TCI was on the sidelines for all of the action at BB&T Field on Saturday. Time to share our thoughts from the sidelines.
No Quit in 2010 Tigers
It would have been easy for the Tigers to come out and play to the level of their competition on Saturday after most of their goals evaporated with the last second 55 yard field goal at Florida State. Coach Swinney has talked all year about how there is no quit in this team and they showed that again Saturday afternoon at BB&T Field.
As soon as the Tigers got off the bus and walked onto the field you could tell they were focused on the task at hand. The leadership on this team is very strong. You have to give credit to the seniors and other leaders on this team as well as the coaching staff for having the Tigers ready to play. It would have been very easy to look ahead to South Carolina.
A+ to Tiger Fans
Going up to Winston-Salem I wondered if Clemson would bring as many fans as they normally do to Wake Forest. On a nice warm late November Saturday many could have found something else to do that to travel to see a 5-5 Clemson team play Wake Forest.
Once again Clemson fans showed why they are so special. I would estimate six or seven thousand Clemson fans were in the stadium Saturday afternoon to support the Tigers. It was a great show of support for a team that continues to leave it all on the field each game.
Rob Spence Offense
For times it looked Saturday like Rob Spence was back calling the plays for the Tigers. Clemson went with the screen plays all day long against the Deacs. The good news is they were very successful.
The staff obviously saw something in the Deacons defense that caused them to call so many screens, but that allowed the Tigers to move the ball through the air with ease and built the continued to build the confidence of the young receivers.
Harper the Workhorse
Jamie Harper had another outstanding game for the Tigers. 24 carries for 142 yards and a 5.9 yards per carry is impressive regardless of the opponent. It wasn’t always pretty, but it got the job done.
Over the past three weeks the fans have seen why the staff has been so high on Jamie. The confidence Jamie has gained the past few weeks should really help his game as he heads into his senior year. The Tigers will be absolutely loaded at running back next season if Lane and Bellamy stick to their commitments.
Another strong performance will be needed next Saturday if the Tigers are to beat the Gamecocks.
Defense Wins Championship?
We have all heard how defense wins championships. Well not this year. The 2010 Clemson defense is as good as the Tigers have had since the early 90’s yet the Tigers sit at 4-4 and behind Boston College at 5th in the ACC Atlantic standings.
Kudos to coach Steele for the performance of the defense this season. They had some growing pains in the secondary in the early games, but the last six games have been outstanding.
Clemson’s defensive line is absolutely dominant right now. South Carolina will not have faced as good of a defense when they travel to Death Valley on Saturday.
One thing I watched carefully Saturday was the linebacker play. The young linebackers are definitely improving, but still have some work to do. The coverage by the linebackers was much better Saturday.
Good Win, But It Was Wake Forest
Don’t read too much into the victory over the Deacons. Wake Forest is a young football team and they are simply not very good right now. They have played better and home and it was senior day so the victory was about as good as Clemson could have hoped.
The win was the biggest for the Tigers at Wake Forest since 1978.
Staff Already Working South Carolina
It was clear in coach Steele’s postgame comments that he has already been thinking a lot about the matchup with South Carolina. Don’t be surprised if coach Steele has a few tricks up his sleeve for South Carolina. He is from the Palmetto state and knows how much this game means, especially this season.
Coach Swinney also mentioned South Carolina in his press conference following the victory. A win over South Carolina would go a long way in improving the memories of the 2010 season for Tiger Nation. The staff is well aware of this and they will be burning the midnight oil this week to see if the Tigers can pull the upset.