Don't Make a Bad Team Look Good
When you face the kind of schedule Clemson has this season everyone gets
excited about such difficult tasks as Texas A&M, FSU, Virginia and Miami.
One of the goals of the fans is to pull off the shocker and beat a top ten
opponent like the Tigers did twice last season.
However, one of the things that might be just as important is beating the
teams you are favored to beat. Clemson is not a good team this season but
they must do one thing this Saturday: Don't make a bad team look good.
That is exactly what Maryland is...a bad football team. Do not get me
wrong, the Terps play solid defense but this offense is anemic. It is
difficult to gain only 172 yards in two games. NC State's defense is better
than Clemson's right now but Georgia Tech has not shut down teams this
Last week the Tigers played their best game of the year on defense and this
week they play another weak offense. Ralph Friedgen is an offensive genius
but he is like the sniper without ammo. The Fridge has issues on offense
that even he and his brilliant staff cannot fix without help from the Tigers.
Clemson needs to tackle well. They need to keep the Terps in the proper
down and distance situations. They need to force turnovers and not allow
any big plays. But most importantly the Tigers must not make a bad offense
Clemson continues to struggle offensively but maybe they gained confidence
in the second half last week. Perhaps the biggest news last week was the
commitment to the run. The Tigers must be more committed to the run. It
helps out the defense. It helps out the offensive line and it sets up the
play action game. It also adds a physical aspect to the program.
Last let me give congrats to the special teams. This is the strength of the
team this season and should play a major role in Saturday's game. The staff
will face Steve Suter, one of the best returners in ACC history.
In summary Clemson needs to look like Clemson on Saturday and the Tigers need
to make Maryland look like Maryland and not the Friedgen-coached Terps of
the last three years.