What Have You Done For Me Lately ?

By: Neil Burnett Contributor

Editorial Opinion

Isn’t it amazing how through week 4, everyone and their brother, even that clown Paul Finebaum, were singing Clemson praises? They couldn’t get enough of Dabo Swinney, Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, etc etc etc. All it took was one close game against a team Vegas said was a 27 point underdog, an unranked team that had no business being on the same field. UNC had wins over an SEC team (albeit one of the worst ones) and a Miami team what is supposed to be improved. It was a game against a long time friend and also a National Championship coach during his Texas Longhorn years.

One close game was all it took for 99% of the football media to suddenly label Clemson as overrated, not worthy of the playoffs. If it was said once, it was said 100 times. “Clemson is simply better than every one else.” Now, they aren’t, all of a sudden. Anyone who watched the game against UNC could see the team did not seem focused. The crowd played a huge part in the penalties. Procedure penalties and false starts can be drive killers, and in Clemson’s instance against UNC, they certainly had an effect. Still, having said that, Clemson’s offense just did not really hit stride. The fumble by Etienne in the 2nd quarter turned the momentum around and UNC drove in to even up the game and the half ended 14-14. The 3rd quarter yielded nothing but punts on each side. Clemson honestly looked like they were tired. UNC was a motivated team, and Mack Brown found a way to make his team forget about Wake Forest and Appalachian State. The #1 team was in town and that was enough to motivate his team. After Clemson went ahead on a Lawrence to Tee Higgins touchdown pass of 38 yards, it seemed like the crowd was out of the game. That was not the case. The UNC drove the ball 75 yards using 16 plays and once again, the Clemson defense was looking tired. A timeout was called, the defense huddled, and came up with right call to thwart the UNC 2-point conversion. Ball game.

This weekend, the team comes back home and will take on Florida State, who according to Vegas, is a 24.5 underdog. Hold on a second. “Clemson is overrated, unworthy of the playoffs, and simply doesn’t have what it takes.” This is what they want you to believe. Florida State is coming off a 31-13 victory over NC State. In the past, when State was a talented team, this might have meant something. NC State has 3 wins against East Carolina, Western Carolina, and Ball State, with losses to West Virginia and Florida State. My guess is that this coaching staff and these players are not happy with their game against UNC, although they came away with a road win against a very determined UNC team. The game against FSU this weekend is the inevitable “statement game” when everything comes together. The Tigers had a bye week to make corrections and being in front of the home crowd is just what this team needs. The defensive game plan is “stop Akers”. The offensive game plan is “attack attack attack”. The media is going to “media”. Clemson is going to Clemson. Let’s do this, Clemson.

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