Saturday, December 5, 2009
Clemson-Georgia Tech pregame notes
By Heather Dinich
TAMPA, Fla. -- Raymond James Stadium is starting to fill up, and while there might be more Clemson fans here, the Georgia Tech fans are making themselves heard with their "Yellow-Jackets" chant.
The lone roster change is on Georgia Tech's sideline, where cornerback Rashaad Reid will start in place of Jerrard Tarrant.
The question is which defense shows up tonight. Both teams have showed their vulnerabilities this season. The key stat is is that Clemson is holding its opponents to 19.5 points per game, while Georgia Tech is scoring 35. One player who could be an X-factor in this game is safety DeAndre McDaniel. His ability to move up and give help could be key in stopping the option game. Guys like Jonathan Dwyer and C.J. Spiller are going to get their yards today, though.
It could be yet another record-setting weekend for Spiller:
- He needs one punt or kickoff return for a touchdown to set the NCAA record for kick returns for touchdowns.
- He needs three touchdowns to set the Clemson single-season record.
- He needs one touchdown to tie the school record for consecutive games with a touchdown.
- He needs 88 yards rushing and 60 receiving to become the first player in school history to reach 1,000 yards rushing and 500 receiving in the same season. He would also be the first player in the nation to do it this year.
For Georgia Tech, junior quarterback Josh Nesbitt needs two touchdowns to tie the ACC single-season record of 19. Junior Demaryius Thomas averages 24.5 yards per reception, which would be the highest in ACC history.
Both teams threw fans for a loop with their subpar performances last week against their respective SEC rivals, but this is the game that counts. If Georgia Tech and Clemson go back to what they were doing prior to last weekend, it should be a great game. Both teams have improved since they met earlier during the regluar season. It's time to find out which one has made the biggest strides.