Wednesday, August 28, 2013

CLAWS vs PAWS - Week 1

Welcome to Week 1 of Claws vs Paws, where The Cock-a-booster and The TigerSwag will go head-to-head predicting the outcomes of each Clemson and South Carolina game. This week, we get started off with a bang as South Carolina welcomes North Carolina and Clemson welcomes Georgia.

Up first, Georgia (-2) at Clemson

Let's be honest, Clemson has not had the best success against Mark Richt. During his tenure at FSU, he and Weinke pulled off the greatest play-action pass ever executed, followed by his UGA team dismantling Tommy Bowden at the Valley in what many have deemed the hottest, worst home game ever.

But those games were with TB at the helm. Now he has as much influence over this game as I do. But will it matter? Will Dabo do better? Can Clemson score enough to win, or stop Georgia when it counts?

Both Clemson and Georgia enter this game fired up, and it would not surprise me to see penalty flags fly before the game starts. Look for Clemson to strike first, and for the crowd to stay energized. However, the Georgia offense takes a page from Spurrier's playbook and pounds the Clemson defense with Gurley and Marshall. Georgia draws even. Clemson answers, and both teams trade scores, with Georgia holding a slim lead at the half. Coming out of the half, Georgia extends their lead with a TD, and then stretches it to 2 scores with a field goal. Clemson responds, but is unable to fully close the gap. Clemson has one final opportunity, but they can't finish the drive. Georgia takes over, kills the clock, and leaves Death Valley with a 4 point win.

Georgia 31
Clemson 27

Clemson has followed a pretty predictable pattern in the last few years and I see no reason that will change in 2013. The unwarranted preseason hype in Orange-land is off the charts as usual and this opening game plays right into the formula. Clemson got a couple of early season wins over Auburn in recent years thanks to Auburn not being very good and that set the hype-o-meter a blazing. Both of those years ended for the Tiggers with embarrassing losses to the Gamecocks.

Georgia has a bunch of suspended players and their attention is largely on the visit from Carolina to Athens next week. Clemson on the other hand has their entire identity and program invested into winning this game. It is an absolute must-win game and it is in the Pickens County Cat House.

Too many intangibles breaking Clemson’s way so you have to go with the home team in this one.

Clemson 38
Georgia 27

"Watching UNC & USC in the "Battle of the "Carolinas" is a lot like politics: Bunch of people you can't stand claiming to represent you." - The TigerSwag
As Thursday afternoon rolls around, the nation's eyes will turn their gaze upon Columbia, South Carolina to welcome back college football. We'll get goosebumps as we're reminded of college football's pageantry, traditions, and fandom. Pom poms will wave, Neil Laurie will bust Cocky out of jail, and Northwestern High, I mean Miami, FL, I mean Rick Flair, I mean Elvis, I mean USC will enter W-B. The cameras will pan the crowd and we'll see nearly 80,000 tank tops, jorts, and mullets. ESPN and Jesse Palmer will go crazy, and the rest of the country will be reminded of why we hate the SEC.

And then UNC will enter the stadium and Clemson fans will be reminded of why we hate all things North Carolina.  This will cause us to take a deep breath, ask God for forgiveness, and silently proclaim: "Go Heels".

During the actual game, both teams come out sloppy, and the game turns into a defensive struggle, giving Pollack ample time to compare his career to Clowney's. The stalemate is eventually broken as USC returns a punt for a TD. Later, USC punches the ball in the endzone just before the half to go up two scores. USC maintains the double digit cushion through most of the 2nd half until UNC finally scores to cut the lead to single digits. UNC gets a needed defensive stop and the ball back with a chance to tie; however, Clowney summons the spirit of Medusa on Renner, who turns to stone out of fear. USC turns that turnover into 6, and the final score.

Carolina South 23
Carolina North 10

North Carolina comes into Columbia loose and confident and with nothing to lose. Carolina on the other hand has been hyped up to the brim with our highest preseason ranking ever. So yes, of course the visiting goats will come out and play well. Shocking. Meanwhile the Gamecocks will likely come out of the gates a little rusty as we did at Vanderbilt last year.

What it will mean is a bunch of squirming fannies in the bleachers early at Williams-Brice. The good news is that it won’t mean an upset loss, just a sluggish win. Connor Shaw doesn’t lose games he starts in Columbia and Thursday won’t change that.

The Gamecocks will survive a tough test and get ready for the trip to Athens. North Carolina’s wine-and-cheese crowd will head back to Chapel Hill the losers that gave it a good effort. Everyone wins.

Carolina South 20
Carolina North 13


  1. Dang TiGER Willy..can't believe You took Dawgs while Cock took Clemson! What has the world come to?!

    1. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut over your heart. I think Clemson will play well, but a few mistakes combined with the constant attack of Gurley and Marshall will spell doom for our Tigers.

      But I will gladly be wrong if it means a Tiger Win...


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