Kyle Field might be the biggest task of them all
There is a simple reason why second-ranked Clemson has won 14 of its last 15 home games since 2015.
“The same things that win at home, win on the road,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said Tuesday. “It’s not any different. You take care of the ball. You physically win your match ups. You play with unbelievable effort. Your playmakers make plays. You’re sound in the kicking game. Then you’ve got a great chance to win.”
No one has been stronger in road games than the Tigers (1-0) the previous three seasons. Not only have they won, but they have won with relative ease.
Last year, they beat No. 14 Louisville by 26 points on the road. Then they beat No. 12 Virginia Tech by 14 points and beat rival South Carolina by 24 points in Columbia. They also beat No. 20 NC State by seven points in Raleigh.
“When you go on the road, that’s what I’ve tried to instill in our program here,” Swinney said. “How come all of sudden you’re not going to play well on the road. Fans don’t play. They can yell and be loud and that’s great, but what does that have to do with doing your job. You can either do your job or you can’t.”
The fans at Kyle Field at College Station, Texas might not be able to play when the Tigers visit their Texas A&M Aggies on Saturday, but they will be loud. More than 102,000 fans will pile into the stadium, including the 12th Man, one of the oldest and proudest traditions in college football.
“I don’t think there are any new challenges that we are facing this week,” right tackle Tremayne Anchrum said. “We are tried and true. We’ve been through the ringer with loud teams with big crowds and giant atmospheres. I think all we need to do this week is be who we are.”
What Clemson is, is a group of road warriors. Saturday will mark the 10th time in the last 11 road games they have played in primetime. They have won nine of the previous 10 games.
Four times in the last two years, ESPN’s College Game Day came into town with the Tigers. Clemson won all four games.
Going to Texas A&M on Saturday is almost like having another season-opener.
“It will be a different kind of opener,” Anchrum said. There’s not much film you can go off of. They’re definitely kind of a new team considering all the new pieces they have. You still have to look at the old personnel, but you have to look at where the coach came from. What kind of systems do they run? What kind of schemes? So you definitely have to do your due diligence on the film. They present a new set of challenges, but again nothing that we haven’t faced before.”
Clemson at Texas A&M kicks off on Saturday at 7 p.m., and will be televised by ESPN.