Swinney Leads 2018 Clemson Tigers In To Breach

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BetAmerica Staff

August 7th, 2018

by DS Williamson
Clemson coach Dabo Swinney has developed the second best college football program in the nation. Only Nick Sabam’s Alabama Crimson Tide rivals what Swinney has done the past few seasons. This newfound tradition of excellence continues with the 2018 Clemson Tigers. Will Swinney take the Tigers to yet another College Football Playoff? Could the rivalry with the Alabama Crimson Tide in the CFP go into its fourth straight season? What's more, will they improve on the 12-4 SU and 8-5-1 ATS record they posted in 2017 NCAAF betting?

Will Swinney start Bryant or Lawrence at QB? Last season, Swinney proved that the Clemson Tigers were more than just DeShaun Watson. Swinney started freshman quarterback Kelly Bryant and the Tigers marched to yet another College Football Playoff appearance. What’s crazy this season is that Swinney might start freshman Tyler Lawrence over Bryant.

The reason? Lawrence has the skills to play quarterback in the NFL, and is touted as "pro-style". He can the throw the deep ball with much more accuracy than Bryant can. He’s also slightly taller and is easily the better drop back passer. When you think "prototypical", you think of studs like Lawrence so it's no surprise that the kid is challenging to lead the 2018 Clemson Tigers already. Coach Swinney wants to spread the field more this season than he did last season. Having Lawrence back there at quarterback should do that.

No matter who starts at quarterback, the rest of the skill positions are set. Just like Alabama, Clemson reloads on both the offensive line and defensive line. Clemson’s offensive line projects to be dominant as usual.

Clemson’s defense is better this season than it was last season This program was a defensive force of nature last year, so it's crazy to think that they could be even better in the upcoming season especially given that they allowed the second fewest points in the country with 12.6 per game. The 2018 Clemson Tigers should have the strongest defensive line in the nation. Austin Bryant and Clelin Ferrell, the Tigers’ starting defensive ends, could have gone pro but didn’t. Neither did defensive tackle Christian Wilkins. Add in Dexter Lawrence and it’s apparent that if any team wishes to beat the Clemson Tigers, they must first get past the defensive line.

Ninety-percent of the time, that won’t happen. If it does happen, Clemson’s linebackers are more than capable of mopping up. Kendall Joseph and Tre Lamar are upper classmen that should dominate. The Tigers allowed the fourth fewest yards against in 2017 (276.7) and will the 2018 Clemson Tigers project to be just as unyielding.

The secondary is a work in progress. There aren’t any real issues, though, because the Clemson Tigers’ front seven should dominate every offense it faces.

A return trip to the College Football Playoff looks like a given The 2018 Clemson Tigers should return to the College Football Playoff this season. The biggest reason is because Clemson’s offense will be more dynamic with Tyler Lawrence at quarterback. A returning, experienced Kelly Bryant would also be just as effective as they battle for ACC supremacy. The second biggest reason is because the defensive line will be the best in the nation.

The third reason is a big one: there might be one to two teams in the ACC that could beat the Clemson Tigers. Those two teams - Virginia Tech and Miami - only have an outside shot of taking down the Tigers.

Unless injuries derail Clemson, they should go undefeated this season. If Lawrence has no trouble starting at QB as a freshman, Clemson is the team best suited to beat Alabama for the National Championship.