Clemson, SC – Clemson has secured their bid in the ACC Championship game and they were rewarded with two home night games to finish the season. As most fans know by now, Duke is a consistent and well coached team in the Coastal as opposed to their lowly status in earlier decades.
Daniel Jones is arguably the second best quarterback in Duke history behind NFL Hall of Famer Sonny Jurgensen. He is probably the best quarterback Clemson has played all year along with Eric Dungey. He is massive and is fast, evidenced by his long touchdown run against UNC last week. Jones’ achilles heel is inconsistency throwing the ball – which is important to pulling off the upset. Jones and running back Deon Johnson make for an excellent pair of rushing threats that will force Clemson to play disciplined on defense.
Duke’s defense has suffered from injuries, and their rushing defense has been among the worst in the nation as of late. Clemson is more than willing to run the ball on a struggling defense, which could benefit Clemson if they jump to an early lead. If Clemson has another huge day rushing the ball, it won’t be out of necessity but instead out of choice. If linebacker Joe Giles-Harris is healthy and plays against Clemson, he could cause problems for Clemson’s offense.
While it may not be as extreme as the Syracuse game, expect to see both teams run the ball early and often. Travis Etienne should have an excellent game tomorrow, and it would not be surprising to see all four running backs score a touchdown. If Clemson can force Duke into difficult situations and make Daniel Jones consistently throw the ball, they should take care of business on Military Appreciation and Senior Day.