ClemsonPoker489® Fan Day Blog- Clemson vs Alabama

by - Correspondent -
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Whatever your expectations were prior to Saturday night, they need to be lowered.

Nearly eight months of anticipation, speculation, and preparation got demolished in a sixty-minute reality check on Saturday night. Seemingly every part of the worst-case scenario you thought about before the game came to fruition. The offensive line was manhandled by what is expected to be an average Alabama defensive front. The Alabama offensive line absolutely dominated Clemson’s supposedly stellar defensive line from the opening snap. The offense looked absolutely lost at times, which kept the defense on the field for what felt like the entire game. Playmakers didn’t touch the ball, defense forced no turnovers, Jacoby Ford left with an injury.

Sorry. I tried to come up with something positive to say in the opening, but the negatives are so glaring that any positives would have come off as artificial. The two I came up with: It wasn’t an ACC game, and CJ Spiller is still really fast. That’s it. That’s the list.

In some games, the statistics are misleading, this is not the case here.

[b]Clemson/Alabama By The Numbers[/b]

1: Rushing yards by the Tigers. (29 true rushing yards, 28 yards lost on three sacks)

2: Number of times CJ Spiller carried the ball. Seriously. Also, the number of plays on Clemson’s opening drive, the number of turnovers the Tigers surrendered, the number of floated passes that should have been picked off by Cullen Harper, and the number of catches by Aaron Kelly. Seriously.

5: Number of times Clemson went three and out or worse.

6: Number of WR screens I counted, including 2 in a row which killed a promising drive early in the 4th quarter. Also, the number of times James Davis carried the ball. Seriously.

18: Minutes the Tiger offense had the ball.

50: times Alabama ran the ball, at an average of 4.8 yards per carry.

419: Yards of total offense for the Tide.

863: Miles traveled to the game, and also the number of times you’ll hear “SEC” in the next week.

[b]Atlanta Agony[/b]

Barring a trip to the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, which no longer seems so far fetched, James Davis will finish his career 0-4 in his home city of Atlanta. Since the 2003 Peach bowl, Clemson has scored two offensive touchdowns in the city, both coming in the 23-20 loss to Auburn last year. I’ll be happy if we never set foot in the Georgia Dome again.

Quote that tells the tale: “...they came out with a lot of intensity. That kind of caught us off guard." -DaQuan Bowers

[b]Weekend Wrap-up[/b]

(Note: This will be a weekly feature on the Donor’s Den, recapping the highlights and lowlights in college football.)

[b]Year of the Upset, Part Deux[/b]

2007 was touted as the year of the upset, but it may have been only a harbinger of things to come.

East Carolina used “Beamer Ball” to defeat Virginia Tech, playing solid defense against a depleted Hokies offensive unit, and blocking a punt to take the lead late.

Utah took control early and held on to hand Michigan it’s second home opening loss in as many years.

Elsewhere, Arkansas State upended Texas A&M, and Bowling Green beat everyone’s “sleeper” pick in the Big East, Pittsburgh.

Yes...parity (ugh) may be here to stay.

[b]Solid Starts[/b]

On the flip side of the upset coin, the teams that most would consider elite all handled business against overmatched foes. USC traveled 3000 miles (and got almost that many yards) to crush Virginia. Oklahoma had a 50 point lead at halftime against Chattanooga, Georgia handled Georgia Southern easily, ditto Ohio State against Youngstown St., and Florida overcame a slow start to thrash Hawaii.

Missouri was the only team that faced an opponent who posed a threat, and they put up 52 points on their way to a ten point win. Missouri’s defense will have to improve if they expect to contend in the Big XII, however.

[b]ACC Ineptitude[/b]

Everybody in the ACC this side of Winston Salem has problems. Clemson and Virginia Tech’s problems are noted above, while UNC and Maryland struggled with FCS schools before pulling out the win. Boston College was only able to manage 21 points against Kent State, Virginia was crushed at home, while NC State looked pitiful against South Carolina. At least Duke won a game.

[b]Key Injuries[/b]

Still no word on how badly Jeremy Maclin and Beanie Wells are hurt. These two injuries could have a huge impact on the national title race. X-Rays were negative on both injuries.

[b]Bonus Football[/b]

There are still games to go this weekend, if you can stomach it.

Colorado and Colorado State hold their annual rivalry tonight in Denver. Look for an improved Colorado team to show the Rams no mercy.

Prediction: Colorado 38-14

On Monday, there are two intriguing frequent flyer games. Fresno State travels to west to east to face Rutgers, and Tennessee goes east to west to take on UCLA.

Fresno/Rutgers should be the best of these, as both teams have some solid ground to build on, and some question marks. Rutgers has to replace their everyman back Ray Rice, and Fresno State needs it’s questionable defense to compliment what should be a stellar, balanced offensive attack.

Prediction: Fresno State 34-28

UCLA will have to hope it’s third choice at QB, Kevin Kraft can move the ball on Tennessee, or the defense will be on the field entirely too long, allowing Adrian Foster to run wild...which is exactly what you should expect.

Prediction: Tennessee 41-10

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