Where Are We?

by - Radio Host -

Where Are We?

I get about 15-20 calls a day on my radio show about Clemson football.  I probably get 5-10 tweets and about 100-125 texts on our new text line concerning Clemson football.

The opinions vary from the sunshine pumpers that think Clemson still has a shot at a national title this season to the doom and gloomers that think Clemson will lose two more regular season games including getting blown out by South Carolina. And they say Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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should be fired for losing five in a row to South Carolina.

Experience tells me that we need to only evaluate things as they stand today and there is a lot of football to be played.

Like most teams, this season has been a rollarcoaster ride. Clemson played very well in many areas against Georgia and beat a top five team at the time.  The Tigers did what they had to do and beat an outmanned South Carolina State team.  Clemson did not play well in the first half against NC State on the road on a Thursday night but came away with a solid win.  The Tigers dominated Wake Forest and Syracuse.  Boston College played Clemson much closer than anyone expected.  FSU outclassed the Tigers who played their worst game of the season.  The Maryland game was highlighted by red zone issues, but Clemson pulled away in the fourth quarter.

So has this season been a success?  Has it been a disappointment?

I would say the Tigers are not as the sunshine pumpers want to pretend.   At the same time, they are not as bad as the doom and gloomers want to believe either.

Clemson has issues at safety and on the offensive line.  There are depth concerns at wide receiver as well.

They are strong in the front seven on defense and the offense has some impressive parts, like Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
Jr. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL

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and Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Sr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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The defense has improved from the time Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
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arrived.  They have more depth in the front seven and the corners have played much better.  Again, the major concern on defense is the play at safety.

On offense the talent level has dropped at several positions over the past two seasons.  When Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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arrived at Clemson he had had Dwayne AllenDwayne Allen
Tight End
#83 6-3, 255
Fayetteville, NC

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at tight end.  Last season production didn’t drop much at the position with Brandon FordBrandon Ford
Tight End
#80 6-4, 240
Wando, SC

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.  This year Sam CooperSam Cooper
RS Jr. Tight End
#86 6-5, 250
Brentwood, TN

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tore his ACL in the spring and Stanton SeckingerStanton Seckinger
RS So. Tight End
#81 6-4, 210
Isle of Palms, SC

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and Jordan LeggettJordan Leggett
Fr. Tight End
#16 6-6, 235
Navarre, FL

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are inexperienced.

At wide receiver the Tigers lost a first round pick in Nuk Hopkins and another NFL player in Jaron BrownJaron Brown
Wide Receiver
#18 6-2, 205
Cheraw, SC

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.  They also lost Charone PeakeCharone Peake
Jr. Wide Receiver
#19 6-3, 200
Moore, SC

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with an ACL injury and inexperience is currently an issue.

At running back they lost the fourth leading rusher in school history in NFL back Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC

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Clemson has good players on offense.  I don't want to try to make the cupboard sound like it’s bare.  But the point is that some key play makers are not around and new players are being asked to emerge.

The special teams have been excellent in terms of kicking and punting.  The coverage teams have been outstanding also.  The return teams have not been a factor to this point.

In summary, this team is about where I thought they would be.  They have beaten everyone they were favored to beat.  They upset Georgia and were beaten as an underdog against Florida State.

In the pre-season I predicted Clemson to go 11-1.  That goal is still very obtainable.  One curveball was thrown our way, in that Jameis Winston and Florida State are much better than anyone thought in the pre-season.

The truth of the matter is that we should evaluate the season after the season is over.  Was Clemson the third best team in the country a few weeks ago?  Maybe.  Are the Tigers the eighth best team in the country today?  Who knows?

The hope is the Tigers don't slip up against Virginia or Georgia Tech.  If that is the case then they will head into the final regular season game of the year at 10-1.  My guess is that most fans will view the game against the arch rival and the bowl game as bigger games than the rest of the regular season up to those points.

To hear some Clemson fans, you would think that Clemson has already lost to South Carolina this season.  The Tigers may lose that game but you can't concede that at this point.

From the last week of August until the last week in October the Tigers have been a top 10 team.  But now we flip the calendar, and as the saying goes: "They always remember November!"

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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
#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, 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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