Why can we not find consistency on the football field?
If I had the answer to that question, Tommy Bowden would hire me on that spot and I could name my price. For awhile, I thought it was motivation. Last year at Duke was definitely a lack of motivation. The team was motivated and ready to play versus Wake Forest. You two fluke turnovers and a blocked punt early in the game, and suddenly a 1-3 team finds life. The Clemson-Wake Forest match up forces me to scratch my head every time. Two years in a row strange things have happened in that game. If Justin Miller knocks a ball down instead of gambling, Clemson cruises in 2004. I could continue to play the if game, but there is no point. Breaking down college football can be very simple. It comes down to match ups. The fact of the matter is Wake Forest is a difficult match up for Clemson. You can throw the talent disparity out the window, when these two teams play. With that said, there is never an excuse to lose to Duke. Duke presents no match up issues whatsoever. As the talent level continues to rise, the inconsistency will begin to fade. However, if Clemson had the #1 recruiting class in the nation the next two years, the Wake Forest game would still be difficult, as long as Jim Grobe is the head coach.
How is recruiting going?
It is a slow time of the year for recruiting. Prospects are more concerned with their own seasons rather than where they will be playing next season. It hurts Clemson only having one home game in the month of October, especially the one game being Temple. It was not brought up much, but I do believe it is a disadvantage having your marquee home games in the month of September. Clemson now only has one shot to draw kids in and that’s against Florida State. There will not be many big time players at the Temple and Duke games.
The staff stands a good chance to close strong. I expect good things to happen, when they hit the road following the season. Marion Hobby will be a strong presence in the home. Along with Burton Burns, David Blackwell, Brad Scott, and Ron West, Hobby gives Clemson five guys I feel confident in closing a deal.
Do you still believe Coach Bowden made the right hires?
It is too early to tell. Right now, I have more confidence in Spence than Koenning. Fair or not, I guess it depends on how you want to look at it. Spence has made big improvements in the offense over last year. It is easy to forget how bad Clemson was on offense last year through five games.
My biggest criticism of Koenning is a lack of adjustments on defense. After the first two games, teams have found the weaknesses of the defense. The weak spots are not being hid very well. Also, I do not want to hear the talent is not in place on this defense. They are not the #1 defense in the country, but they are better than they have played. I expected the defense to be a little more attacking to this point. The concerns in the secondary have limited the aggressiveness, according to Koenning. I do not consider rushing Gaines Adams a blitz. This is a 4-3 defense, not a 3-4.