Look out, here they come again
Look out College Football, here comes Clemson.
It is that time of the year when the second-ranked Tigers are playing their best. Since its double-overtime loss to Notre Fame on Nov. 7, Clemson has been on a roll.
The Tigers (10-1) have won their last three games by an average of 31.3 points, including a 34-10 victory over No. 4 Notre Dame in last Saturday’s ACC Championship Game. And now with the College Football Playoff eight days away, Clemson has seemingly settled in for its traditional postseason run.
“It’s just that we’re playing and trending in the right direction,” quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. “We’re playing our best football, and our best football is still ahead. I think that’s the biggest thing at this point in the year.”
Since Lawrence came back after missing two games due to his positive test result for the coronavirus, plus with regular starters on defense being back in linebackers James Skalski and Mike Jones, as well as defensive tackle Tyler Davis, Clemson hammered Pitt, Virginia Tech, and the Irish.
In all three games, the Tigers controlled the lines of scrimmage. After posting just one 200-yard rushing performance in the first nine games, they have now had back-to-back 200-yard days, including 219 yards against Notre Dame, who came into the championship game allowing less than 100 yards per game on the ground.
On the flip side, Clemson held the Irish to 44 rushing yards, their lowest of the season, while controlling the line of scrimmage and getting after both Pitt and Virginia Tech. The Panthers, Hokies and Irish combined to average just 63.6 yards per game on the ground and just 1.9 yards per carry.
The Tigers also got after the quarterback, as the defense register 14 total sacks in the three games combined.
As it gets set to play No. 3 Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day, no one in the country is playing better than Clemson at the moment, on offense, defense, or special teams.
“We see a lot of teams start off really well, then just sort of fall off at the end of the season,” Lawrence said. “That’s what we pride ourselves on by from starting, playing, and finishing well. That’s just something that takes work.
“You have to work every day, not taking anyone lightly, but I mean every game is a statement because it’s another chance for people to see us play. We are what we play like. You know, what you see on tape is who we are. So, going out there with the right mindset, and definitely whoever we play with, we try to make a statement.”
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