By Lee Lance.
Okay class, today’s Monday Morning Quarterback will be a short one. Why? Well because we don’t really have much second guessing to do of the players or the coaching staff after Saturday’s game.
Okay, so maybe there are a few things that might warrant some discussion, it’s just hard to do so seeing how we still don’t really know much about this years team.
On top of that, it is hard to question much without sounding a little nit-picky after a 58-21 win by the Tigers.
Wait, does that score say 21? As in, the Tigers gave up 21 points to the Blue Hose? The 21 points is the most the Tigers have ever given up against Presbyterian. Well I guess we have our first item to “nitpick”.
How in the world does a team like Presbyterian score 21 points against a defense as talented, or so we’ve been told, as the one Clemson is fielding this year?
Well, for starters, it was against the back-up, check that, third and fourth teams that they scored. Much of the Clemson starting defensive unit was out after 20 minutes of play.
Does that make you feel better? Well, it might, but in reality it shouldn’t.
Sure, the Blue Hose didn’t cross mid field until midway through the third quarter, and sure, lots of the guys that played late were young, inexperienced players. But come on, those guys from PC had been playing the whole game, against a much bigger, much faster team, shouldn’t they have been too tired to score three touchdowns on the Tigers in just over one quarter? In my estimation, absolutely.
I don’t care how deep the Tigers went into their bench, and how early they did it, there is no excuse for giving up almost 300 yards to the Blue Hose, much less letting them convert 7-17 on third down.
Was the game ever in doubt? Not in the least. But again, we aren’t worried about how the Tigers “could” have lost to the Blue Hose, but rather how some things that we have seen WILL lead to losses later in the season if not corrected soon.
If nothing changes with the team’s and/or defensive coach’s performance before next Saturday, this game could get real ugly, real fast in favor of the wrong Tigers.
There were plenty of positives from Saturday’s win, but again you can’t read too much into the positives either. Kyle Parker had a strong performance Saturday and showed that he is back in midseason form.
Dwayne Allen gave us a look at how dominate he can be at tight end. The offensive play calling was interesting Saturday as coach Napier stayed away from the run for the most part with the first team and focused on the passing game. Could that have been to help open up the run against Auburn?
The Tigers could have scored 100 against the Blue Hose if they had wanted to. Instead the staff focused on getting valuable playing time for the younger players. Clemson played 77 players on the day and 56 in the first quarter. This should allow the coaches to help some of the younger players improve more quickly now that they have significant game experience and film to review.
Did anyone else enjoy seeing Rod McDowell rush for 86 yards on only nine carries and show some Spiller moves in the process? Hot Rod had so many moves and cutbacks that he probably ran 300 yards to get those 86. The future is bright for Rod and the stable of running backs is very strong for the next few years.
How in the world does Virginia Tech lose to James Madison? Are you kidding me? Some thought the Hokies had an outside shot to play in the BCS national championship game. Not this year.
The Noles are back, not this year. After Saturday’s embarassing loss to Oklahoma that trip to Florida State certainly looks a lot better for the Tigers. The defense showed many of the same problems from last year Saturday for the Noles and Christian Ponder is no Heisman candidate.