CLEMSON - Much has been made in recent years over the maddening inconsistency with which Clemson's football team has played. But is there any team in the ACC - or America - more schizophrenic than Chuck Amato's N.C. State Wolfpack?
This year alone Amato's team has lost games to the likes of Akron and Southern Miss, while turning around the next two weeks and defeating Boston College and Florida State.
Since knocking off the Seminoles for the fourth time in six years, the Wolfpack has proceeded to lose four straight games by a total of just 21 points. So 3-6 record aside, Clemson head coach Tommy Bowden knows which Wolfpack team will show up in Death Valley on Saturday.
"I told the team back on Monday just what you brought up," Bowden said following Wednesday's practice. "There's a team that lost to Southern Miss and Akron back-to-back, and there's a team that beat BC and Florida State back-to-back. Expect to see the team that beat Florida State and BC."
"Simply because they have to win the game if they want to go to a bowl game," he said. "They've got three games left. They must win six (total)...That's what I'm telling my guys."
As for explaining how a team can be so up and down, Bowden said he has no real answers.
Again, many of the same questions have lingered over the Clemson program in recent years; losing to Wake Forest one week in 2003, beating Florida State the next. Beating Miami one week in 2004, losing at Duke the next.
Beating Georgia Tech like a drum three weeks ago. Mustering only one touchdown since in losses to Virginia Tech and Maryland.
Maddening, to say the least.
"We have had it happen here...If I had to put my finger on it, a lot of it is a team tending to play down to the level of competition. Look at Ohio State and Illinois. Southern Cal and Oregon State. It's universal. It's across the country in the world of sports.
"I wish there was an answer to it."
- Defensive lineman Dorrell Scott is nursing a foot injury that cropped up in practice this week. No word yet on his status for Saturday.
- Saturday is Military Appreciation Day at Clemson.