|Thursday, September 8, 2016, 10:12 AM- -|
I was very surprised to hear Dabo Swinney say Diondre Overton may avoid a red-shirt this season. The word on Overton was he had a good camp, but I would have thought he might have needed a red-shirt season to gain strength.
Maybe this was a message sent by the staff to other wideouts or maybe they were encouraged by Overton's camp. However, this unit is one area where most thought they had sufficient depth.
One of the hallmarks of Dabo Swinney's tenure at Clemson is the demeanor of the players and staff. Dabo has made it fun for his staff and players. It shows on the sidelines and in the locker room.
However, some of that fun was missing last Saturday. Some of the guys were running around and enjoying the game, but it seemed like some may have been a little uptight with the opener on the road.
There is a balance between being serious and having fun, but this game had a very tight feeling to it. The play calling was a little conservative and Dabo seemed to have a little edge to him as well.
It is much easier to celebrate and have fun when you are scoring a boatload of points, and that didn't happen in Auburn, so it's easy to see why it appeared to have a little different feel. Hopefully, the fun will be back this Saturday.
Best is Standard
I left the stadium Saturday night or maybe early Sunday morning, slightly disappointed in the way Clemson played in the 19-13 win over Auburn. Clemson was clearly the better team, but I expected more. And that is OK to have those expectations.
I am happy the Tigers won. I will take 14 more just like it this season. I also am aware that you can't play well every week. No one does. No one ever will.
However, I am ready to see Clemson play well again.
Maybe my standards are too high, but I believe it when Dabo says, "Best is Standard."
I loved last season and the terrific run, but in my opinion, Clemson played well in two of its last six games last season. Let's review.
Clemson made too many mistakes on defense and special teams to say it played well against Alabama.
The one great game they played was the Orange Bowl in a 37-17 win over Oklahoma.
The Tigers allowed North Carolina to hang around and never really put away the Tar Heels in the ACC title game in the 45-37 win in Charlotte.
Clemson allowed a bad South Carolina team to hang around in the 37-32 win in Columbia. The defense gave up huge plays to a pathetic offense.
Clemson did play well against Wake in a 33-13 win over another bad team.
I was very surprised the way a bad Syracuse team hung with Clemson in the Tigers' 37-27 win.
Again, I am very aware how tough it is to play well every week. I also know how long the season can be, and I don't want to get worn out or peak too soon. But I do think it is OK to wish to see Clemson play a clean game with few mistakes and put teams away earlier. I think it's OK to want to put away Syracuse, South Carolina, and Auburn a little earlier and easier.
The next two weeks won't define this season unless Troy or SC State shock the college football world. I don't need to see Clemson destroy the opponent the next two weeks. However, I do want to see Clemson boat race Georgia Tech in three weeks.
It's time to play up to our potential. It's time to play to our standard.
The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency
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