Friday Email Bag
|Friday, January 5, 2018, 10:00 AM- -|
Friday Email Bag
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As sad as it is, the "Trilogy" was a big bust because Alabama was better at every position than Clemson. You can talk field position, penalties, turnovers or anything else but Alabama was simply a really, really good team that wanted revenge. Going into the game, it was easy to see that it was going to be an uphill battle because the ACC was a lousy 4-5 in bowl games. Let's face it, Clemson for at least this year was just way more talented than the teams on it's schedule in the ACC but Alabama is not in the ACC. Any good feeling that the Tigers and the fans had by winning the conference honestly lessened by every loss conference teams had in bowls.
How can the tide turn, pun intended? It is easy to say that our offensive line was just totally whipped so that has to be job number 1 in the spring and summer. Alabama totally dominated the scrimmage line so quicker, stronger offensive linemen have got to emerge. Not sure if it would have made any difference but the first interception came close to the red zone on a 2nd and 2 after a really good 8 yard run. Better play calling is easier with better blocking so job 2 goes back to job 1. If the Bama game is any indication, job 3 is all phases of the kicking game have to improve, especially punting. Job number 4 is just to go to work, accept that the Alabama game was just won by the better team that night and believe 2018 can be another great year. Go Tigers!
Andy Friday Email Bag
I don’t think the ACC has anything to do with it. The SEC had a worse bowl record heading into the game. Alabama was not better than Auburn, but Clemson beat Auburn.
I think the answer here is Alabama played extremely well. I had a Bama fan tell me it's their best game in three years. They were hungry, motivated, talented and had a great scheme. They forced turnovers and took advantage of Clemson’s mistakes while the Tigers couldn’t do the same.
I totally disagree when you said, “Any good feeling that the Tigers and the fans had by winning the conference honestly lessened by every loss conference teams had in bowls.“ I couldn’t disagree more. Clemson won the division, won the state 34-10, won the ACC title game 38-3, and made the college football playoff as the number one team in a rebuilding year.
Clemson’s punter had a bad hamstring in the game. He had a good year but was hurt before the Sugar Bowl.
I have heard nothing for the past two days that people are sorry about the game. They are genuine, so not rubbing it my face. I agree the game as a disappointment, but I tell people there are 126 Division 1 schools that would like to have been in our position. Quite frankly, I am thrilled with our season and how the team was prepared for each game. They never lacked effort or intensity. We have a program and culture that will sustain us for many years to come. We all would have liked to finish the season with a win, but it wasn’t to be. The bright side is it’s only 241 days until we play Kent State.
I totally agree. Clemson will enter the season in the top five next season and will be a better team next year. My guess is the Tigers enter the season ranked second in the country. I love this program right now. I love its trajectory. As Dabo says, “The best is yet to come.”
Love the email bag. Love the Tigers. Lifelong fan. So, I'm not about to take anything away from their accomplishments (too many to list). That being said, I wonder what your feelings are on a couple issues.
1. Vanilla play calling. Alabama has seen pretty much all of Clemson's offense. Why not have a few more wrinkles ?A couple nice trick plays perhaps. Too predictable. I did take into account the drops. Nevertheless, I think rolling some dice to choose a play would have been more successful.
2. I've coached baseball for 15 years. Had some great teams with great players, and some mediocre teams with mediocre players. We won some we weren't supposed to, and lost some the same way. Different sport, but same philosophy (to me). If your star pitcher is having an off game - take him out. Fresh pitcher might bring a new spark. Or have his best game ever. Who knows ? What harm could it cause to give a budding star a chance ? Plus - in football - you can reinsert your starter. Let him calm down or coach him up etc. I couldn't believe Hunter wasn't even allowed a series or more.
3. Seven + minutes left in the game, there was still an outside chance. Clemson's offense took the field and was clearly in no hurry. Running 2 yard dives up the middle. No clock management. Painfully obvious that my Mighty Tigers had given up. Coaches and all.
I'm curious if you have any of my same sentiments. My wife has promised to wash my car if so.
Thanks for the email. I don’t think either team ran anything other than what they did all year. I didn’t see any new wrinkles from either team but nor should you. I think when you get late in the year you simply do what got you there.
I don’t think anything would have been different with Johnson at quarterback. This game was won by Bama’s defense and an inexperienced true freshman would have struggled in my opinion.
I didn’t see any give up.
Since you are a coach, I think you would agree that hindsight is perfect. Wouldn’t we all love the luxury of hindsight. The staff would have loved the opportunity to know what wouldn’t have worked before each play call. I am sure you would have loved to have changed pitchers right before he gave up a three-run homer, but we all make decisions based on the info we have before the next pitch, not after.
It looks like your wife may be getting her car cleaned. LOL.
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