In the last six weeks, Clemson has done some things that have not been seen in college football in a long, long time. The Tigers have put up numbers that have never been seen in the ACC.
In a word, the Tigers have been “dominant.”
Clemson has averaged 52.5 points and 590.7 yards per game the last six weeks, while becoming the first college football team since 1972 to beat four consecutive opponents by 45 or more points. No ACC team has ever done it.
The Tigers (11-0, 8-0 ACC) outscored Florida State, Louisville, Boston College, Wofford, NC State and Wake Forest by a combined score of 315-58 in the process. They have allowed just 9.7 points and 224.0 yards per game during its six-week stretch.
With the way Clemson is playing, it is easy to think they might have wanted to keep playing instead of having a rare second bye week, and in front of their annual clash with rival South Carolina on Nov. 30 at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia.
“I love the fact that we got a little bit of a break,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “These guys have been grinding and they certainly deserve it. It would not matter if we were playing this week or next week or in two weeks, we are going to be ready to play.”
It’s rare for Clemson to have a break the week before their annual matchup with the rival Gamecocks. The last time it happened was in 2006.
“I am excited for a week off,” quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “In high school I hated open weeks. I just wanted to keep playing, but I think, when you get to college it is a little harder on your body every week and the season is longer. So, I enjoy the week off a little bit more.
“We are definitely where we want to be. We are playing well, and we are playing as a team and we have gotten better every week, so we are happy about that. I think it will be good for us just to have a week off, get everyone healthy and get ready for this last little run.”
Because of the way the calendar falls, the Tigers will have to play things a little different this year in the post-season as opposed to the last several years. After the South Carolina game, they will play in the ACC Championship game in Charlotte on Dec. 7.
Then, depending on if they take down the Gamecocks and win the ACC title, as expected, they would have just three weeks to prepare for the College Football Playoff. The CFP Semifinals will be played on Dec. 28 in Arizona and in Atlanta.
“We have a little more time right now, but we are going to have less time after the ACC Championship Game to get ready for the playoff if we are able to win the league and all of that,” Swinney said. “If you don’t win the league then you make the adjustment to whatever comes out.
“So, it is fine. Like I said, it is what it is, but we have a lot of experience in managing the post-season, fortunately.”
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