2021 Season – Clemson Tigers

Pitt is coming off another dominating win over a Coastal division opponent – the Virginia Tech Hokies. Pitt is now in sole possession of first place in the Coastal division ( 5 – 1, 2 – 0  ACC).

The Clemson ( pronounced Clempsum, be sure to accent the “P”) Tigers. The scourge of the ACC since 2015 has shown signs of vulnerability. Their record going into the game is ( 4 – 2, 3 – 1 ACC).

The ACC standings and year to date (YTD) schedules:

Just one common opponent – Georgia Tech. Clemson squeaked by while Pitt conquered.

If you took the time to study the above charts, what did you see?

In the ranking chart, only seven ACC teams have completed their Out of Conference (OOC) schedule. Wake has at Army this weekend and at North Carolina (yes this is a OOC matchup. Clemson has UConn and their SEC rivalry game. Florida State plays UMass this weekend and their rivalry game. Louisville plays their rivalry game. Virginia has at BYU and Notre Dame (ND). North Carolina still has to play Wake, at ND and FCS Wofford. Georgia Tech has the season ending rivalry game.

For those who are still doubting Pitt stats due to playing UMass and New Hampshire, the YTD stats of Clemson is impacted by their 49  – 3 victory over South Carolina State.  Do the math. Clemson’s scoring, without their FCS opponent is only 74 – 72. With UConn yet to play, do you expect their stats will not be impacted? (BTW, UConn lost to UMass 13 – 27).

Here are the NCAA stats for team and individual comparison. Those highlighted in yellow are Tiger advantages.

Clemson’s strength is their defense but I see one hole in the defensive stat categories. Pitt’s offense is better in all offensive categories. Special teams stats go slightly to Clemson.

On to the individual stats. Of course, starting with the QB’s:

D.J. Uiagalelei (DJU) was a preseason Heisman contender. Kenny Pickett is currently a long shot Heisman contender. That’s the QB comparison. DJU has a great arm, size and speed but so does Joe Milton at Tennessee. Both have all the attributes that a college football head coach wants but both need further development. Hopefully, DJU does not find whatever he lacks this Saturday.

Before I start on individual stats, I found this in an article early in the week Clemson played Georgia Tech(GT). It is a list of Clemson players who are out for the season or suffered an injury prior to GT. I have also added the three players that Clemson lost to the transfer portal since the season started. You will see I colored coded them.

Did you notice the dates on the last two Transfer Portal entries?

What about the running backs and receivers?

A comparison of Clemson and Pitt players using ESPN stats and compared to NCAA totals.

Clemson misses QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne.

Some defensive individual stats. From ESPN team stats and compared to NCAA statistics for accuracy.

I again used the top 15 in tackles for both teams. In total, Pitt has 37 and Clemson 41 players who made at least one tackle (solo or assisted)/sack/pass defended (PD)/interception/forced fumble(FF)/ fumble recovered(FR).

I did add some stats to compare the “chosen fifteen” to Team totals.

As usual, I do not have any stats for offensive line play. But I do have sacks and tackles for loss (TFL) allowed.

As to turnovers here is a comparison:

The Clemson faithful are not mad at head coach Dabo Swinney. They are furious with the offensive coordinator, the QB coach, the running back coach, the tight end coach, the Oline coach, the offense graduate assistants, the recruiting analysis for offense  and whoever else has any control over this year’s Tigers offensive production.

The faithful are not happy with Dabo’s stance on using the TP to fill perceived holes in the roster. He does not use the TP. Clemson only had 18 recruits in 2021, so he would have space under the NCAA limit of 25 recruits per year. Clemson currently has 82 roster scholarships but that includes at least 6 walk-ons.

With all that being said Pitt wins 31 – 17.  A potent offense overcomes potential.

59 thoughts on “2021 Season – Clemson Tigers

  1. Not to worry, Pitt fans.

    I had 2 dreams about the game last night. Our Panthers won both.

    Th first dream game was played at Pitt Stadium (it was a dream, remember). Pitt was down by one, 31-30. Kicked a last minute field goal and won 36-30. Did I mention it was a dream??

    The second game was a close one. I don’t remember the score but Pitt was running out the clock for the win. This dream game was played in the streets of Oakland. On the final play the RB carried the ball across Forbes Avenue into a vacant lot where i met him and high-fived. Then everyone headed for the Luna to celebrate. Then I woke up.

    No more Klondikes before bed for me.

    Liked by 11 people

  2. Wow, Clemson’s D is good. Expect a close game unless Pitt’s D has a bad day. I’m worried about the long ball like everyone else. They have to get a pass rush on this QB early and often.
    If Pitt can get some run game going it will help Pickett immensely. This will be their toughest game.


        1. I have about 50 Luna story’s I could tell as it was my hang out for about 10 years. But.. only 2 I could tell on this site.


    1. Does anyone have a favorite old crummy beer? I enjoyed stealing my dad’s cans of Stroh’s as a kid. They have recently remade it and it doesn’t taste the same.


      1. My cheap dad drank Tech beer. He could have left that on the front porch and nobody would steal it.


      2. My dad used to lie belly down with a beer beside him in front of the tv for football games. I’d sit on his back and drink that Budweiser with salt on the rim. Yes, salt.


  3. I watched the Clemson-Georgia game way back in Week 1. Clemson’s O-line was completely overmatched in that game (sound familiar?). They couldn’t open holes for the running game and they couldn’t protect the QB. The result was basically just abject futility. That game could have easily turned into a blowout for Georgia. Pitt’s defense probably won’t be able to overpower Clemson the way Georgia’s did, but if they play the way they did against VT last week, it should be good enough to get a W.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The Pitt D will be tested with many more long passes than what they were tested at VT. Mucho jump balls and mucho ref’s red flags may be coming out this Saturday I’m afraid.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Perhaps, but Clemson’s scored more than 21 points once in six tries thus far. If they’re taking shots down the field on a regular basis, it sure doesn’t sound like they’ve been hitting on many of them.


  4. I liken Clemson to Wisconsin. They have great players (4-5 stars) up and down the lineup but their QB is beyond awful. He is a negative and his play alone has cost both teams at last 2 games! Clemson should have lost to Syracuse last week, who moved the ball on them up and down the field but couldn’t score.

    KP and his receivers are the best package in college football! Add Abanakanda and Pitt should dominate this game!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. dan, when actually did your conversion on this Pitt FB team occur? For most of the year you have been on the wrong side in picking the winner in the Pitt FB games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Since Narduzzi went to a zone defense at VA Tech!!First time ever! Had he done that against W Michigan, Pitt would be undefeated.

        Haven’t heard a single person mention it!!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Great article. I hope Clemson believes this is a must win situation for them and they psych themselves out! It will be the end of their ACC dynasty if Pitt wins! Oh well, now I will go back to being glum.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Funny thing, this game does not have national implications this time around. Well as far as Clemson goes anyways. Who predicted that at the beginning of the season?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Huff, I started out my last short comment on that very theme, I don’t think PITT will have to worry about the refs as much as usual. Now the question becomes, can PITT play under conditions such as fair and square referees?

      Trying something different here replying to my own comment. I’ve never tried this?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think Dan has been spot on with his predictions of the teams and the coach, based on what we have seen in 35 years and a few contests this year. I poked fun at him in the last thread because, i can. The clempson QB Ugly ugly ola is the key. He seems to turtle when you get to him early and he loses all confidence. Kancey, Habba, and Alexandre need big games

    I will take a different slant on the refs. This might be one of those games where pass interference can be called a lot against Pitt, but won’t because the ACC needs either Pitt, Wake or NCSt to run the table in order to get a payday! Follow the money!! Knowing the ACC buffoons, they will probably hire an all Big10 referee crew for this game.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Huff, I thought the same thing regarding PI calls on Pitt.
    Plus its a sore subject for Clemson since many blame bad PI calls on their last loss to Pitt.


  9. Looking forward to watching Pitt punch em in the mouth and Clemson folding like a cheap suit…
    Hope yinz all can attend with the Red5a gang!


      1. I always have two wine openers in our Red 5A lineup, kman. A two handled first string and a combo corkscrew/pocket knife as a 2-deep emergency backup.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Excellent job, Richard. Thank you.

    I’m wondering how our guy Sam Scarton is going to handle it Saturday. I suspect Pitt’s total points will depend a lot on SS hitting some FGs.

    It’s been nice to not have to worry about making FGs lately. Panther TDs are way more fun.
    But the Clemson defense will be tough to score TDs on.

    I sure hope Clemson doesn’t know about our secret weapon — Gavin Bartholomew!!!

    Weird prediction — The speedy Shocky catches a deep ball.

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I hope Scarton will get more FG reps in non-critical moments before we have to rely on him for a game tying or winning attempt.

      The red zone effectiveness Im has been so good that there may have been fewer chances than in prior years…4 so far?

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Thanks Riccardo, I challenge anyone to find better team football write-ups as we are blessed here at the POV.

    and thanks you JoeL, love the interview. Two little point of fun. 1. Why does Pat look like he’s in front of a firing squad when he speaks nationally?

    Narduzzi points out once and for all. FIVE YEARS!! That’s how long Pickett has been at PITT.

    Have a great time you all at the famous Red 5-A tailgate. Hosted by Fran/Wolfe, supported by John F, Big Bernie, Markpt and smiling Richman < Rich will be signing autographs by appointments only.

    Actually, everyone makes up the tailgate for how great it is! I’ll miss you Guys and Gals!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Missed my family, my mothers side of the family and my Pittsburgh school friends nickname for me by a few extra letters & a missing consonant from my first name.


  12. Luna had 5 cent beer night. Something I could barely afford. I believe it was Wednesday.

    We need to get ahead of Clem quickly. Maybe with something they do not expect.


  13. I wonder how often Clemson has gone into a game as the underdog. This has got to be an extreme motivating factor for them. I must say that I just don’t like all the pre-game discussions that are going on involving probabilities of winning the Heisman, the ACC, making the playoffs, etc. Even Pickett slipped and said he has a score to settle with Clemson, ore something similar. I realize I’m an old timer poisoned with SOP, but geeze this is a bit worrisome,

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree, Voice. But remember, Pitt hasn’t been in this position either – at least this version hasn’t. So some miscues to be expected…

      Clemson has some really good LBs who will be looking to plant KP for sure…. We need Whipple, Bates and Associates to excel…

      Go Pitt.


  14. SOP is in his evil basement right now standing in front of a boiling caldron of ‘Pitt’s ranked’, ‘On national TV, ‘In first place’, ‘Believing the hype’, etc. Cursed wretch!

    In Pitt’s favor is the fact that Clemson is out of the playoff….so the refs have no incentive, other than that we’re a northern team, to give calls in Clemson’s favor. In fact we are the only ACC team with a chance at all for the playoffs. Slim, but still a chance. Come on refs, give us a break!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. Rumor posted on the Lair is that Clemson WR Ngata will miss this weeks game because of Covid. If anyone watched the Syracuse game he was the WR that made that spectacular TD grab last week leaping high and getting his one foot down for the score. A major loss for Clemson if the rumor proves true.


  16. I’ll throw my prediction in now in case my time in WPA takes me away from the POV until game time.

    Clemson will take points anyway they can, so their 20 points will come the way of 2 TD’s and 2 FG’s.

    Pitt on the other hand will leave points on the field with 1 missed PAT and two 4th down stops by the Tiger’s D inside FG range. K Scarton redeems his PAT miss with a late game FG to put the Panthers up by 2 scores and seal the game.

    Pitt wins a close, entertaining, nationally televised game to excite the fanbase even more.


    KP8 manages the game well, Izzy is MIA (maybe in Big Q’s doghouse?) and T.Mack is the star WR of the game.

    Other key players –

    LB Cam Bright continues to be the quiet leader of the D and has a rock star performance with hard hits, sacks, TFL and a few pass break-ups.

    Long snapper Cal continues to hustle and lead the special teams unit with good tackling, acceptable coverage and precise accuracy with his snaps.

    DE Alexander has his best game of the season with a few TFL’s of Mr. Dr. Pepper and consistently beating Clemson’s young SO RT all game long.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. It’s fairly early in the morning and I’m working on my second cup of coffee, nice, quiet, and peaceful. Tomorrow will be crazy, so I need to get this off my chest and then put it to rest.
    At this point in the season we’re just where most of us thought, 5-1. And actually, the path we got here was also mostly expected in that it was a twist on who we lost to. This, my friends is typical of PN teams, beat some unexpectedly, lose unexpectedly. Fans jump up and down after a bad loss, others puff out their chests after wins, both are knee jerk. So far we are either on our way to an epic, memorable season, or right on track for 5+ loses. We are in the middle of what everyone thought was the most difficult and telling part of the schedule. This hasn’t changed. It still can go either way and I’m curious to see how it will play out.
    The reality is winning has hidden our warts. Now, before someone goes nuts, all teams have warts, but winning is the balm that cures and covers all. This team is so very dependent on one player,, and what a player he has been, but our fate is still in his hands. Will he continue to play at that level? Can we overcome a poor or bad performance? I hope so, but doubt it.
    The late great Bob Prince used to talk about hidden vigorous. Well, it’s one of those times in a season, or in a programs history that this question will be answered. Will Clemson continue to struggle offensively or will they finally have that breakout game. Will we continue on a roll or revert to SOP? It makes for great theater either way.
    I simply cannot see us winning this game. Yup, there it is, I said it and I’ve never been more certain. I cannot fathom winning this game, having attendance and enthusiasm for Pitt football taking over the city and national sports. All is ripe for this to happen with a win. Steelers are bad, Pens are on downward slide, Bucs stink as usual, bball is awful. What a boost and 180 it would be if we win. But I have no faith. PN hasn’t become Rockne, he is what he is. As wonderful and enjoyable as this season is so far, it’s at a precipice. Is the next step over a cliff or onto a bridge?
    I’ll be at the game, yelling and hoping, of that have no doubt. But when I’m alone, all the pregame noise and hype is quite, and I’m honest with myself……….well, there is no way I see a win. Clemson 35 us not as many. NUTS.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I never predict scores and it always surprises me when Pitt wins a big game, but I will say that the team that plays better and makes the fewest mistakes will win this one. I really don’t think that SOP will have anything to do do with it.

    I think both are really good football teams.

    Clemson is playing below their standard because they don’t have a superstar QB this year, but they lost two close ones to two very good teams.

    Pitt is playing above their standard because they have a QB that is playing like a superstar and are very deep due to the extra Covid year.

    The game is going to be decided by how well our O-line hold up to Clemson’s D-line 1st and foremost and second how much pressure our D-line puts on their QB.

    Of course which team has the most splash plays and fewest turnovers will decide the game.

    We should all be very glad that Pitt is finally in this position and has this opportunity, we have waited a long time to have a chance at football relevance, but recognize that we only have it because Covid gave KP and others a second chance.


    1. Well stated, GC.

      Pitt fans will go bonkers if we win; if Clemson wins, their fans will just think, okay, the Tigers are finally coming out of their funk…

      Go Pitt.


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