We've done our fair share about Clemson's defense, so it's time to take a look at the Tiger offense, which means it's time for more statistics.
Willy Korn has been practicing, but it's Cullen Harper that'll be making the start. Harper isn't much of a running threat, and his TD/INT ratio is pretty awful, although he didn't through an INT in his last three games. Both quarterbacks have good completion rates.
“C.J. Spiller is a fast guy that if he gets loose nobody’s going to catch him. He got loose two years ago a couple of times in the game we won. The key is don’t let him get behind us or in the open field. James Davis is a very good inside runner also.”
Clemson is going to run the ball to set up play-action.
Aaron Kelly is 6' 5", which will be a problem for our defensive backs. Jacoby Ford is a speedster, note his totals above as both a running and receiving threat. Also note Spiller's totals in both rushing and receiving.
Clemson has experience, depth, and talent in their receiving corps, although this isn't unlike anything we faced against Big 12 offenses. The key here will be making sure coverage doesn't break down - that we're consistent, something we haven't done a great job of this season.
Bucholz is a pretty good kicker, consistent, although note that he hasn't hit anything beyond 49 yards.
Note that Clemson has 22 TD's on the ground, with 13 in the air. If we're going to beat Clemson, we're going to have to shut down the running game and force them to throw.
In order to do that, the defensive line is going to have to be disruptive, and our linebackers are going to need to play one of their better games of the season. It would be nice to have Cody Glenn back on the field, but at least Phillip Dillard will return.
Clemson only scored over 30 twice this season against Div IA (FBS) foes, coming against Duke and at the end of the season against hated rival South Carolina. Otherwise, their offense has been fairly anemic, finishing 62nd in scoring offense with 25.5 points per game.
If you get the idea that Nebraska should win this game if it gets into the 30s, you'd be correct. Most of the nation believes that the Big 12 offenses are only so good because our conference can't play defense. The proof will be on the field the next couple of days, but against Clemson the Huskers match up fairly well. Their offense isn't special because it's a new-fangled fancy pants no-huddle spread system, but they do have athletes and experience.
We're going to need to play our best game of the season to beat Clemson. It'll be time to see how far we've come.