I will keep it quick this morning because I am headed out to play golf and Clemson did what it was supposed to do. I'll sprinkle in my thoughts on Clemson, the other games, and lessons for life through this bad boy.
We saw, again, a lot of good things and a lot of bad things last night. Good is Tajh Boyd doing his thing and Nuk wrecked the Duke secondary. Sammy got his and Martavis Bryant (as requested in the game preview) reeled in a nice 41 yard TD pass. That guy is so fast that we simply have to find more ways to get him the football down the field. Peake getting another TD grab in garbage time was insignificant to the game's outcome but gives the highly touted player more confidence moving forward. He is building the momentum we discussed earlier going into his junior season. Cooper getting the ball ripped out of his hands was nauseating. You have to go up and get that football and cannot allow your team to take an interception because a DUKE defensive back wants it more than you. And that is exactly what it was...THE DUKE DEFENDER WANTED THE FOOTBALL MORE THAN SAM COOPER, WHICH IS UNACCEPTABLE.
I am concerned about Andre Ellington's health, though it was good to see the other backs in the game and contributing significantly to the win. Hopefully they were just using precaution with him and he will be available when needed down the road. I thought Hot Rod, D.J., and Brooks all played well. It was really nice to get Brooks some carries. In what will likely be viewed as another redshirting error by this staff, Zach Brooks has played sparingly all season (Ball State and Furman). If you are going to foolishly burn a redshirt, you may as well play the guy so that he has game experience going into next season.
It is tough not to heap praise on our offense after they showed out last night and put up numbers (especially in the first half) that are typically reserved from video games. I will temper the excitement by saying that Duke up front is about as close to complete crap as we will see this year and Tajh did make one bad decision last night. I will also remind everyone that we weren't playing the '85 Bears...this is still Duke. Nonetheless, credit must be given to Dabo for assuring the team avoided the letdown game two weeks in a row.
Defensively, it was a clusterfuck--especially early on and in the secondary. We have been proponents of Coach Cheese for years but the shit we saw last night was unacceptable. The shit we've seen all year (and most of last year) and most of last out of the secondary has been unacceptable. Minus a great turnaround in recruiting and/or on the field, we will (reluctantly) ask for a new secondary coach (so long as his his name is not Willie Martinez). This poor play is making me reevaluate my recommendations on beating Scar, as I do not want our guys in space with some of their fast receivers.
Along those same lines, we still haven't turned the corner at the linebacker position. Additionally, we do not get the young bucks the snaps they need.You would think the coaches would mix in Tony Steward while the game is still in question. This is another example of pure stupidity. Either play the man or redshirt him and allow his knee to fully heal. Burning a redshirt to use him on the punt team is insanity. At this point, I believe Shuey may be the best linebacker we have. He may be slower than Christmas but at least knows where he is supposed to go and understands how to tackle. With all the talent we have at linebacker, why we are not much better there is simply difficult to digest.
I would have liked to see more out of the defensive line, especially considering who we were playing. I was unimpressed with the amount of time Duke had to throw the ball, though I will concede that a lot of holding calls were missed. We have to be better than that and cannot cry about freaking Duke getting away with a holding call. You will never win a national championship complaining about such, so suck it up and get better.
We will need similar focus as Maryland comes to Clemson. We have avoided the letdown game to date, and have two marginal opponents in the next two weeks. Hopefully this team can keep its eyes on the prize and avoid the dreaded "trap game." I cannot remember the last time a Clemson team (Coach Ford's teams included, as we somehow just could not beat NC State) beat all the teams it was supposed to beat--and hopefully I am not getting ahead of myself or jinxing this squad.
Dirty Birds tee it up tonight on Sunday Night Football. Neckcar is in Texas as Jimmy Johnson looks to continue his dominance. Pro basketball isn't worth discussing. The golf wrapped up at the WGC-HSBC tournament over in China with Ian Poulter winning over the likes of Phil and Ernie. This overseas swing is typical late in each year and a great way for a lot of the big names to make big bucks in appearance fees.
Around the horn...Was there a bigger choke job yesterday than Pitt? Great addition to the ACC! These guys blew a huge, huge lead then missed a field goal in double overtime (that would have won the game) and choked away a game to the Golden Domers. LSU outplayed Alabama yesterday but Bammer simply found a way to win the football game. Les Miles made a ton of questionable decisions and got cute a time or two too many and it cost the Bayou Bengals. When you are playing as well as they were last night, I see no need to mix in all the non-essential crap. Mettenburger had his best game of the year last night, LSU was running the football well, and Alabama's defense gave up well over 400 yards. I still think that Bama is the best team in the land but LSU showed that they can still play with anyone...especially at Tiger Stadium.
We here at STS want to encourage everyone who comes to our site to challenge themselves daily. We believe that everyone has the ability to be great and we ask the same from ourselves and our university. On that note, I encourage you to watch the following video and, if you are so inclined, read the actual speech given that can be found through the link below. It is the speech that General Patton gave to his Third Army prior to the D-Day invasion. I challenge you to say that General Patton would be appreciative of you. If you say you would get a vote of approval from this great American, then you are doing well in your life. If you have half the balls this man had, well that is impressive.
Here is the actual speech's transcript http://www.taphilo.com/history/Patton-speech.shtml. I originally was going to include it in this post but wanted to give credit to the source, so click there, put your big boy pants on, and realize that to win such a war real bad asses like Patton and MacArthur were absolutely necessary.
Here is Hollywood's version (note they chose to tone it down a bit):
Damn that Patton was one hell of a son of a bitch...and we are very lucky for that.