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Bowl Success


  by Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Thursday, January 2, 2014 11:25 AM
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Bowl Success
I have watched at least some of almost every bowl game so far this season and have a list for the Tigers tomorrow night. Clemson is 1-1 in its last two bowl games. Those games have featured the highest of highs in the walk-off win over LSU and the lowest of lows like the Orange Bowl loss to West Virginia. They have also featured several aspects of bowl season we see most every year.

Here are 10 areas that could be a key tomorrow night because they have shown to be big this bowl season:

Interest
This is a key every week but especially in bowls. Sometimes teams are just not excited about playing. Maybe its the opponent. Maybe its the venue. Sometimes guys get homesick and are just exhausted from preparation. Whatever the cause, some teams just are not interested in the bowl. The perfect case here in Clemson's terms was the Gator Bowl loss to Syracuse when Tommy West admitted he took the team to Florida too soon and the players were just ready to get back home. The perfect example in this bowl season seemed to be Miami who looked totally disinterested in playing in Orlando against Louisville. I doubt level of interest is a concern for Clemson tomorrow night.

Injuries
I think the major theme this bowl season has been injuries. Georgia was hit by injuries all year but Hutson Mason is not Aaron Murray and Todd Gurley was not healthy in the loss to Nebraska. LSU overcame Zach Mettenberger's injury in beating Iowa but Wisconsin's offense looked completely different once their starting quarterback went down for the game. Clemson comes into Friday's game fairly healthy but cannot afford major injuries like last season when Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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and Gif Timothy went down.

Suspensions
So far the Tigers have avoided suspensions in this bowl season. Everyone made it academically and so far all of the players have behaved. Everyone needs to make curfew tonight to avoid a typical bowl season distraction. Michigan State overcame the loss of their starting middle linebacker. We will see how Ohio State responds without its leading sack artist Noah Spence.

Turnovers
We already know that Clemson turned it over ten times in its two losses this season. Turnovers are a key anytime and this bowl season is a reminder. Georgia's muffed punt lead to a Nebraska score. Wisconsin turned it over four times in its loss. Clemson can not afford to help out Braxton Miller and Carlos Hyde by giving the Buckeyes a short field. Remember he West Virginia game?

Keep Playing
Unlike the regular season, this is the last game of the year and sometimes that can be good and bad in terms of effort. When teams get down in bowls, sometimes they roll over and can't wait to get back on the plane. But Colorado State, Texas A&M and South Carolina are two examples of why you just have to keep playing in your bowls because you never know how the game can turn.

Red Zone
This game appears to be a shoot out because of how good both of these offenses have been. If that is the case, the Tigers can't afford to settle for field goals. Georgia did yesterday and it cost them a loss.

Big Plays
Field flippers are always a key and this bowl season we have seen teams like Oregon turn in pick sixes on defense. Clemson had the ultimate field flipper against them in the West Virginia Orange Bowl when Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back (2008 - 2012)
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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fumbled at the goal line and WVU turned it into a 14-point turnaround. Pick sixes and "scoop and scores" have been a big part of this bowl season.

Special Teams
Ole Miss had major kicking problems but overcame it to beat Georgia Tech. Nebraska's punter was awful but Georgia dropped a punt. North Carolina had two returns for touchdowns to key their win over Cincy. Urban Meyer coached teams are 7-1 in bowl games and special teams have been a big part of that record.

Third and Fourth Down
Conversion downs are the most important in this game any way but yesterday was a great example of how big third and fourth downs can be. Georgia had several drops but none bigger than Arthur Lynch's drop on fourth down. South Carolina converted a huge fourth down when Connor Shaw hit Bruce Ellington to propel the Gamecocks. Michigan State got the biggest stop of its season on fourth and short to preserve the Rose Bowl win. You have to win first down to win third and fourth down but converting those downs will be huge.

Chip on Your Shoulder
Perhaps the biggest factor in some of the upsets we have seen this bowl season is when you see the underdog play with a chip on its shoulder. Texas Tech felt disrespected in their game against Arizona State. Central Florida got tired of hearing about how big of an underdog it was against Baylor. Nebraska has been awful in bowls and heard about it heading into the Gator Bowl. Michigan State used the Big Ten's lack of success in the Rose Bowl as their motivation. Perhaps Clemson's biggest weapon in preparing for last year's LSU win was the chip on their shoulders they used heading into the game.


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Prayer List
We have started a prayer list on the blog.  Here are the guidelines:

If you are offended by prayer or prayer lists then I apologize in advance.  The blog is free and the prayer list will be on the bottom of the page so you don’t have to read it.

If you would like to add someone to the list please email me at mickeyplyler@hotmail.com

*Please let me know when it is appropriate to take the person off of the prayer list.

Those who need our prayers include: Finn Brookover, Jo Ann Bachman, Kenneth Bryant, Pruitt Martin, Got Igers and his family, David Rowland, Leonard, Gillespie and his family, Jim S., Daniel Rosborough, the Huffman family, Nancy Winkler, John Reeve, Vinnie Brock, Kaitlyn L., Susan Miller, Joyce Harley, Steve Proveaux, Jeffrey Greene, the Hutto family, Sherl Drawdy, Caleb Kennedy, Teresa O'Connor, Matt Jacobs, Perrin Seigler, Candee Massee, Lindsey Jordan, Sam Catoe, Tyler Felch, the Nicolopulos family, "the Jacksonville, FL guys," Kim Sims, the Coyle family, Ryleigh Tedder, Steve Lee, Kelly Trakas, Jimmy Moore, the Thomas V. family, Emary Claire Young, Kitty Bowers, Julie Locke, the Scheider family, Lauren Kittles' family, Frank Gentry, Joyce Bussey, Stacey McKeown, Dale Childs, Larry Lentz, Jr., Carl Sharperson, Scott Hannon, William Perry, Tyler Swaney, Lillian, Mark Feit, David Frame, Chad Berry, the family of Matthew M. Watson, the Dowis family, Shervin Messer, Alan Putnam, the Olivers, Lee Tate, Ronnie Abrams, Eddie Greene, the Jackson family, Bill Vader, Jim Taylor, Tina DeWitt, Rock Horne, Christopher Tuten, Bobby Wayne Thomas, Emma and Danielle Carothers, Robert Ditty, Mr. and Mrs. Murray Smith, Dot Cartee, Ayden Mills, Millie Heatley, Lynn Martin and family, Michael Pinson, Jake David family, Angie Crowley, Ira, Mike Tolson, Poly Wells, Dr. Muriel Bishop, Jack Cunningham, Emily Jefford Meister, Zachary Stoller, Aaron Clackum, Pat James, Cortney Moore, William Moore, Angelia and Savannah Anderson, William Ross, Meredith Legg, Scott Johns, Frank Carroll, Brandon ThompsonBrandon Thompson
Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Doug Bailey and family, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Jim Lanier, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
Linebacker
# 0, 0
,

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families.

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