A Big East/ACC battle looms today in Charlotte. Long considered the worst two BCS conferences, the ACC and Big East both need a win in this game. Skip Holtz is finishing his first season at South Florida and Dabo Swinney his second at Clemson. Clemson is led by their defense, which is in turn led by the sensational Da’Quan Bowers. South Florida has made it through the season despite not having a dominant unit on either side of the ball.

3 Keys From the Scouts

1. How will BJ Daniels play? Daniels is a gutsy sophomore quarterback who should be a good player in the future. He tends to throw too many interceptions and with Bowers and company pressuring him he’ll need to do a better job of controlling the football. South Florida is a better running offense than passing offense and likes to play ball control that gives them short fields. Interceptions are their worst enemy and an area that Clemson will try to exploit.

2. Can the Bulls block Da’Quan Bowers? Bowers is a beast. He led the nation in sacks and was second in tackles for loss. When South Florida throws the ball he will be in BJ Daniels face all day long. So far this season no one, save Auburn, has effectively found an answer for Bowers.

3. Will Clemson run the ball effectively? Andre Ellington is a talented back that has not consistently gotten on track this season. When the Tigers are running the ball their offense is much better. When they become one dimensional they suffer. Ellington will need to at least keep the Bulls defense honest to keep the play action pass game alive for the Tigers.

Bold Prediction: Clemson is among the hardest hitting defenses in college football. The talent and depth they have is greater than what South Florida has seen most of the year. Bowers should have a big game, his last as a college player, and Clemson should win a close low scoring game. Clemson 24 South Florida 16.

South Florida

Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
5-6Terrell McClainDT954SrExplosive one gap player who stays on his feet and chases around the field to make plays. Deceptively strong and holds the point.
7thKeith McCaskillDT913JrFiery interior lineman who displays great first step quickness and shoots the gaps up field.
FAJeremiah WarrenG553Jr
FASampson GenusC624SrSuper quick center built low to the ground and effective in motion.
FACraig MarshallDE944SrFlashes skill rushing the passer yet displays little consistency in his game.
FADontavia BoganWR814SrAdequate possession receiver who could make it as a fifth wide out.
FAMistral RaymondS164Sr

Clemson

Round Full Name Pos Num Yr Comments
1stDa’Quan BowersDE933JrBig time pass rusher who alters the momentum of games with the ability to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. Has all the tools necessary to be a top-flight defensive end but his motor is a real question.
2ndJarvis JenkinsDT994SrSolid talent with potential at tackle or as a two-gap end. Terrific size/speed numbers yet must learn to consistently play at a high level.
2ndBrandon ThompsonDT983JrExplosive one-gap or possibly three-technique tackle that fires off the snap with great first step quickness then makes plays behind the line of scrimmage or out to the flanks.
3-4Marcus GilchristS124SrComplete safety that shows toughness against the run and ball skills in coverage. Struggled transitioning to fulltime cornerback this season but has starting potential at the next level as a true centerfielder.
4-5DeAndre McDanielS24SrTough, run defending safety who flashes ability in coverage. Offers a decent amount of upside but must learn to be a bit more disciplined.
5thChris HairstonT614SrLarge, rumbling college left tackle best on the strong side in the NFL.
5thRennie MooreDE944JrSolid defensive line prospect that can be used at a variety of positions up front.
5-6Andre BranchDE404JrDeveloping pass rusher with a great upside.
7thBrandon MayeOLB204JrPotential weak side linebacker.
7thRashard HallS313So
FAByron MaxwellCB365Sr
FAJames CumbieDT85Sr
FAJamie HarperRB83Jr
FAXavier DyeWR214Sr

Game Preview: Brent Foshee

Prospect Preview:  Tony Pauline