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The Clemson Tigers: National Title Contenders

CLEMSON TIGERS

  • Clemson enters the 2012-2013 campaign with an explosive offense led by offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who improved the Tigers from 335 yards per game to 441 yards per game.  Morris was an outstanding high school coach before become Tulsa’s offensive coordinator in 2010.
  • Starting quarterback Tajh Boyd compiled 3,828 passing yards last season (59.7%; 33-12), and he is supported this season by the nation’s best wide receiving corps.
  • While Clemson loses the country’s best tight end in Terry Allen, who won the John Mackey Award last season, the Tigers return all of their wide receivers and will be explosive.
  • Boyd also finds support in the backfield as Clemson returns two starters from last year’s unit, including Andre Ellington, who finished 2011 with 1,178 yards (5.3 yards per carry) despite dealing with injuries.
  • Clemson has also upgraded their defense with the off-season hire of coordinator Brent Venables, who is now one of the highest paid coordinators in football.  Venables was Oklahoma’s defensive coordinator since 1999 and will have seven returning starters to work with.
  • I expect significant improvement in Clemson’s secondary as the Tigers return seven players who started last year.  Clemson also takes the field with an outstanding set of linebackers, including Tony Steward, Stephone Anthony and Lateek Townsend.

If Clemson can somehow manage to upset Florida State on September 22, the Tigers would immediately become a National Title contender.  Even with a loss to Florida State, the Tigers are looking at an eleven-win season under head coach Dabo Swinney due to having one of the best quarterback/running backs/wide receivers trio in the country.

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