Clemson had to grit out a win at Auburn in Week 1. Auburn's defense was good, Clemson's late-game decision making was not and Dabo Swinney's team needed, on the whole, to work really hard not to start the year 0-1.
That probably won't be the case when Troy visits Memorial Stadium on Saturday. The Trojans have plenty of energy and look on the upswing, but they're not yet the sort of mid-major that can probably give a blue blood a serious run for its money. On Saturday, a few Trojan touchdowns and staying within a massive point spread will have to do. But who knows? This sport is sometimes unpredictable.
Clemson only scored 19 points last week, but at least one deeply encouraging thing happened in the Tigers' offense. Receiver Mike Williams played his first game since suffering a neck fracture almost exactly a year earlier, and he had nine catches for 174 yards. The more Williams settles back in with Deshaun Watson, the better Clemson's offense will be. The Tigers shouldn't be in much more danger until Louisville visits on Oct. 1, so a lot of this is just about getting comfortable.
How to watch, stream and listen
TV: 12:30 p.m. ET, RSN/ACC Network. The broadcasters are Tom Werme (play-by-play), Dave Archer (analyst) and Roddy Jones (sideline).
Online streaming: WatchESPN
Spread: Clemson opened as a 34-point favorite.
Three big things to know
1. Some reps for Clemson's backups? Watson is brilliant, and he'll play every meaningful down when he's healthy. A non-power home game might be a chance for Dabo Swinney to get some snaps to one of his co-backups, senior Nick Schuessler and sophomore Kelly Bryant. In the hopefully-never-gonna-happen event that Watson gets hurt, it'll be good to have some experience under someone else's belt.
2. Troy's just trying to grow. The Trojans were 3-9 in 2014, Larry Blakeney's last year. Neal Brown improved by one win last year and there's some real life here. Troy has a bunch of tough games on its schedule and won't likely win this one, but it'd be a good look to at least make Clemson work for a little while.
3. Clemson's won 16 in a row at home. That's quite a run, only behind Florida State's 21 wins in a row at Doak Campbell Stadium. As it happens, Clemson probably gets a chance to end that on Oct. 29.