It may be a tough task with Clemson sitting as a 34.5-point favorite, that won’t stop Eagle Nation from hitting South Carolina en masse to tailgate and pull for their team to do the impossible.
Our questions are below, followed by Kantor’s answers.
HW: Trevor Lawrence or Kelly Bryant?
RK: Both! In an article I wrote earlier this week, I argued the two quarterback system is adding intrigue and interest to every game and is working. They have complimentary skill sets and there’s no reason they can’t both get meaningful snaps. Here’s what head coach Dabo Swinney had to say about it following the Texas A&M game:
“We want to continue to get Trevor in the game. He’s a special player, but we love what we see from Kelly. I think both of those guys can help our football team. If something really changes and separates where we have way more confidence in one guy, then you could see an adjustment somewhere down the road, but honestly I hope they will both play well with their opportunity. And if they do that I don’t see a situation where they can’t continue to play as we go.”
HW: How is Clemson approaching this game? Obviously the outcome shouldn’t be in much doubt, but opposing coaches over the years have expressed how much they hate facing the option. Will Dabo be glad to get this one over with?
RK: We face Georgia Tech every season so it’s not nothing new for us. In fact, we face three triple option teams this season: Furman, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech. Georgia Southern and Tech come in back-to-back weeks. This gives Clemson a nice advantage against the Yellow Jackets.
Unfortunately, the Tech defense looked horrid in their week two loss to South Florida, so that advantage may be somewhat irrelevant and unnecessary. It would likely be better to get experience against a different type of offense and avoid the injury risk you have with cut blocking — which is oftentimes more prevalent with option offenses.
On the flip side, this will be a good opportunity for Clemson’s offense to find its rhythm against a unit that is better than Furman, but not as daunting as Texas A&M. Our running game was slowed a lot by the Aggies so we’ll look to get that back on track this week.
HW: You may be surprised at the number of Georgia Southern fans who show up in Clemson to pull for their Eagles and take in the scene. For those who make the trip, what are the best spots for tailgating, and which local restaurants/bars would you recommend?
RK: If you’re coming up from the Atlanta metro or otherwise up I-85 you can buy a cheap parking pass at “SCM” (Seneca Creek Meadows) or “NS” (New Spring Church). New Spring is paved so if the forecast looks rainy, that’s a good play. These lots are the easiest in-and-out, but aren’t great for tailgating as you have to take a bus to campus.
By mid-week, most of these may be off StubHub and they’re advance purchase only so you’ll be left to pay $20 to park at the YMCA or Lot C1. The YMCA requires a shuttle onto campus. C1 is on campus and good for tailgating, but still a lengthy walk to the stadium.
The ESSO Club is the most famous restaurant/bar in town and deserves its reputation. The food is way above average for bar food and they have very reasonably priced drinks in a cool atmosphere. A newer restaurant/bar that I recommend is Study Hall. It’s downtown and has good tacos and drinks. It’s worth a stroll through downtown. They’ve done a nice job keeping the old-school charm of the strip.
There’s not any single landmark on campus that is a must see (besides the stadium), but I’d walk over to the library bridge and see the reflecting pond and surrounding academic buildings. It’s a good snapshot of campus and especially beautiful when viewing from the outdoor amphitheater where you can also see the band play pre-game.
Lastly, our basketball arena is newly remodeled and now has a great seating area they open on gamedays. If you get a little hot, are getting rained on, or just want to watch a bit of a noon game, walk into Littlejohn Coliseum and rest for a bit while watching TV on the big screen.
Clemson is full of epic tailgates and Southern hospitality. Georgia Southern fans making the trip will hopefully find it to be a positive experience.
There you have it Eagle fans. Enjoy the day, park in the right spot and hit the Littlejohn Coliseum if you’re feeling a little overheated. We’ll see you in Death Valley on Saturday.