Saturday, February 9, 2013

NC State at Clemson: Do What You Do

Last week, we put together a post about the many signs pointing against a Clemson win @ BC called "Something's Gotta Give". Unfortunately, something did give - Clemson.

My, how things change. This time last week, Clemson was 4-4 in the ACC, and frustrated it wasn't in a better position. This week, Clemson's trying to figure out how they won 4 games. Last week, NC State was near the top of the ACC. This week, they've lost three in a row and are in danger of becoming a bubble team.

And this Sunday, rather than many signs pointing against a Clemson loss, things are actually aligning for a Clemson win. So, rather than naming this post "Something's Gotta Give", we're honoring Deion Sanders (or Leon Sandcastle) and naming it "Do What You Do".

So, if Clemson is able to do what it does in these few areas, then they should be able to walk out of Littlejohn tied with NC State in the ACC Standings:
  • Over Clemson's last 12 games, they are 6-6. This includes six streaks of wins and losses: WWLLWWLLWWLL
    • If Clemson will "Do What You Do", then the Tigers can right the ship and start their typical 2 game winning streak
  • Clemson has won four straight ACC games in Littlejohn
    • If Clemson will "Do What You Do", then Clemson can run the streak to five
  • NC State has lost three games in a row, four in a row on the road, and 4 of 6 overall since defeating then #1 Duke
    • If NC State will "Do What You Do", then they remain due for another loss
  • Clemson has defeated NC State four straight times in Littlejohn
    • If both Clemson and NC State will "Do What You Do", then Clemson can run the streak to five
  • At home, Clemson tends to play great defense (tall white guys from Purdue notwithstanding). In fact, Clemson has held Virginia & Wake Forest to their lowest point totals of the season. In addition, Clemson held NC State to lowest its lowest home total of the season.
    • If Clemson's defense will "Do What You Do" at home, then Clemson can stifle NC State's offensive rhythm and force them to play at Clemson's pace
  • Offensively, NC State is a machine: They are 10th in scoring & 3rd in field goal percentage. Minus these last two games, Clemson is 13th in scoring defense and 44th in field goal percentage defense. And while these last two games count, they are not the norm.
    • If Clemson's defense will "Do What You Do", then Clemson can force NC State to play its game at its pace
  • One area of concern for Clemson will be three point shooting. NC State is in the Top 15 in both three point percentage and three point percentage defense. Meanwhile, Clemson is ranked >230 in both categories.
    • If both Clemson and NC State "Do What You Do", then Clemson will be in for a long day
Hopefully, when Clemson and NC State tipoff, things go Clemson's way - and they do what they do. But in this case, Clemson needs to change what they've been doing and hope, or force, NC State to keep on doing what they've been doing. Whichever team does a better job of forcing their will onto the other should leave town with a much needed "W".

Either way, it should be a good game, and here's to the Tigers having something positive to banter about.

Go Tigers!

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