- Associated Press - Thursday, September 8, 2016

Troy (1-0) at No. 2 Clemson (1-0), 12:30 p.m. (RSN)

Line: Clemson by 35.5.

Series Record: Clemson leads 1-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

The chance for the second-ranked Tigers to display the offense it’s fans have fantasized about since losing the national championship game to Alabama in January. Clemson looked steady sometimes, error-prone in others, in squeaking past Auburn 19-13 last week. Troy, which gave up nearly 42 points a game in its three Power Five losses last season, seems a good place to crank things up.

KEY MATCHUP

Clemson QB Deshaun Watson against the Troy defense. Watson, who accounted for 47 touchdowns a year ago, had just two in the Tigers’ nail-biter at Auburn. Back home for the first time since last November, Watson will want to put a show for the home fans. Troy’s defense gave up just 19 touchdown passes in 2015, however.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Troy: RB Jordan Chunn and QB Sawyer Smith: Chunn went for a 48-yard touchdown the first time he touched the ball in a 57-17 win over Austin Peay last week. Smith’s first pass for the Trojans was a 47-yard TD.

Clemson: DL Dexter Lawrence. The freshman made an immediate impact for the Tigers with 10 tackles, a sack and a pass break up in defeating Auburn. He also helped answer questions about Clemson’s ability to withstand the loss of last year’s defensive line stars Shaq Lawson and Kevin Dodd.

FACTS & FIGURES

It’s the second straight game a former Clemson defensive coordinator returns to slow down the Tigers. Last week, Auburn’s Kevin Steele limited the Tigers offense. This time, it’s Vic Koenning, who led Clemson’s defense for four seasons. … Troy has gotten 14 turnovers over its past five games … Clemson enters its home opener with a 16-game win streak at Death Valley. The Tigers average margin of victory in the streak is more than 24 points a game. … Troy coach Neal Brown has not been shutout in 101 games as a head coach or offensive coordinator. … When Clemson runs down the hill before Saturday’s game, it will mark 50 years of Howard’s Rock, which was first put on a pedestal at Death Valley in 1966. Players touch the rock as they pass.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide