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Wednesday's Thoughts

We’re about to find out just how good Tigers are, or not

The week has settled in and we are three days away from discovering just how good this year’s Clemson Tigers can be.

Clemson moved up to No. 3 in the latest Amway Coaches poll on Tuesday, but we really don’t anything more about the Tigers than we did this time last week. Sure Clemson dispatched Kent State in fine fashion last Saturday in the season opener, but didn’t we expect that.

Granted, quarterback Kelly Bryant, the four running backs and the new wide receivers all looked good, but they were playing Kent State. So what do we really know?

There are even questions about Clemson’s defense that we don’t anything about, especially the secondary thanks to Kent State throwing just five passes all afternoon.

In three days, we will all know more because No. 13 Auburn is going to be a challenge. The SEC Tigers have a quarterback who can challenge Clemson’s young secondary vertically. They have a running game that might be the best Clemson will see all season and they have a defense that returns one of the best front sevens in the country.

In other words, Auburn is a good football team and the ACC’s Tigers will have to play their best to win on Saturday night in Death Valley.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying I don’t think Clemson will be up to the challenge because let’s face it Clemson is as talented as any team out there. There’s a reason why it won the national championship last year.

But there are so many unknowns surrounding this team right now that it’s hard to say it can do this and do that. Though Clemson has played in a lot of big games in the last three years, there will be a lot of players on the field on Saturday that did not play in a single one of those games.

Bryant has never played in a game like this before. How will he respond? A lot of the Tigers’ backup wide receivers have never played in a game of this magnitude, how will they respond?

There are just too many unknowns for us to know what we can expect?

However, what we do know is this. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and most of the coaches on his staff have been here before. They know how to get their team prepared to play and they know how to put them in the right positions to be successful on the football field.

But when the lights turn on and the Tigers charge down that hill and into Death Valley on Saturday night, they are on their own. And from that point on, none of us really know what is going to happen.

I do know this, though. It’s going to be fun finding out.

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