A few more thoughts on Saturday's romp over the Tigers...
- Take a quick scan of the Clemson blogs and message boards and you'll see lots of excuses and lame appeals to the Tigers superior overall record; in other words, a general inability to accept the facts here, which are that Saturday's win was a rout. However, our friend at Shakin the Southland took a more insightful tack in his informative wrap up. If I were a Tigers fan, I'd probably be most unhappy about what STS had to say here: "Apparently Billy doesn't have the address to this blog, because we have consistently professed how to beat South Carolina's defense--RUN THE BALL BETWEEN THE TACKLES." STS is right here. I was extremely surprised that Clemson gave up on downfield running so quickly in this game. I mean, seriously, when you're playing a team with great defensive speed but a soft middle, you don't run more reverses and end arounds than ISOs and dives. Clemson, though, gave up on what should have been their bread and butter against us. Tigers fans can thank their coaching staff for panicking and playing right into our hands.
- I'll also have to say that Dabo's choice to engage in excuse making--especially when his excuse is that his Heisman contender had an upset tummy--was quite surprising. Dabo has been, so far, a leader for Clemson, not an excuse-maker. Weak move on his part, IMO.
- In a related vein, you can't deny that Dabo has done a good job this year, loss to Carolina aside. Anytime a first year coach takes his team to the conference championship game would have to be considered a success. However, next year will be a tougher test for Dabo, as he loses nearly all of his offensive firepower, including C.J. Spiller, Michael Palmer, and Jacoby Ford. Kyle Parker may also opt for a pro baseball career. While you have to give Dabo some credit, you also have to admit that the stars were aligned for him this year; he had an experienced football team in a weak division. Next year might not be so easy.
- On the opposite end of the coaching matchup, give Steve Spurrier credit for what he did in this game. After weeks of criticism and questions about coaching duties, Spurrier dialed up a winning game plan. I'm very impressed. That kind of performance is what we brought the guy here for.
- We definitely benefitted from turnovers in this game. Not only were our first two forced turnovers game changers in every sense of the term, but we also managed to dodge a couple of bullets, one on a fumble that I was sure Clemson had recovered. Luck wasn't the only factor in a game in which we whipped the Tigers in the trenches, but it played a part. I'll take it, though.
- Officiating was garbage. I'll buy the announcers' explanation of the supposed fair catch signal, but I'm not going to give the officials a pass for not calling a PF on the hit that took Kenny Miles out of the game. There were also some missed interference calls, which I guess is only fitting in this series. We also got away with a couple, including when Stephen Garcia tripped McDaniel. Funny, but should have been a flag, especially in a series known for violence.
- The TV coverage was also pretty bush league. How many plays did we miss because of commercials?
Well, that's a wrap on this glorious win. Actually, I guess it's not a wrap, because we'll have this one to crow to our orange-clad brethren about for at least a year. Go 'Cocks!
I'll be back tomorrow with some thoughts on our bowl situation.