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Mark Crammer – AP
6 months ago:
Clemson quarterback Kyle Parker sits on the bench during the ACC Championship football game in Tampa, Fl. on Dec. 5, 2009. Colorado selected Clemson University outfielder and quarterback Kyle Parker with the 26th overall pick in the baseball draft Monday, June 7, 2010. (AP Photo/Anderson Independent-Mail, Mark Crammer)
3. Can Carolina pressure the quarterback?
I was surprised to learn that Clemson ranks 24th in the nation in sacks allowed. The Tigers offensive line hasn’t exactly been dominant this year, but they seem to be getting the job done when it comes to protecting the QB. Carolina’s defensive front has been on a serious tear lately. Will it perform against effective Clemson protection?
2. Can Clemson run the ball without Andre Ellington in the lineup?
Ellington has been the backbone of Clemson’s offense this year, and he’ll either be sidelined or playing below 100% this week. However, Jamie Harper, who struggled throughout the early portion of the season, has come on strong over the past two weeks, seemingly answering the question regarding whether Clemson can survive sans Ellington. Regardless of what happens with Ellington, Harper will again likely be called on to carry the load this week. Carolina has done well against power backs like Harper for most of the season; will they do so this week, too?
1. Can Clemson take advantage of our secondary issues?
The Tigers have the country’s 80th ranked passing offense. Most of the problem has been lackluster receiver play, but part of it has been declining play from Kyle Parker. Tajh Boyd, Clemson’s backup QB, has also been ineffective in the meaningful downs he’s played. If Clemson wants to move the ball in this game, Carolina’s track record suggest that the Tigers need to throw the ball. But can they with any semblance of consistent success, even against our secondary?