From the Eyes of a Tiger: A Clemson Fan’s Perspective

Note:  Variety is the spice of life.  We all need a small bit of diversity in our lives, and we at TGT have diversity with our friends.  We have the token ACC football fan in our circle of close friends, and he happens to be an alumn from Clemson and resides in the Palmetto State.  We reached out to our friend, who will go by “Rub Howard’s Rock”, some time ago to write a guest post previewing the upcoming UGA-Clemson game from a Clemson fan’s perspective.  The following are his unedited comments. 

From the Eyes of a Tiger

By: Rub Howard’s Rock

With the season opener quickly approaching I have been asked to provide an assessment on Clemson’s football team from a Tiger fan’s perspective. The offseason arrests have been relatively quiet and it looks like Mark Richt’s requirement of incoming freshman to take a concealed weapons permit course and Dabo’s requirement for players to stay in their apartment when partying have paid off. Injuries on the other hand have taken their toll. Georgia took some hits in the secondary, and Clemson’s spring game had players dropping like flies.

Here is my take on Clemson.

Clemson’s Offense:

We have a solid group of returning starters. Tajh Boyd is back at quarterback, 4 of the five starting offensive lineman are back, and 3 of the 4 primary wide receivers are back. Most importantly, the offensive coordinator, Chad Morris, is back. Tajh still has some room for improvement. He needs to cut down on interceptions and improve in avoiding pressure. This plagued him in the South Carolina game last year, but he showed signs of improvement in the LSU game. It’s funny that the Chic-fil-A Bowl was the only game all year that the announcers didn’t mention Tajh Boyd lost 25 pounds in the off season from cutting down on Chic-fil-A sandwiches.

While the majority of the offensive line returns, there is some confusion on who will start and where. This will need to be hashed out in the next few weeks. Nuk Hopkins will be hard to replace from the wide receiver core. Sammy Watkins will move to the boundary receiver to create one-on-one match ups, but Clemson needs another receiver to step up to prevent extra help from the safety spot. Clemson’s run game has been modest, but regardless we have to replace Ellington this year. Current indications are that this will be done by a committee of backs.

Clemson’s offense has put up points like a high school basketball team the past couple of years, but this will be a tough task against an SEC defense. Yes, an ACC fan can admit that most of the SEC is tougher competition. I think a key to the opening game for Clemson will be tight end play and the offensive line’s ability to protect. It looks like we might start a true freshman in Jordan Leggett at tight end, who put on a show this spring. He will likely get the start due to Brandon Ford graduating and Sam Cooper being injured.

Clemson’s Defense:

What defense? I know, right. Under Kevin Steele Clemson’s defense was constantly confused. Brent Venables has tried to simplify things and there was a little improvement last year. Clemson’s offense can affect the play of its defense. When you run a fast paced offense, you run the risk of not giving your defense a break if you have a couple of three and outs in a row. Regardless, Clemson has trouble putting pressure on the quarterback without blitzing. This obviously makes an already weak secondary even weaker. Our secondary already thinks offside rules from soccer applies, and often just lets receivers run past them. On the plus side, Clemson picked up Gary Peters last year, who saw significant playing time, and has freshman MacKensie Alexander coming in this year. Improvements on the defensive side are expected to continue this year, but it will be a tough task with Aaron Murray slinging the ball around and two stud running backs coming at them.


I think this game will be more like 2002 than 2003. I have to go with my Tigers 30-27 in a nail biter.

6 Responses to “From the Eyes of a Tiger: A Clemson Fan’s Perspective”

  1. 1 DawgByte July 30, 2013 at 12:59 pm

    The formula for beating Clempsum is fairly straight forward… pun intended. To beat this ACC foe, one must pound the rock and pound them into submission. Clempsum will have to respect the play action, which means they stack the box at the risk of getting beat deep and often. A steady diet of Gurley’s knees to the chin, followed by outside speed from Marshall and Boyd won’t have a lot of time on the field in which to work his magic.

    The key to success for Georgia is Power Football!

  2. 2 AthensHomerDawg July 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    H/T for honest review and always be true to your school…… but it won’t be that close. Georgia controls the clock with it’s ground game and the scoreboard with it’s aerial circus. Trend continues in this revived rivalry.

  3. 3 OCDawg July 30, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Funny how he doesn’t have much good to say about their defense, yet they’re still going to hold our offense to 27.

  4. 4 Jamie Bertram July 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    Yeah I found at he thinks their crappy D can hold us to 27. Last year only USC and Florida held us under 27. BAMA couldn’t even do that to us

  5. 5 Patrick (@frayed_sanity) July 30, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    He paints a pretty mediocre to fairly good picture, and then indicates that they’ll squeak one out against the Dawgs. Not much consistency. The biggest problem for Clemson is that I can’t begin to figure out how they’ll stop Murray’s arm and Gurley’s legs. I’m not sure if any of the rest matters.

  6. 6 Signal Mtn Dawg July 30, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    No telling what may happen. Face it, UGA has had issues being “midseason” form for the season opener. Clemson has been improving under Dabo.

    Bottom line, we better be ready to go or we could be on the wrong end of a shootout.

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