Tiger Tidbits - Georgia Tech Edition

by - Senior Writer -

The Clemson Tigers have played seven of the last nine games on the road – or at neutral sites – and the two home games were against Ball St. and Furman.

I, for one, am glad the Tigers are at home this week and I am glad it is an opponent we can get excited about. I feel like I have been on the road with the team way too much, even though I enjoy every minute of it. Sometimes, however, it’s just nice to get into my regular seat (Seat 19) in the Clemson press box and get back into that regular routine.

Speaking of home games – yes, I was hearing whispers that if Virginia Tech kept winning and Clemson kept winning, the game here at Death Valley between the Tigers and the Hokies could be a GameDay situation. However, that all went out the window with the Hokies’ loss to Cincy, and looking at Clemson’s remaining schedule, you have to feel like we have one more shot – at home against South Carolina.

If Clemson can win out, and the Gamecocks make it through their schedule with one or no losses, how special would it be to have GameDay highlight this state’s rivalry on a crisp, November, Clemson day? Pretty special.

Now, on to some other things….

*Regarding the trip to Boston College….I always try and make it down to the field to watch the team during pre-game warm-ups for an away game, and last Saturday in Chestnut Hill was no different. I was actually a little later getting to the stadium than I wanted to be, but the train from downtown had to stop at all the intersections, and we sat there for several minutes at a time at some stops. Still, we [Nikki Steele and I] made it into the stadium a little over an hour before kickoff, and we walked in right where the Boston College team comes out of the tunnel.

In fact, we were almost run over as the Boston College offensive line took the field for warm-ups, and their coach cracked me up. He led the players onto the field, and he said, “Look at this weather boys. We couldn’t have dialed up a better day for Boston College football. This is Boston College weather. Those southern boys can’t play in this.”

I watched as the Eagle offensive line struggled throughout the day against Clemson’s beleaguered defensive line, and asked one of Clemson’s defensive linemen after the game what he thought of Boston College’s offensive line.

His answer: They were soft.

He told me he knew early on that they could have success against the Eagles, and he was actually surprised at how easy it was at times as Clemson not only shut down the Boston College running game, but got pressure on quarterback Chase Rettig as well.

This week – against Georgia Tech and their chop-blocking – will be a different matter.

*I was also standing outside of the tunnel when Clemson took the field, and I noticed that quarterback Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
Hampton, VA

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was there to greet the team as they ran out [along with freshman Chad KellyChad Kelly
Fr. Quarterback
#11 6-2, 210
Buffalo, NY

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]. Boyd was doing his best to make sure the team was pumped up and ready to play, and what he was saying can’t be repeated here, but it was obvious he felt that his teammates weren’t emotionally ready to play.

Monday, during our interview with offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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, he told us that he thought the entire team – including Tajh – was “ho-hum” during the first warm-up session.

I asked Boyd Tuesday if that was the case, and if Morris had directed him to get the players to show some life. His answer was yes.

Boyd said Morris is actually helping him become a better leader, is suggesting things and ways for Boyd to improve his leadership, and little suggestions like the one Saturday are a huge part of that. Boyd then went on to say that Morris is more than just a coach – he is a mentor. Boyd said they talk about life and football, and then gave Morris a huge compliment when he said, “Really, he is the best coach I could have right now, especially at this stage of my career. He means a lot to me.”

*For those that missed my Saturday pre-game thoughts column, let me recap just a little bit here. Boston is my favorite away trip, and there are many reasons, from the food to the bakeries to the historical sites. If you are thinking about taking in an away game over the next few years, consider Boston – it’s a great trip. We had a blast walking around Boston Friday, and there was orange everywhere. We’d meet other Clemson fans on the street, and the cadence count would break out or we would just say “Go Tigers” to each other.

It was also interesting to meet a lot of Clemson fans who actually live up that way, and seeing Clemson play in Boston is the only time they get to see the Tigers play live. We met fans from Maine, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, etc.

*Yes, the press box food at Boston College was pretty good. They are the only ones in the ACC that serve clam chowder in the press box, and their chili is actually pretty good, too. The only complaint about the press box at Boston College is that it is tiny and cramped. Also, when we left the elevator on the press box level, we could see through the President’s box and into the press box, about a 30-foot walk. However, we were told we had to go down a flight of stairs, walk through another suite another level below that level and then back up the stairs into the press box.

The reason was given by a female security guard in her best Boston accent. “They don’t want you guys in the press walking through the President’s box.”

We also had to wait on elevators after the game as different priests were ferried downstairs. Gotta love Boston College.

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