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Previewing Clemson at South Carolina: Topics for Discussion on the Tigers Offense

Can we slow down C.J. Spiller and Jacoby Ford? The Tigers use the spread to get Spiller and Ford the ball in space quite often. (Note to Tommy Bowden: this is how you take advantage of your best players.) You'll also see them use Ford as a deep threat and Spiller on wheel routes. This offense presents unique challenges to our defense, but in the end, what's important is that our linebackers and safeties play smart, don't get lost in coverage, and don't miss tackles. If they do, we can slow these guys down, as some teams with less athletes than us have managed to do to some degree. If we don't, though, it could be a long day for our defense. One thing to note is that we've seemed to be a bit more vulnerable to teams that pound the ball than teams like Clemson, so history would suggest that we'll do OK.

Can we pressure Kyle Parker? The Tigers are 44th in the country in sacks allowed, which suggests that they enjoy good but not great pass protection. The Gamecocks, on the other hand, have had an inconsistent pass rush. At times, such as against Ole Miss and Alabama, Eric Norwood and our ends have looked unstoppable when rushing the quarterback. At other times, we've put very little pressure on the quarterback. Not surprisingly, when we do get pressure, our defense looks like one of the best in the country. Let's hope we do it this week, as well.

Can we force turnovers? Kyle Parker has thrown nine interceptions on the year. If we want some turnovers, we'll have to try to get to him, as the running backs for this team are pretty sure handed. Forcing a couple of turnovers is a big deal in this game; it's not a coincidence that we've struggled so much over the past few weeks while not forcing a single one.

Now it's your turn. What do you have to say to these questions? What important points did I miss?