With eyes on the most important game on the schedule, here is our Five for Friday…
1. This will be a balancing-act game for Clemson. It is no secret that Chad Morris and Dabo Swinney have been dissatisfied with the offense’s execution over the past two games. Conventional wisdom suggests the plan is to make a statement against Wake Forest on Saturday.
But take a look at the key players missing from this football team due to injury. Charone Peake is out. Gifford Timothy is out. Isaiah Battle is suspended. Martavis Bryant is partially suspended. David Beasley should play but has been hobbled by an ankle injury.
That’s a long list of game-action injuries within the season’s first month. I wonder if the absence of such a wide array of key players grounds this offense a bit more than fans might like to see this week.
2. Tajh Boyd needs to have fun again. Boyd is normally the epitome of calm, cool, and collected. But he appears to be a little bit antsy right now, and some of his statements seem to support that premise.
He said earlier this week he needs to get back to having fun playing football with this Clemson team. It is my belief that the Heisman hoopla and pressures of an undefeated season have combined to put a little weight on Boyd’s shoulders. Plus, we forget sometimes these guys have to go to classes and at least pretend to be college students every once in a while.
3. There’s really no way to sugarcoat the problems at the two Techs. Neither team was very impressive in last night’s game, and both teams looked like they had the weaknesses we assumed they had coming into the year.
Virginia Tech’s defense is really dragged down by Logan Thomas and that offense, which is putrid and awful to watch. Similarly, Georgia Tech struggled to move the football against the first high-caliber defense it saw this season. Neither team looks ready to contend in a Coastal Division that features Miami, the Yellow Jackets’ next opponent.
4. R.I.P., college football video games. Okay, maybe this is only a temporary move. But EA Sports’ decision not to renew its college football franchise due to the ongoing litigation related to the use of player likenesses.
I spend a lot of time with the NCAA Football series each year. I stay connected with friends by playing games and going through online dynasties. This is the sixth year I have been a part of an online league with my college friends, and I will certainly miss that element of the game.
Yesterday was a sad day for hardcore gamers who look forward to the second Tuesday in July every year, when the new college football game is released. Hopefully, something will work in our favor, and some sort of product will be rolled out again in 2015.
5. Enjoy the Homecoming festivities. Almost lost in the shuffle this week, Homecoming is always a special event at Clemson. For some reason, it seems to be more of an afterthought this year. Maybe it’s the expectations for the football team, maybe it’s the September date on the calendar, or maybe it’s that I’m not a student on campus during Homecoming for the first time since 2006.
Whatever the reason, it is definitely a great chance for students and alumni to gather, celebrate, and reminisce. I can guarantee you that’s what I’ll be doing before and after the game this weekend. I hope you get a chance to do the same.