clemson's schedule, gives prediction for Tigers


ESPN's McElroy talks Clemson's schedule, gives prediction for Tigers


On his Always College Football show, ESPN analyst and former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy gave his thoughts on Clemson’s 2023 schedule and his outlook for the Tigers this season.

McElroy touched on each game, including the matchup vs. Florida State on Sept. 23 that he sees as a must-win game for the Tigers in terms of their College Football Playoff hopes.

“I think they can win at Duke in week number one, that’s a Monday. I think they can win against Charleston Southern, I think they can win against FAU. I’m not breaking any news here, I might add,” McElroy said. “You got Florida State at home, that’ll be September 23rd. You’re going to have to ramp things up and get things ready because that is a make-or-break game when it comes to this prognostication. They lose that one, the likelihood of getting to the College Football Playoff I think is extremely slim. But you get Florida State at home and you get them early.”

A week later, Clemson travels to Syracuse on Sept. 30, and McElroy doesn’t like where that contest comes on the Tigers’ schedule following the massive showdown against the Seminoles.

“Clemson’s at Syracuse the following week, that’ll be September 30th. I hate where that falls on the schedule for Clemson, and we know that Syracuse has given Clemson fits in the past,” McElroy said. “I especially hate it knowing it’s going to be coming off of an emotional game against Florida State the week before.”

McElroy envisions some challenging games for Clemson down the stretch as well.

“Wake Forest, that was a great game last year, I don’t know if it’ll be as good this year as it was last year,” he said. “You go to Miami on October 21st, tough game. You’ve got a chance to potentially go on the road against NC State, that’ll be a really tough game. Notre Dame at home, that’ll be a tough game. Notre Dame of course waxed them last year. Georgia Tech, that should be a win. North Carolina at Clemson should be a game they should win, but North Carolina’s given them fits in the past as well, and then finally they go on the road to South Carolina.”

All in all, McElroy doesn’t think the Tigers will run the table and believes they’ll drop at least one game along the way. He predicted Clemson to lose a couple of games and miss the playoff for the third straight season.

“So you look at the schedule, if you told me, hey Greg, will Clemson go to the playoff? Right now, it’s difficult for me to forecast that,” he said. “I see at least one loss on that schedule. At least one. But I am cautiously optimistic that the offense will be significantly better than they were in 2022. And if the offense is significantly better, the defense isn’t going to have to pitch shutouts en route to victory.

“So I think they can beat anyone on their schedule, but I also think there’s three or four teams that they could lose to as well. If I had to pick it right now, I got Clemson at 10-2, narrowly missing the College Football Playoff here in 2023.”

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