|Monday, November 14, 2016, 9:37 AM- -|
This was not supposed to happen. The thought of losing to a three-touchdown underdog never crossed my mind.
What I chose to forget was how hard it is to go undefeated. I chose to ignore the idea that this football team just finds ways to make it hard on themselves.
My biggest disappointment is this team doesn't put people away. Several times the Tigers could have put Pittsburg away, but they could have done the same to Alabama, Notre Dame, Louisville, FSU, Auburn, Troy, South Carolina and others. I don't know why this team the past two years has lacked the killer instinct to just put the dagger in the opponent.
I chose to discount the idea that Matt Canada has Clemson's number. The former NC State offensive coordinator has been difficult for Clemson to defend. His shifts and misdirection have given the Tigers fits. The shuffle pass made Clemson look bad all night. Give Pittsburgh credit. They had a great game plan and played hard.
I ignored the fact that this Clemson team just keeps turning the football over. They have done it the past two years. They fumble it and throw interceptions at very inopportune times.
I also chose to forget this team has had trouble running the football in several games this season. The running game has been lacking at key times. Pittsburgh Review
Finally, I forgot bad officiating could become a factor in a close game, and this crew made an impact in a game that shouldn't have been close.
And despite all that went wrong in the shocking loss, not all is lost. Clemson has a chance to win three championships the next three weeks. The Tigers can win the Atlantic Division of the Atlantic Coast Conference with a win at Wake Forest this weekend. Clemson can win it's third straight state title against the arch rival in two weeks and another ACC title in three weeks.
If they take care of business, this group can play itself back until the college football playoff and once again all of the goals are back on the table.
One could say this team got exposed Saturday, but we have seen Clemson play similar games all year long. The question isn't about what we learned from Clemson this weekend. The question should be around how this team reacts to the loss. Does this team start pointing fingers? Do they get together and rally? Clemson is at a cross road. How will they respond?
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