Will ACC Catch Up With The Clemson Offense?
Rich Rodriguez guided the Clemson offense to 26 school records, more than any other team in school history.
CLEMSON, SC - When the Atlantic Coast Conference Media Tour rolled into Clemson
Thursday, everyone wanted to know the same thing: Will opposing defenses
have better luck stopping the Tigers' fast-paced offense the second time
Head coach Tommy Bowden doesn't think so.
"If a system is sound, whether it be I-formation, wishbone or what we do, if
it's executed properly with good players you're going to have some measure
of success," he said. "Why didn't people catch up with (Georgia Tech's)
offense? I thought it was because they were well coached and have a very
sound system. Joe Hamilton had a lot to do with it, but they run a very
sound system, offensively."
"I don't think our offense is any different than what Georgia Tech's was.
Why was their most productive year (Hamilton's) fourth year? Seems like
people would know what they're doing by now if that's the case."
Clemson's offense, such a radical departure from any Tiger team in the past,
engulfed opposing teams while, at the same time, enamoring fans at Death
Valley. Starved for any sign of improvement following a 3-8 record in 1998,
Clemson's faithful put aside their loyalty to the power running game and
fully embraced Bowden's wide-open attack.
And now, after more than a year in the system and with certain pieces of the
puzzle - from a talent perspective - slowly coming into place, Bowden sees
his players beginning to develop a confidence usually reserved for Clemson
defenses of the past.
"Defensive teams at Clemson in the past have walked with a certain swagger
or confidence," said Bowden. "You'd like get that as a team on both sides of
the ball. We're starting to develop some of that, but not nearly to the
level where you need to be. It comes through execution and success."
"We just haven't had a lot of success here. I've been here a year and won
six games. That's not a whole bunch of success. As time goes and we're
successful, the confidence level will increase."
Dan Scott is the sports editor of Seneca Daily Journal/Clemson Daily Messenger.
His columns can be read at www.dailyjournalmessenger.com.