Wednesday, September 18, 2013

CLAWS vs. PAWS - Week 4

Weekend of September 21, 2013


If this were a normal year I would have this circled as a stub your toe game for Clemson, but the Tiggers are still leading a charmed life right now and State’s QB is out.  Basically, the Klimpletons are down to 2 meaningful games on the slate for this year.  The good news for them is that thanks to getting Jawja at home where their QB always falters, and catching LSU napping in the Peach the whole world is drinking the orange kool-aid. 
The wake-up call will have to come later to end that fantasy, but for this week it will live on.  Tajh Boyd will get to talk about himself in the third person a lot and Dabo the crazy will continue to hop around like a jack-rabbit on steroids. 
State will try and make a nice showing early and maybe even capture an early lead.  But Sammy is probably on coke instead of pot right now to make sure he is extra-fast.  Too much South Florida purchased talent from the Tiggers spells a big number on the board when this one is complete.

Clemson 44
NC State 20


When Clemson travels to Raleigh for their Thursday night ACC opener, Clemson will be battling a number of foes.  First, and foremost, Clemson will do business with the Wolfpack.  Secondly, they must battle themselves.  Many of this week's questions have centered on the 2011 game, where a Top 10 Clemson team laid an absolute egg.  More than a few of these players were on that, and they're having to relive that game.  Thirdly, Clemson will be battling the national media.  The term "Clemsoning" or "Pulling a Clemson" was coined a few years ago and the Tigers opening weekend and fast start has only added fuel to the fire as the world waits for Clemson to do something every other team in college football does - lose.

And with all this negativity, a perfect storm seems to be brewing over Raleigh.  Throw in the fact that NC State plays really well at Carter-Finley, they have a history of pulling upsets (the last ranked team to play at CF was also ranked #3 - and left with an L), and the locals are getting behind the team; and you can see why some people may be worried.

But Clemson catches a break by playing NC State so early in the season.  They have a new coach, injured QB, and lack of confidence stemming for their narrow escape over Richmond.  Meanwhile, Clemson comes in with dreams of Pasadena and riding the momentum of the Georgia win.

If Clemson can find an offensive rhythm early, this game could be over by halftime.  If the Clemson defense can control the line of scrimmage and make some stops, this game could put Boyd, Watkins, & Co. back atop the Heisman polls.  If Clemson can take the crowd out of the game, the SEC booth may be forced to praise a non-SEC team.  If Clemson gets a few turnovers, a really special season begins to take shape.

If Clemson doesn't do those things.  If they don't find a rhythm, if they don't get stops, if they get owned at the line of scrimmage, if they give the ball up rather than take, if they keep the crowd alive, then 2011 is very capable of happening again.  And we will need to learn to deal with the cliché "Pulling a Clemson".

But don't worry about the latter, as Clemson comes out focused and ready to fulfill their dreams.  They are aggressive on offense and attack on defense.  They set the tone early and continue to pile up big numbers, and the nation takes notice.

This year's Textile Bowl goes the way of the orange.  And big.

Orange Textiles 44
Red Textiles 20



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