CLEMSON — The start of the 2018 football season is less than 12 weeks away, and with that in mind, it is now time to begin to break down the schedule that Clemson will have to face.
With the Tigers carrying hopes of a fifth straight trip to the College Football Playoff, and a third national title in the last fourseasons, today we look at the five toughest games on the 2019schedule.
Admittedly, this list was the most difficult.
How does one order a list of “difficult” games when the Tigers are favored by double-digits in every game—most being more than 20 points.
5. The N.C. State Wolfpack: The Wolfpack will enter this season’s game in Death Valley with revenge on their mind.
It was three seasons ago, the Wolfpack missed a field goal at the end of regulation that would have won the game against the eventual national champions. Two seasons ago, the Tigers claimed a seven-point victory — meaning each of the last two victories has come by a combined 14 points.
However the Tigers put the Wolfpack back in their place last season—as they dominated the Wolfpack by a final score of 41-7.
Even though the Tigers have won 14 of the last 15 meetings, including the last six in a row. With one of the best quarterbacks in the ACC, Ryan Finley, no longer at the helm of the Wolfpack offense, one can only imagine that the Tigers will once again have their way—unless a rouge laptop computer makes an appearance.
4. The Boston College Eagles: What head coach Steve Addazio has accomplished at Chestnut Hill has been nothing short of amazing, and it culminated with a special season last year that BC will look to build on.
Quarterback Anthony Brown is back to run the offense, and he has his top target returning in Kobay White, who emerged as a capable threat last season. Brown has improved as a passer but will need to be even better if the Eagles want to do some damage in the ACC.
While the Eagles are probably not ready to challenge Clemson for the top spot in the ACC, they are certainly talented enough to pose problems for anyone who has to travel to the northeast in November.
3. The South Carolina Gamecocks: The Tigers are riding a five-game winning streak into the annual rivalry game, and the Gamecocks, after a nine-win season in 2017, regressed in 2018 under head coach Will Muschamp.
Two years ago, the Gamecocks captured their ninth victory of the season in the Outback Bowl over the Michigan Wolverines, however after a 28-point loss to Virginia in the Belk Bowl have many of the Gamecock faithful questioning whether or not Muschamp is the right man for the job.
Under offensive coordinator Bryan McClendon, the Gamecocks will look to push the tempo more this season. A second year under McClendon and a home environment—with fans who are hoping beyond hope that the Tigers will not add win number six to their streak— move the Gamecocks to No. 3.
No. 2: The North Carolina Tar Heels: The Tigers and the Tar Heels meet this season for the first time since the 2015 season—when the two teams met in the ACC Championship.
The reasoning for making the Tar Heels the second most difficult game for the Tigers comes simply from the unknown.
Gone is former coach Larry Fedora, and the Tar Heels have returned to the past in former UNC and Texas coach Mack Brown.
Brown made no bones about the fact that he expects his Tar Heels to beat the Tigers, and while Vegas differs with him—the Tar Heels are currently 27-point favorites— the unknown has the Tar Heels at No. 2.
1. The Texas A&M Aggies: The Tigers escaped College Station last season with a two-point victory over a first-year Jimbo Fisher-led Aggie squad.
The Tigers are currently 17.5-point favorites against the Aggies this season, as they return the favor of last season with a trip to Death Valley.
A top-10 Aggie team will march into Death Valley with their eyes on avenging last season’s loss, while giving Fisher his first marquee win and quickly propelling them into the playoff discussion.