I guess I will start with the UMd game and a few opinionated items that should have been tossed into the preview (Check out our UMd preview here) then discuss the legend/more disappointment out of our "fans". What to look for out of the Tigers:
I hope you guys aren't tired of me saying the same crap week after week. If so, I apologize BUT the issues that we have and the keys to victory have not changed all year...which means we have not addressed the issues that we have as a football team. Short and simple, here is what I am looking for against UMd:
- Ellington's carries. I pimped how good this guy was last year and talked about how he could be a better RUNNING BACK (not necessarily overall athlete nor overall football player, but pure runningback) at the college level than Spiller, so I am not surprised that he has played extremely well to this point in the season. GIVE HIM THE FOOTBALL! I want to see at min. 25 carries out of AE, and I want to see it every week.
- Catch the football! Allen needs help and is getting at least a little better support from the youngsters. Keep Dye on the bench and at least let the more talented/athletic young guys play because at worst they will not drop as many passes as our Seniors.
- The big play (specifically, not giving it up). Maryland does not have a strong offensive unit, so if the Tigers can make them earn their points as opposed to hitting a big one or two it will be a long day for the Terps. I know that you can say this week in and week out but some teams can actually methodically move the football. I don't think that Maryland is one of those and we should be in excellent shape if we can manage to keep our heads on straight and not let offensive players run completely free on a play or three.
- I have touched on the offensive playcalling in #1, but we will need to see some rhythm here. Hopefully we get in a running set and line up and ram it down their throats but, again, that is always what I hope.
- We are average (at best) on special teams. I could see us doing something really stupid here (i.e., a kickoff reverse to Dancing with the Stars star Jamie Harper). We are much, much more talented than Maryland and cannot afford to get stupid in this category and give up some crap points. Then again, we can always depend on our coaches to play our TE on all the offensive snaps and as many ST plays as possible, so what do we have to worry about?
- Getting Cute. I am sick and tired of watching us do crap you wouldn't even do in a Saturday night Playstation football game. Save the double reverse passes and the Fumblerooskies for intramural flag football. Line up, run the ball, and limit plays that we actually know how to run.
Another category that has gotten me a little riled up and on the soapbox is: Why in the world do I have to hear Clemson fans lecturing Danny Ford about telling the truth? The man is correct in every word he has said this past week. It is nice to hear the truth out of an expert.
We believe this wholeheartedly not just because we think Danny flat out knows how to win games but also because we have been saying the same stuff here for years now. Other than being invited to dinner with Dabo, we covered all the items that Danny chatted about earlier in the week. Tough teams win football games. Teams who can run the ball, play defense, and can kick field goals win football games. Not all of us are rocket scientists, but the beauty of the game of football is that you don't have to be one to win games.
I have heard a lot of people ask why Danny went and "talked outside of the family". All I have to say to you is that you cannot have it both ways and are a hypocrite if you tell me Danny has no right to say whatever he wants about Clemson when Clemson is the university that forced his resignation, effectively distanced itself from Ford for years, and will not give him the credit he deserves. Furthermore, Danny could have come out and hammered ALL of the guys who came after him but hasn't said anything negative about Clemson in 20 years even after getting royally screwed by the powers that be. Danny Ford genuinely loves Clemson (you can tell it when you talk to him or hear him with the media) and has done more for the university than just about anyone out there.
I am not defending Coach Ford, because the man doesn't need anyone defending him. I'm just pissed off that a large portion of our fanbase will not accept reality, will not demand a winner, and would rather throw rocks at a Clemson legend than get after the people who put us in this situation.