Final weekend thoughts


by - Senior Writer -
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Saturday was a dream day for college football fans, and especially Clemson fans that got to sit at home and watch many of the day’s great games in the comfort of their own home.

The Tigers played up in Winston-Salem Thursday night and came away with a 42-13 win over Wake Forest, enabling Clemson fans [and the media covering the Tigers] a second Saturday off in three weeks.

Coming out of the game, I had some thoughts about the Tigers and the game, and watching football all day Saturday added a few more.

First off, let me say how saddened I was to see South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore suffer an injury to his right leg in the Gamecocks’ thrilling 38-35 win over Tennessee. As soon as Lattimore went down, you could tell it wasn’t good, and it was touching to see the players and coaches from both teams gather around Lattimore as he was carted off the field.

However, that doesn’t take away from the fact that Lattimore’s career may be in jeopardy, and I hate to see that happen. I know how hard he worked to get back after tearing ligaments in his left knee last season, and to suffer a second injury in the span of a year has to be devastating.

I covered Lattimore when he was at Byrnes and I was working for the Greenville News, and I always enjoyed my conversations with him and his family. He’s a classy kid and a tough competitor, and my thoughts go out to him and his family.

Get well soon, Marcus. Football is better with No. 21 out on the field.

*Night games – Clemson fans beg for a night game, especially after Clemson SID Tim Bourret threw out the stat this week that Clemson has played 17 night games on the road in the past five years, and have had only three night games at home. Next week, Clemson plays at night on the road at Duke, and many Clemson fans wondered if the Tigers had a shot at a night game with the remaining home schedule. I wondered if there would be a shot with N.C. State and maybe even an outside shot with Maryland, but after both of those schools lost Saturday, that looks to be down the drain. However, I would guess that the game against South Carolina would be a night game, especially if both teams keep winning. A 10-1 Clemson team against a 9-2 South Carolina team might be too good to pass up.

*Rambling Wreck – In case you missed it, Georgia Tech got drilled at home – on Homecoming no less – by BYU Saturday afternoon. The Jackets are now 3-5, and look like an absolute wreck, pardon the pun. The Jackets have given up an average of 39.8 points in the five losses, and when you have an offense that is not exactly designed for coming from behind, it’s not a good combination.

As for their three wins – the opponents have Sagarin ratings of 241 [Presbyterian], 105 [Virginia] and 104 [Boston College]. I watched part of their game against BYU, and it reinforced what I though after watching them play against Clemson – it’s gonna take more than a change at defensive coordinator for them to change things around, it’s gonna take some solid recruiting classes and won’t be an easy fix.

*Wake Forest – We got to BB&T Field fairly early for the game against Wake, and noticed that black and gold pom poms had been put at each and every seat in the stadium. As it turned out, thousands of those then had to be picked up as entire sections of the stands were empty.

Even the student section was sparse, something you wouldn’t expect when school is in session. The announced crowd was a little over 31,000, but that wasn’t even close. You would think there would be better attendance considering Wake still had a winning record at the time, it was a primetime Thursday night game and the Deacs were hosting a Top 25 team.

All in all, it was a really, really poor showing by Wake Forest.

Also, there was a kind of funny moment after the game. The Clemson interviews were done outside of the Clemson locker room, and the media had to wait for the Tiger players and coaches by the buses. Wake Forest had hosted a bunch of recruits for the game, and they were led down to the field after the game.

Many of the recruits hung around where we were standing, and a few of them came up to Clemson quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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and wide receiver Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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to ask for autographs. Nothing like an impromptu autograph signing on the road, for recruits that were guests of the home team.

*It was good to see former Clemson defensive tackle Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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on the sidelines before the game. I spoke with Thompson about his season, playing in the NFL and what it was like. He said that playing in the NFL is fun, but nothing compares to playing in college. He said he misses his days in Death Valley.

Thompson was also sporting a particularly nice watch, and I remarked that it would make a great birthday gift for me. He laughed, and said the watch was actually a birthday present for him, given to him recently by Bengal teammate Devin Still. For the record, Crump has never given me a watch.

*While we were waiting on the players and coaches to come out of the locker room, a huge roar and several cheers erupted out of the Clemson locker room. I figured that Dabo was telling the team about the records that had been broken, or was promising some time off for the team, or even giving out game balls.

Boy, was I wrong.

One of the assistant coaches came out of the locker room, and I asked him what the big cheer was about. He said that Krispy Kreme had delivered dozens of football-shaped donuts with orange icing to the players. Turns out I missed out on the watch and the donuts.

*Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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– Morris is not only a good coach, but a pretty good guy. There were two little girls standing outside of the Clemson locker room Thursday night, and from what I understand both had been through multiple surgeries. Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
Sr. Safety
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC

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and Tajh Boyd and some of the players each took time to take pictures with the girls, but Morris not only made sure each girl got a hug, but he gave each one of them his Tiger paw lapel pins that he wears on his suits. Honestly, I don’t know who was smiling more, the coach or the girls.

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