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North Carolina Keys to Beating Clemson

Sep 21, 2006 – 2:41 PM
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James Conklin

James Conklin %BloggerTitle%

North Carolina defensive end Hilee TaylorYesterday I wrote about the difficulties North Carolina would face playing a talented Clemson team in front of a large, hostile crowd. True, it will be a difficult trip for the Tar Heels and the odds of emerging victorious are against them. But make no mistake about it...the Heels can beat the Tigers, and here's how:

1. Score first, and make sure it's a touchdown. Nothing quiets a rowdy crowd and a confident opponent like getting punched in the mouth right from the opening bell. A quick first score will not only silence 80,000 fans in "Death Valley," it will boost the confidence of freshman QB Cam Sexton and light a fire under the North Carolina defense.

2. Speaking of defense, the Tar Heels must stop the running game. Clemson running backs C.J. Spiller and James Davis are a dangerous duo, and if either of them go all "Ray Rice" on the Heels then it will be a long trip back to Chapel Hill.

3. Cam Sexton must have a short memory. Cam Sexton will not play a perfect game. The key to Cam's success is how well he manages to limit his mistakes and how he reacts following an interception, sack, or a fumble. If he's able to remain poised and focused then the Heels will be able to move the ball well enough to win.

4. Create at least three turnovers. Whether this comes in the form of interceptions, fumble recoveries, or blocked kicks, it really doesn't matter. All that matters is that they result in swings of field position and changes in momentum.
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