Clemson Football Preview – 2016 Season Outlook

Clemson Football Preview

If you are a fan of the Clemson Tigers college football team there are plenty of reasons to be excited.

Clemson Tigers preview 2016After a close loss to Alabama in the National Championship game on January 11th of this year, the team is poised to make a return to the playoffs again this season.  Their 14 victories in 2015 were the most for the team in their history. They also return All-American Quarterback Deshaun Watson to lead a powerful offensive unit.

You also can’t underestimate how the Tigers feel after coming so close to a National Championship last year in a 45-40 loss. There is no question the team will have a renewed resolve to not only get back to the title game but to win it this time around. So let’s take a look at the 2016 version of the Tigers and see how they look entering the year.

Offense

On offense, the 2015 team averaged a whopping 38.5 points a game. With the return of 8 starters from that team there is a chance they could be even better.

Watson returns as a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate who has the ability to run or pass with equal effectiveness. He will be passing to junior Artavis Scott and Mike Williams among others. Williams is coming off of a redshirt season after a broken bone in his neck in last year’s opener.

Running back Wayne Gallman returns after a 1,527 yard rushing season and 13 touchdowns. Gallman will run behind a strong offensive line.

Defense

Even though the offense looks strong, the defense is where the Tigers will need some help. After losing stars like Shaq Lawson, Kevin Dodd and Mackensie Alexander from last year’s team, coordinator Brent Venables will have his work cut out for him. Linebacker Ben Boulware returns as the team’s leading tackler while senior tackle Carlos Watkins will anchor the middle of the line.

Both of the team’s starting safeties also moved on the NFL and it’s safe to say that Venables will need to do most of his work rebuilding the secondary. How successful he is, may be the key to how far this team goes this year.

Head Coach Swinney

Head Coach Dabo Swinney has instilled a certain toughness in this team that may have been lacking before his arrival. He coaches with a fire that seems to translate to the players on the field. He has also raised expectations for this team each season.

There is little question the Tigers have the talent and the coaching to get back to a National Championship. With an offense that can score in bunches, they should be able to overcome a few defensive limitations.

Goal number one is to win the ACC title and try to go undefeated. Should they accomplish those goals, it will lead them back to the College Football Playoffs again this year. One of their stiffest challenges will be a road test against Florida State on October 29th.

So for fans of the Clemson football team, there is a lot of excitement ahead and it all begins soon.  Enjoy it.

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