Coming off a bye week, the Hokies were handed a blowout loss at home by Duke. Needing seven wins to reach bowl eligibility this season due to having two FCS teams on the schedule, it was hard to look at the eight games remaining on the schedule and find where those five remaining wins could come from. And then something happened.
The Tigers are fresh off a comfortable win against Charlotte at home that saw Dabo Swinney and his staff call on individuals to take the field and contribute to the victory.
There's depth, and then there's Clemson depth. North Carolina welcomes the Tigers after its second straight loss, this one coming to Appalachian State in the final moments of a close and competitive game. This team could be with a few better bounces, but it could also be with a few bad bounces.
We can't play Appalachian any different than we play Clemson.
What we need to do is worry about us, and that way you don't play up and down to the opponent each week. Those close to Clemson are not overly concerned, and we probably shouldn't be either, that Lawrence leads the ACC in interceptions, but this Tigers offense has made a bigger splash because of wide receivers Justyn Ross , Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers.
The interceptions clearly haven't prevented Clemson from winning comfortably and some probably come with an aggressive mentality that helps produce those highlight-reel grabs for Ross and Higgins.
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But if there's a talking point around this juggernaut currently blitzing its way past ACC competition, it's been waiting for a Lawrence takeover game.
Is it the team that can close out wins against South Carolina and Miami or is the team that falls asleep for quarters at a time and at crucial moments against Wake Forest and Appalachian State. Clemson provides such an imposing test that the storylines and expectations are tied much closer to how the team responds and whether the game is competitive.
Sam Howell gives North Carolina a chance to string together some scoring drives if the game is close, but the question is how long the game will be close.
Big picture, there is no panic for the Tar Heels at even if it has come in an uneven manner, but showing up and playing well against the No. Viewing information Date: Saturday, Sept. So if we're going to pick out the spots where the Tigers might get caught in one of those "this game is way closer than it should be" moments this Saturday in Chapel Hill looks pretty good.
We've seen the Tar Heels be volatile, but that could work in their favor with the champs in town as heavy favorites.