If you love a good Q&A I recommend reading the Troy-Clemson Q&A Shakin The Southland’s Ryan Kantor and I put together. You can check it out here.
When: Saturday, September 10th, 2016
Where: Memorial Stadium-Death Valley (Clemson, SC)
Start Time: 12:30 pm (ET)
Where to watch: ACC Network
Betting line: -34 Clemson via oddshark
Series record: 1-0 Clemson
The Trojans have 15 returning starters from their 4-8 team a season ago. Last weekend, Troy looked impressive in their 57-17 thrashing of Austin Peay. However, Clemson is a completely different animal. Troy will need to gain momentum early on to have any hope of taking this one. Expect offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield to test Clemson’s inexperienced secondary often. Talented Brandon Silvers will have plenty of opportunities to throw the football as running the ball will likely be ineffective against Clemson’s front seven.
Defensively, Troy has their work cut out for them. The last thing I would want to face as a defensive coordinator is a Deshaun Watson-lead offense coming off of a frustrating performance. The Trojans have to stop the Wayne Gallman train from leaving the station. If Clemson begins to oppose their will upfront it’ll be a long day for Troy.
The Tigers are looking to jump start their offense after an underwhelming performance last week. If Watson gets hot this one may be over before Troy has a chance to break a sweat.
Clemson’s secondary is going to get a work out come Saturday. I was impressed with the way Jadar Johnson played against Auburn. The senior looks to be living up to the “next man up” mantra. Some of the younger members of the secondary like Mark Fields, Ryan Carter, and Trayvon Mullen, will get a chance to prove themselves.
With it being the home opener for the Tigers, I expect Death Valley to be rocking. Troy is walking into one of the most intimidating stadiums in the country.
Score prediction: 45-21 Clemson
Clemson X-factor: The secondary
Troy X-Factor: Momentum
MVP: Artavis Scott