Monday, November 12, 2012

Clemson Football, 9-1

I've hesitated about writing about Clemson football this year because in my 10 years as a Clemson fan there has always been a catch.


Clemson is sitting just outside the top 10 nationally, and while I think it's a little bit inflated, I think it's about right.  I love Clemson, but they're not a top ten team...yet.  They've made huge strides in the past few years, and they're closer, but they're not quite not there.
The attitude of the team is changing.  They're hungry and confident.  They haven't freaked out when they've gotten behind, or when individuals have had less than perfect games.  In those cases, the rest of the team has stepped up and made plays.  They've gotten the job done.


Clemson has also kept their focus when a win appeared to be in the bag.  This weekend vs Maryland I loved seeing the second string guys in the game and making plays.  To me that reflects the attitude, hunger, and the beginning of some depth to the team.

One thing I remember about the glory days of Tennessee football, the Peyton Manning era in the 90's, was that they were so deep, that most individuals only had one or two years as a starter.  The teams were so strong that you had to work hard to earn your playing time.  When you got the ball, you had to make the most of each possession to get noticed and hold your spot.  That competition made for some exciting years of football, and I think Clemson is getting there.


I was not Brent Venables biggest fan through the first part of the season, and I think it was mainly Chad Morris's fault.  When 'The Chad' came in as Offensive Coordinator, it was like someone waved a magic wand and put some fight in their eyes.  They made big changes, and with that came some big plays.  When Brent Venables' defense stepped on the field for the first time this year, there was no evidence of a magic wand.  There were a lot of mistakes, and the same missed tackles & blown coverage that Clemson fans see too often.  Yes Chad Morris is a badass, and he did amazing things in his first spring at Clemson, but he had a few things that Brent Venables didn't have...namely huge play makers like Sammy Watkins, Andre Ellington, Tajh Boyd and D'Andre Hopkins.


What I like about Brent Venables is that he didn't coddle the defense early in the season.  He called out the mistakes, and said these are the things we need to do better.  He coached the guys how to do better, and they have.  They're still not perfect, but they're better.


One thing I love about Dabo Sweeney is that he is hiring coaches.  His hires have great minds for developing schemes who seem to have a vested interest in teaching their players.  Even from the outside, you can tell that the coaches lay out a path to success for their players, and they coach them on how to get there.  They give the players the tools make success obtainable, and they hold the players accountable. They have changed the attitude of the players, the administration, and have won a lot of fans in the process.


So yeah, Clemson is not a top ten team today, but they're getting there, and might be by the end of the season.  South Carolina will be tough, but it's going to be a really good game that I'm excited to go to Clemson for.  After that emotional win or loss, maintaining focus through a bowl game will be a challenge.  That's the next step for Clemson.  To be a top 10 team, Clemson has to conquer focus, consistency, and intensity every play of the season.


  1. Hope they finish our strong with a BIG win over South Carolina, CLEMSON UP!

    Hope you have a great Thanksgiving

  2. You going to the Chick Fil A Bowl?

    1. Hey Phats, I'm probably not going to the bowl game. A friend always has a party, and I'm saving up for another trip in January (hopefully!) It's going to be a good game, and I'm going to try and watch it with some LSU fans :)

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