The overarching theme surrounding the Clemson offense this season has been the lack of confidence with the loss of strong vocal leader Trevor Lawrence and explosive running back Travis Etienne.
Positions are up for grabs each week as injuries accumulate, forcing the Tigers to reach deeper into their depth chart. But this seemingly absent confidence found its way to the surface in Saturday’s 30-24 victory at Louisville, as the Tigers were able to shift the momentum in their favor at times when the Cardinals thought they had the game.
Talking to the media on Monday, junior tight end Davis Allen reflected on the unshakeable belief this team has and its determination to win with all odds against them.
“I think there’s a really huge appreciation for winning,” Allen said. “A lot of people have been accustomed to just us rolling through people. This game is a hard game to play and it’s not always easy to win, so there’s a huge appreciation for just all the work that goes into each week, every day. We’re learning a lot of lessons here, there’s a lot of life lessons going on, which is cool to see honestly. There’s a huge appreciation just for the entire process and winning.”
After Clemson’s most recent loss to Pittsburgh, offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said many guys are afraid to make mistakes, and as a result, overthinking their game.
Although this has been a consistent pattern, Allen argues that this past week, guys played free.
“Guys are having fun for sure,” he said. “A lot of hard work has been put into trying to figure out all the issues that we’ve been trying to correct. Coach Elliott and Coach (Dabo) Swinney preached that they just wanted to see an offense with confidence. I think we’re getting that confidence back and we’ve got some momentum going. Guys were trying to play loose and trying to have fun.’’
On the learning experience this season has offered him, Allen says that some of the lessons he’s taken away have taught him about the bigger picture beyond football.
“This has definitely been the toughest year I’ve ever been a part of,” Allen said. “But I’ve probably learned the most as a football player, and even as a person just with all the adversity. You find out a lot about yourself when adversity hits. We’re going through a storm right now, but there’s going to be a lot worse storms in life once we’re done with football. I wouldn’t trade this season for anything.”
With three games left in the regular season, Clemson (6-3, 5-2 ACC) hopes to turn things around and make a seventh consecutive appearance in Charlotte for the ACC Championship.
“It’s a heck of a story for sure. We’re trying to have the greatest finish in college football history right now,” Allen said. “You can’t worry about the dead yesterdays and the unborn tomorrow, you just have to worry about right now. A lot of people wrote us off, but we stuck together. We knew at the beginning when we were going through all this that it was going to be hard to get back to Charlotte, but we never folded and we never flinched. If we show up in Charlotte, we’re not surprised, and if we are, shame on us.”
Clemson Variety & Frame is doing their part to help bring you some classic new barware and help one of the local businesses that helps make Clemson special.
Order your Nick’s barware and do your part to help. #SaveNicks