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Jimbo Fisher has come out and said as recently as yesterday that the starting quarterback will be a "game-time decision" for their trip to Death Valley. That of course is due to the injury EJ Manuel suffered last week to his non-throwing shoulder versus the Oklahoma Sooners.
Although it may need to be a true game-time decision, this smells an awful lot like gamesmanship to me. Fisher mentioned this week that Manuel wanted to reenter the game versus Oklahoma but he did not feel comfortable putting him back in and jeopardizing his season for one game.
If EJ Manuel does start Saturday, I expect the Seminoles offense to be on point and silence the crowd. Manuel has played in tough road environments before despite being the No.1 guy just this year. He has a 67.23 completion percentage through three weeks, which will be crucial in moving the ball down the field.
The other side of the coin has Clint Trickett's face on it. A redshirt freshman who came in for Manuel last week and almost rescued the game in heroic fashion versus the Sooners, the lanky backup quarterback has all the ingredients needed to be successful on the road.
A week after being thrown in the fire to face the No.1 team in the country and asked to make a historic comeback, he might get his first start of his career. Trickett went seven of 15 and threw for 134 yards during his cameo appearance last week. He threw one touchdown pass—on third and 28—and one interception last week.
The Clemson Tigers have allowed an average of 419 yards per game versus three opponents this year. That includes not only playing the Auburn Tigers last week but Wofford and Troy the two weeks prior.
Imagine what an angry Noles team could put up versus that defense, with Manuel or Trickett.