It’s an important weekend approaching in college football.
The only college football game slated for Jan. 3, 2014 means a lot of national attention for a game that pending what happens this weekend, could be a far cry for Wisconsin.
Let’s play it out, though, as if the two teams were to win out and end the season meeting up in Florida. Would Wisconsin stand a shot at upsetting the higher ranked Clemson team?
The Tigers only loss of the season to date was at the hands of the team many see playing for the National Championship.
Their 51-14 loss to Florida State back in October didn’t just shock a few people in Clemson land, but it gave the Seminoles some of their much needed clout going into the second half of their season.
Clemson isn’t just some flash in the pan team. Much like Wisconsin, their tradition over the past few seasons has been a rich one.
The team has been ranked in the top 25 of both polls for 42 straight polls, one of seven schools nationally that can make that claim. The others are Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina and Stanford.
Clemson (9-1, 7-1) has won 20 of its last 23 games overall. Their three losses came to teams that were ranked in the top 12 in the nation, and they enter their game against The Citadel (5-6, 4-4) this weekend looking to give them 31 wins over the past three seasons – more than any other Clemson team over that period of time.
The Tigers feature quite possibly the most active and athletic quarterback the Badgers will have seen all season in Heisman candidate, Tajh Boyd. Simply put, ball hawks like Beau Allen, Ethan Armstrong and Chris Borland would have their hands full.
Same goes for Wisconsin’s defensive backfield.
Boyd became the ACC’s career leader in touchdown passes when he threw four scores against Georgia Tech earlier this month. Sammy Wadkins is a physical wide receiver whose numbers since coming to the ACC, speak for themselves; 206 rec., 3,013 yards, 24 TD’s and a 14.3 YPC average. Watkins is one of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, which goes to the top wide receiver in college football. It marks the third straight season Clemson has had a semifinalist for the award (DeAndre Hopkins).
Defensively, they feature defensive end Vic Beasley who is one of 18 players named to the Mid-season Watch List for the Ted Hendricks Award – the honor that goes to the top defensive end in the nation.
Beasley ranks third in the nation in tackles for loss, sixth in sacks and 17th in forced fumbles. No qualms about it, Beasley IS a reason Clemson is first in the nation as a team in tackles for loss.
What’s funny is Clemson’s best kept secret might be in the kicking game.
Chandler Catanzaro has been breaking records all season at the kicker’s position. In a recent win over Maryland, the now Clemson grad account for 16 of Clemson’s 40 points – drilling four out of four FG’s and four extra points. It was his high point total in a game this season.
Overall, Catanzaro is 11-12 on field goals this year after going 18-19 last year. He is also a perfect 48-48 on extra points this year. Simply put, he’s put his foot to the ball 60 times so far in 2013 and it’s split the uprights 59 times. Stretching back to 2011, he’s made 37 of his last 39 field goals.