On ESPN’s Get Up show Monday morning, there was a discussion about third-ranked Clemson’s 10-3 loss to No. 5 Georgia on Saturday in Charlotte, and ESPN college football and NFL analyst Marcus Spears weighed in on whether this is the beginning of the end for Clemson football.
“I hope the window has not closed, but it’s looking like it,” Spears said.
Spears, a former NFL defensive end and first-round draft pick out of LSU, says Clemson’s loss to Georgia proved the Tigers’ offense must evolve to compete with the best programs in college football.
“This is not just about recruiting. Dabo and that staff are still going to recruit at a high level,” Spears said. “But there needs to be some evolution, especially with this offense.”
Spears added he thinks Dabo Swinney is at the point now where he needs to do like Nick Saban did when he hired Lane Kiffin to be his offensive coordinator at Alabama in 2014 in order to get ahead of the game from an offensive standpoint.
“I remember sitting there at SEC Network when Nick Saban hired Lane Kiffin,” Spears said. “That was a line of demarcation, because Nick Saban decided I need to have the ability to put up 50 points a game, and that was the evolution that they made. And right now, the Clemson offense looks anemic. It looks too dependent on stars as opposed to schematically being able to get some things going. When you look at that Georgia game – and we all expected Georgia’s defense to be really good – but when you look at what Clemson was doing, it was so predictable and it was so Clemson for the last five, six years that we’ve seen. But in that time, you had Deshaun Watson, you had Trevor Lawrence, you had Travis Etienne, you had Higgins, you had all of these players that could overcome that. They are beyond that point now.
“If you don’t figure out that next wave – and the bottom line is, that is what has made Nick Saban, Nick Saban – I’m going to be a year and a half, two years ahead of where everybody is because I see it faster than everybody, and I think Dabo is at that point now.”
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