Know Your Tigers
Posted by William Kristoph
Hi everyone, it’s time for the annual Q&A with Willy Mac from Block-C.com. Here are his answers to the questions I asked and you can find my answers to his questions over at Block-C. As always it’s a pleasure working with anyone and everyone over there. (Pictured above is neither Willy Mac or Chili or Sambo, whoever that is… it’s Angel the Dog, who I found on the internet and decided that she was absolutely terrified of the mediocrity she’s about to witness Saturday night on both sides. Poor Angel.)
1. It seems that Kyle Parker is a big source of frustration for Tiger fans. Do you guys really wish that he had left for the Colorado Rockies or is it a factor of some frustrating games and the same old “Tommy Bowden” feel to the team, where the lose winnable games and win ones that they seemingly shouldn’t?
It’s (predictably) a mixture of both. A lot of fans feel that it would have been best if he had gone to the Rockies because his choices in the off season have hurt the team and program more than he’s helped us during the season. Last summer he didn’t participate in drills with the team and wide receivers. He spent most of that time stringing our program along with the Rockie’s contract discussions and using Clemson as more of a leveraging tool. Another point is that if he had left, any growing pains we would have experienced with back up Tajh Boyd would have been taken care of this year while we’re having a difficult go of things.
There are still a few folks calling this staff the remnants of the old guard and “Tommy Bowden 2.0″ and etc. And to a certain point, those people are exactly correct, but it’s getting old hearing the same “Tammy Bowdown” & “Dumbo” jokes from our fan base. It really is almost ear piercing to know that I pull for the same team with such simpletons, but what are ya gonna do? Pull for South Carolina? Not an option. The truth is, Swinney is ultimately at fault for his hirings, coaching decisions, and final on-field production. What it boils down to though is that Clemson just doesn’t have the mature horses they’ve had like in the years past to polish this turd and make it somewhat presentable.
2. Tell me about your special teams. FSU is having issues yet again missing two FGs last Saturday and being ranked at the bottom of the NCAA in kickoff returns. The punt return game hasn’t been anything special for weeks now either. What is Clemson’s situation? Are the Tigers confident that they can win a field position battle? Are they confident if it comes down to a last second field goal at Doak?
I feel confident that both of our teams have the worst group of field goal kickers in the ACC by far. We’re in the same boat where we can’t even hit close kicks with three or four guys on scholarship. We’re okay with the extra points but if its on a hash mark or anywhere else, chances are we miss the kick. We’ve got good punting and kickoff teams with great coverage. I think in terms of returns we are kicking some major ass, but it’s not the highlight real of CJ Spiller and Jacoby Ford of years past that you’re used to facing that could change a game in an instant.
3. Talk a bit about the Clemson defense. Who should Seminoles fans be looking for to make big plays for the Tigers defense? What will Clemson aim to stop first? FSU’s running attack or passing attack?
Our defense has largely concentrated on pass first in games just prior to last weeks god awful performance in the NC State game. That really got us into some trouble and made some decent running backs look like supermen. A key to the great defensive performance we had against the Wolfpack (from what I could tell at least) is that opposed to concentrating on run or pass they concentrated more on any and all kinds of pressure up front. The defensive line had a lot to do with the mistakes they made and the pressure caused us to make some big plays on defense and keep the team in the game. DaQuan Bowers is obviously the main defender you need to look for, but if a ball is up for grabs, just about any one of our defensive backs can make a play on it.
4. A lot of the other ACC Bloggers always ask me about the rivalry between them and Florida State, but as a Florida State fan when I hear the word rival I think of Florida or Miami, end of story. I feel like Clemson understands that best, with South Carolina as your rival. Are ACC rivalries a myth? Do you consider the FSU game a rivalry or is it just a big game?
I’m sure most Clemson fans consider this a rivalry but I’m on your side. I don’t really get it either. I thought we were rivals with GT… And NC State… and Maryland… and UNC… and no Boston College… and Georgia… and South Carolina… and— The term rivalry has been worn loosely nowadays. In my opinion, like most other things that have been ruined, the cause is the advent of the internet giving stupid people the ability to talk loudly across a large medium. How about a blogger dropping some irony on your ass???
5. Can you please explain why Clemson fans think that the Tigers are some sort of national powerhouse that matters and that anything other than 7-8 wins per season is something actually attainable? I mean seriously, it’s not like the Tigers had a run like the Seminoles did for years. At least FSU fans can still hang on to the delusion of the 90s making FSU relevant now. Don’t even bother to break out Heisman, the 1981 National Championship (1981 wasn’t even a real year) or the folksy talk of Dabo. Seriously your fan base would be better off realizing that Clemson is akin to South Carolina in the SEC, good, potentially relevant, but in the end a bunch of what ifs and could’ve beens. Plus you have guys caught on camera crying into their hats on ESPN. Seriously, WTF?
Hey man, I don’t get it either. It’s a real simple formula. If we want to get serious about winning, we have to go out and pay someone like a Nick Saban. A game changer that can come in and turn the program upside down and fix it. So, the university goes and hires a conservative bonehead because he’s got neato ostrich boots and a drawl. When he’s finally pressured to open up the pocket book, he needs money. And what do the Clemson faithful do? Fail to donate. So, either we’re not dumb enough to fork over every dollar we have or we really don’t care about it as much as we say we do and we just like to whine about things.