Clemson and FAU will meet Saturday night at Death Valley for the second time. The Tigers won the previous meeting in 2006 by a 54-6 score. Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, speaking at his weekly press conference Tuesday, hinted that this game will be much more competitive.
The Owls opened their season with a 42-20 win over Monmouth. They are coming off a loss at home to Ohio in which they managed five rushing yards and 185 total yards. Their quarterback is Nebraska transfer Casey Thompson. He was 23-42 for 180 yards with two interceptions. A dozen of his completions went to LaJohntay Wester who Swinney said has outstanding speed.
Clemson evened its record at 1-1 last Saturday, staggering early against Charleston Southern before running way to a 66-17 win.
Some key comments by Swinney:
- FAU is a challenging team with a veteran quarterback, lots of speed at receiver and a big offensive line, the QB can make plays out of the pocket and is a threat to run. It’s a good football team coming in.
- FAU will test them schematically because they do a lot of good things, their QB transferred from Nebraska and has the ability to throw the ball on the move and that’s a huge challenge. He’s a guy that looks to throw first, so that will challenge them.
- FAU can run the ball, they have a back who is a good downhill, physical runner, and they’ve run three trick plays in two games, they’ve been very creative, physical run game is part of what they want to do, and they are huge up front.
- Klubnik’s performance has been really good outside of five plays, and those five plays were really bad, he has a great understanding, just a couple of plays he wishes he could have back.
- They are not going to be a great football team if they continue to lose the turnover battle, need to go on a run of winning the margin or at least being even.
- Still a tight battle at left tackle, loves the fact they have multiple guys who can play there, will continue rotating until someone takes control, but can live with a rotation.
- Should have Cole Turner and Tink Kelley available for Saturday, Andrew Mukuba is day to day but is doing fine.
- Mascoll and Thomas are playing great at DE, TJ Parker is the #3 guy and he’s a guy who could be a starter but the other two are still the guys.
- Stellato’s confidence is as good as it’s been since he’s been at Clemson, he’s really happy to get a chance to play and he’s taking advantage of the opportunity, he’s a snatcher of the football and definitely can help them.
- Vic Burley is back in practice this week, just returned Monday night, they will evaluate him this week and see where he is, there plan was to play him before he was injured.
- Lucas has had a complete turnaround from a confidence standpoint, not sure he really believed in himself like he needed to and wouldn’t cut it loose, didn’t practice the way he needed to, he’s had a different look in his eye since the spring.