Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago


by - Senior Writer -
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Has Clemson turned the corner with Mike Bellamy's recruiting class? (Photos: Icon SMI)

January 1, 2013


MIAMI, FL (AP) – Junior quarterback Tajh Boyd threw two touchdown passes and Mike Bellamy rushed for two more as the Clemson Tigers won the first BCS Bowl game in the program’s history with a 31-23 victory over Nebraska in the Discover Orange Bowl.

The win gives Clemson (12-2) a Top 10 final ranking and makes them one of the top contenders for the national title game to be held in Pasadena, California, next January 7th, while Bellamy will be a front-runner for the Heisman after a season that saw him rush for 1,500 yards.

The Tigers were 6-7 two years ago, but rebounded to win 10 games last season and 12 games in 2012.

The Tigers fell behind by an early 14-0 score, but Boyd hooked up with junior receiver Nuke Hopkins for a 56-yard touchdown early in the second quarter to trim the Husker lead to 14-7. The drive was set up on an interception by sophomore safety Bashaud Breeland.

On the ensuing Nebraska possession, senior defensive end Malliciah Goodman sacked quarterback Jamal Turner near midfield, and the fumble was recovered by Tavaris Barnes at the Nebraska 47-yard line. Two plays later, Bellamy slipped through a hole on the right side and raced untouched into the end zone for a 42-yard touchdown that tied the score at 14.

The Huskers closed out the half by getting two field goals, and added another early in the third quarter to take a 23-14 lead.

Boyd and the Tigers were just getting started however. Boyd hooked up with Sammy Watkins on a stop-and-go that covered 71 yards, and an interception by Clemson’s Darius Robinson set up a 32-yard field goal by Chandler Catanzaro that gave Clemson its first lead of the day at 24-23.

Nebraska marched back down the field on the next drive, but facing a third-and-inches at the Clemson 22-yard line, Corey Crawford and Jeoffrey Pagan stopped Turner on the quarterback sneak. The Huskers elected to go for the field goal, but DeShawn Williams blocked the kick.

Seven plays later, Bellamy iced the victory, a reprisal of Clemson’s 1981 National Championship, with a 32-yard jaunt for the final 31-23 score.

Boyd finished 17-of-23 for 267 yards and the two touchdowns, while Bellamy and senior running back Andre Ellington helped Clemson to 281 yards on the ground. Watkins led all receivers with six catches for 131 yards, while Hopkins added 5-for-96 and his score.

*** Ok, so the above is wishful thinking on the part of Clemson fans, but it could happen. Think about the dark cloud hanging above the Clemson program just a few short weeks ago – Athletic Director Terry Don Phillips was under fire, head coach Dabo Swinney was facing hard decisions in regards to his coaching staff, the Tigers’ arch-rival was playing in the SEC Championship Game – and Clemson fans were wondering if the cloud that seemed to be hovering over Clemson would ever lift.

Add in the fact that the arch-rival had won in basketball and beaten the baseball team in the College World Series, and it appeared that Clemson was falling behind their rival and even the rest of the Atlantic Coast Conference, in many ways.

The calendar turned to 2011, however, and all of a sudden the future is very bright. The university announced a $50 million facilities upgrade this past week which will be a boon to recruiting on all fronts. Even though head basketball coach Brad Brownell’s tenure at Clemson is in its infancy, it looks like this guy can flat-out coach. The baseball team enters 2011 ranked 4th in the nation.

And now, Swinney has added in new blood to the football coaching staff, and a fan base and university that seemed on the verge of giving up is suddenly rejuvenated. Swinney is also bringing in what might turn out to be the best recruiting class in Clemson history, and with all of the playmakers that new offensive coordinator Chad Morris will have at his disposal, a new era could be dawning for the program.

And let’s face it, football is the passion of this fan base. Clemson fans love their Olympic sports, make Littlejohn loud, and sell out Doug Kingsmore, but football is the identity of this university. If Swinney can hold onto this recruiting class, Morris and defensive coordinator Kevin Steele, and throw in another solid recruiting class next season, the above scenario is possible. That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ but they are not impossible. They can happen.

Will they happen? Who knows. The above scenario is…like I said…just wishful thinking at this point. Way too many variables involved. But the process has started…….

And if it happens, Clemson fans will exit the Orange Bowl in two years, and look back at this dark period from two years ago, and realize that these were the weeks that turned it all around. When Clemson became relevant again.

Bellamy and Boyd for Heisman in 2013. Or earlier.



Best guess Depth Chart for 2012

Clemson will have one more recruiting class to add to these players.

Clemson Offense			
Pos.	Player			
LT	David Beasley
	Shaq Anthony

LG	Brandon Thomas	
	Isaiah Battle

C	Dalton Freeman
	Ryan Norton

RG	Matt Sanders
	Kalon Davis

RT	Gifford Timothy
	Reid Webster

TE	Dwayne Allen		
	Brandon Ford
	Sam Cooper
	Darrell Smith
	Eric Maclain

WR	Deandre Hopkins		
	Bryce Mcneal		

QB	Tajh Boyd
	Tony Mcneal
	Cole Stoudt

RB	Andre Ellington
	Mike Bellamy
	Roderick Mcdowell
	Demont Buice
	D.J. Howard

WR	Sammy Watkins	
	Jaron Brown		
	Adam Humphries

WR	Charone Peake	
	Martavis Bryant
	Joe Craig

Clemson Defense		
Pos.	Player			
DE	Malliciah Goodman
	Corey Crawford
	Joe Gore

NG	Tra Thomas
	Deshawn Williams
	Grady Jarrett
                  
DT	Jerome Maybank
	Josh Watson
	Kevin Dodd

BE	Tavaris Barnes
	Jeoffrey Pagan

SLB	Quandon Christian	
	Justin Parker
	Colton Walls

MLB	Corico Hawkins		
	Spencer Shuey
	B.J. Goodson

WLB	Jonathan Willard
	Vic Beasley
	Lateek Townsend

CB	Spencer Adams
	Darius Robinson
	Martin Jenkins

SS	Carlton Lewis
	Bashaud Breeland
	Desmond Brown
	Cortez Davis

FS	Rashard Hall		
	Jonathan Meeks
	Robert Smith

CB	Xavier Brewer	
	Garry Peters

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Subject (Replies: 93) Author
Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
Crump®
Somone found the key to Daddy's liquor cabinet***
jeremy
Loved it!***
6317forever®
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
raginranger®
What happened to Andre Branch on DE??***
deleted
Ugh.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
PS-shouldn't Lakip be hitting the FG? ; )***
Jean Jacques Rousseau
Re: Ugh.
bigmo
Yes we have.
true
He just jinxed us***
tigerteet
sounds good to me!***
sav82tiger
Re: sounds good to me!***
jjlove98
FGF will have a field day with this one.***
tigerteet
Re: FGF will have a field day with this one.***
allorangeallthetime52®
What a moron, Nebraska in the orange bowl? lol,***
Bryanttiger®
Why not? Iowa played in the Orange Bowl last year from the
Pawless
How do you know when you've reached the bottom?
NZ_Tiger
I agree with GT Tiger**
TillmanHall
My Lord...... wow.***
KNIGHTIGER
For those who already jumped of the bus and said they were
deleted
WAIT UNTIL THE YEAR AFTER NEXT!!!!!***
Keyser Soze
Wow I think Hood would fit in great on WCCP***
Bryanttiger®
LOL!!**
TillmanHall
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
jaranda
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
TigerRocker07
That was embarassing. Thanks for providing the fodder.***
morris
Nuke Hopkins?
bsawyerphinphan
starting according to the depth chart provided. he's got 3
deadsolidperfect
Or the guy doesn't realize Deandre Hopkins IS Nuke Hopkins***
jroberts®
I feel like I just accidently joined a cult.***
Completely Solid Orange®
Yessss!..oh crap, I woke up and Clemson's in the Chick-fil-a***
Cdixon11
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
cams626
This is embarrassing.***
TygerRiverTiger
Re: This is embarrassing.***
jjlove98
I'll have what he's having!
ClemBert®
A little far fetched....
rncox
We are missin three returning starters
ravank215298
Apparently we STILL can't score in the red zone...***
ohiotiger33®
Re: We are missin three returning starters
Nosmelc_Sregit
Unfinishable! I was embarrassed and I was sitting right by
citadelcock
Wow, this is ridiculous***
natedawgSWU
Uh, I think the World is suppose to end in 2012***
tigerfanjack
Re: Uh, I think the World is suppose to end in 2012***
TerrierFans
I just tmailed Crump to please get rid of this. It is
Bryanttiger®
Opportunity Knocks!
pshuey21
watch it, the pumpers will want to hang a banner for this
Graphic Tiger®
^^^Pumper
deleted
The depth chart is missing half of the starters haha***
THS Athlete 50®
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
gamecock1
Will Clemson media be less embarrassing in 2013??***
NCTiger8
This is truly embarrassing....
tiger230
You forgot Barry Sanders Jr***
treeclimber
As a fellow journalist....
RU4GOD2®
Also, as a fellow journalist, I agree with RU4GOD2 — awful***
strodetiger®
Also, as a fellow human being, I agree with RU4GOD2 — awful***
Razzmatazz
Re: Also, as an Engineer who traded his vocabulary for math
Lawtonfunk
Embarrassing and Unreadable. Thanks TNET.***
Greenr
did anyone catch the error that Bellamy probably won't
Clemsonbball22
Articles like this are why people laugh at Clemson***
CHEAP SHOT
And Dabo as HC and the pumpers on TNET, among others***
deleted
Are we getting a new coaching staff after signing day?***
deleted
How do you think we will do next year?***
deleted
Put the Jergens and tissue down and come back to reality.
Boogs
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
TigerClause
Joe Craig 3rd on depth chart?
attheesso®
Most of you need to stop whining.
clemsonstud05®
Re: Most of you need to stop whining.
icebucket
This is an example of retarded journalism.
TigersTeeth
Re: This is an example of retarded journalism.
pawacoot
Considering Meeks probably starts this year
truetiger1998
Add, even if you disagree with what I said at least I
truetiger1998
What did this guy spike his orange koolaid w purple koolaid?
Ucel74
Way overboard to say the least!
WindBreaker
My Lord.... This is the worst thing I've ever seen***
TigerFan20
most pathetic article I've ever seen about Clemson
TIGERCOOK®
Crump!?! WTH?? Take this crap down!? It's pure trash!!
TIGERCOOK®
RA'd***
bigthumpmagee
Pass the dutchie bro!
NorthAlabamaTiger
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
JagerTiger
I am embarrassed to be a Clemson fan after reading this
JagerTiger
I couldn't even get thru that sappy crap...
Brooster
Epic Embarrassment for TigerNation ******
tigerjack84
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
icebucket
Ghost written by Terry Don Phillips for PumperNet. Pathetic***
Razzmatazz
Fail***
deleted
Sucks Out Loud
BIG ORANGE
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
Leitke
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
Melclem
This is just dumb. Dumb. I may stop donating
deleted
So after 4 yrs of on-the-job training, Dabo learns to coach?***
Razzmatazz
Re: Future looks brighter now than five weeks ago
MorrisCode
Recruiting national champs?We used to joke about someone***
stevie ballgame
Pathetic drivel***
youngblood®
David, you ought to remove the AP dateline since that story
strodetiger®

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