2009 Clemson Tigers Football Preview
2009 Clemson Tigers season preview from Maddux Sports. Below you can find our official Clemson Tigers football preview as well as the 2009 Clemson Tigers Football Schedule. When betting on college football against the bookmakers odds dont dismiss our NCAA football picks to help build your bankroll this year.
Coach: Dabo Swinney (2nd year at Clemson)
Team Name: Tigers
2008 Overall Record: 7-6
Returning Starters: 15
In 2008, the Clemson Tigers (7- 6 overall, 4- 4 ACC Atlantic) finished tied for second in their division and earned a trip to their fourth straight bowl game. The Tigers, who have lost their past three post-season contests, met Nebraska in last year’s Gator Bowl, getting beaten 21- 26. It was a rocky season last year as Clemson, which many predicted would take the ACC crown, started out 3- 3. That led to head coach Tommy Bowden stepping down and long-time assistant Dabo Swinney taking over. Swinney is back for his first full season as a NCAA head coach.
Last year, the offensive line allowed 34 sacks and the running game managed just 111.5 YPG (99th nationally). Those stats defined a club that was led by QB Cullen Harper who was ineffective throwing 13 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. Harper is gone, which means that either freshman Kyle Parker or sophomore Willy Korn will be calling signals. Whoever throws the ball, they’ll have a solid target in senior Jacoby Ford (55 REC, 710 YDs, 4 TDs) and running back C.J. Spiller (34 REC, 436 YDs, 3 TDs). But the rest of the catching unit is questionable. The quick and versatile Spiller (116 ATT, 626 YDs, 7 TDs) will be the force behind the rushing game. The best news is that most of the O-line returns, offering experience and refined skills.
The team’s defensive line is one of the best in the nation. It’s hoped that they can generate more than 14 sacks, which was what they managed last season, ranking them 108th in the nation. They should be able to do better as two new talented starters combine with two starters from last season to create a dynamic front four. The corners are exceptional with seniors Chris Chanicellor and Crezdon Butler both returning after grabbing four picks each in 2008. The safety squad offers depth while the linebacking unit is a weakness. Still, senior WLB Kavell Conner (125 tackles, 66 solo) is a stabilizing force. Last season, the “D” unit gave up just 17.3 PPG (13th nationally).
There’s a hole in the kicking game both at placekicker and punter. Competition between junior Richard Jackson and Spencer Benton, a redshirted freshman, for kicker, will offer a solution. Sophomore Dawson Zimmerman will perform the punting chores.
Coach Dabo Swinney (4- 3 in one season with Clemson) managed to save the 2008 season and win over fans. Now the tough part is at hand, Swinney must manufacture a winning season with unknowns at quarterback, receiver, kicker and linebacker. Last year, the Tigers played unevenly. But they did perform better as the season progressed. They should notch victories over ACC opponents Boston College and Maryland. Then they meet Wake Forest on October 17 in a game that could define the season for the Tigers. Later, they play NC State on November 14. They’ve beaten the Wolftrap five straight times. This game will test the mettle of both clubs. Look for Clemson to finish third and compete in a lower tier post-season game.
Clemson Tigers Football Schedule
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For more info on the 2009 Clemson Tigers football program, view the Tigers sports website or scroll down below to read up on the rest of the ACC foes.