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The Tiger

Revenge tour: Clemson v Syracuse Preview

     The Tigers are back in Death Valley Saturday to take on the Syracuse Orange. Yet another noon home game, the matchup comes with heavy history.

     Tiger fans will recall the only defeat of the 2017 regular season, a 24-27 road loss on a spooky Friday the 13th. Coach Swinney and the team will be looking to remedy the mistakes from that game and walk out of week five with another win.  

      The newest change for the Tigers is the starting quarterback. For the past four games, Sr. Kelly Bryant and Fr. Trevor Lawrence have split the offensive campaign, both performing well under the two-quarterback system with Kelly Bryant as the starter. This past Monday, however, Swinney announced that Lawrence will be starting Saturday’s game. Bryant subsequently announced he will be transferring out of the Clemson program. 

     This roster change rewrites the Clemson offensive scheme: placing the ball in the air more often is Lawrence’s favored strategy. The Orange defense has allowed significantly more pass yards, averaging 255.3 yards per game. This weakness will play right into Lawrence’s affinity for big pass plays. 

      Syracuse may expect to make big plays by pressuring a true freshman in his first college start. They should be warned that the 6’6” five-star recruit excels on the field, throwing nine touchdowns with only two interceptions so far this season, while sharing the role of quarterback with Bryant. 

      Syracuse does come to Clemson with their own star quarterback, Sr. Eric Dungey, who threw three touchdowns against the Tigers last October. Playing in their second away game of the season, Dungey may find the Valley intimidating and under-perform, but the Orange is certainly looking to him to lead the offense into scoring plays.  

     The Tiger defensive unit has sufficient experience in pressuring the quarterback and down field coverage. The Tigers should be prepared to see a team hoping  to repeat last year, and be sharp in their defensive strategy. 

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