Swinney/Fisher IX

Saturday Spotlight

(2) Clemson Tigers at Texas A&M Aggies

Clemson: They handled their business last Saturday against Furman, but people noticed that Dabo Swinney decided to play both quarterbacks in the first victory of the season. Kelly Bryant, last year’s starting quarterback got the start and complete 10 of his 16 pass attempts for 127 yards and two touchdowns (one passing and one rushing). In the second quarter, Trevor Lawrence was put in and he got off to a shaky start, but quickly found his rhythm and threw for 137 yards and three touchdown passes. Clemson also scored on all five drives operated by Trevor. Entering the season, they’re considered to be a heavy favorite to win the whole thing with Brent Venables running one of the three best defenses in the country with so much talent across the board and they have the best front four in the country with guys who could all be taken in the top 15 of the NFL Draft next April. As hyped up as they have been in the off-season, they still have questions at quarterback and I just think of the title team, they had one guy and one guy only so it will be interesting to see how Dabo handles this situation throughout the year and if you also think about it, both quarterbacks are solid enough to start elsewhere for any university. This is a nice primetime opportunity for them tonight against the Aggies of Texas A&M.

Texas A&M: For years, they have always started off well and then hit a wall and struggled and the crazy thing is, they’ve had a lot of talent on their teams over the years. Let’s go down the list of names who have played for this football program. There’s Von Miller and I think he’s put together a nice career so far, right? Mike Evans is another one and he’s become one of the best wide receivers in the NFL and Myles Garrett was the number one pick in the NFL Draft last April. It’s been the coaching and that’s why they parted ways with Kevin Sumlin and Jimbo Fisher is here. His time at Florida State was spectacular and here’s to hoping the success he had in Tallahassee can transfer over into the same results here in College Station. They may not have the skill talent of many other teams in college football, but they have a group of players that are looking to take that next step and improve from last season. One guy that really stands out to me is running back Trayveon Williams, a name you don’t hear much of. If he can remain consistent, he’s a sleeper pick for the Heisman. The Aggies have been known for defense and they have a nice defensive line themselves. They gave Jimbo Fisher a ten-year contract and it’s all about stability and the long haul. It will definitely take some time to turn them into a potential playoff team and we will get to see how they measure up against one of the best tonight.

Clemson Player To WatchTee Higgins: No matter who’s under center, they have some reliable targets on the outside at receiver and this is one of them. He’s a vertical threat that always wants to make a splash deep down the field and he catches everything. He will be a big-time threat to the Aggies secondary tonight.

Texas A&M Player To WatchJhamon Ausbon: He had a sneaky nice opening game against Northwestern State last week and now, he’ll have to play with that same intensity tonight against the Clemson Tigers. Whatever he can get, take advantage of it.

Final Analysis: Jimbo Fisher and Dabo Swinney are no strangers to one another. This is the ninth time that they will be facing each other with the first eight dating back to their Clemson and Florida State battles. Clemson must impose their will early and put continuous amounts of pressure of Kellen Mond as often as they can. For Texas A&M, they need to get stops early and match the intensity of Clemson’s defense. They will also need to limit the running of Travis Etienne and offensively, they need to get their chunk yards and try to move the ball down the field.

Prediction:Clemson 31Texas A&M 17