Post-Syracuse Sunday Thoughts

Brett Carlsen

Well, it ended up being the beatdown that we all expected.  It was good to see that our Tigers didn't succumb to the excruciating heat & humidity along with the terrifying noise that is the Carrier Dome.  I'll say that the ‘Cuse coaches and players should take a page from many of the Syracuse fans who came over here to discuss the football game all week.  Those folks were knowledgeable and amicable.  The folks with the national microphone looked like a group of yahoos as Clemson went up to New York and completely dismantled the Orangemen.  I hope that is a lesson learned...don't run your mouth before you even play a conference game--especially when your first conference game is against a Top 5 opponent.  Clemson simply throttled the opponent then cruised to the victory following Watkins big touchdown catch in the third quarter.

Tajh played very well, again putting up Playstation like numbers until he and the starters were pulled well before the final horn sounded.  The offensive performance in the first half was very impressive and obviously attributed to Boyd's sharp play and clear mismatches with Clemson's pass catchers against Syracuse's very questionable secondary.  Adam Humphries and Sammy both had monster games combining for 244 yards and three touchdowns.  Martavis Bryant contributed with 79 yards of his own.  I will say that I'd like to see a better effort running the football.  Clemson and The Chad seem bent on getting away from running the football.  Part of that is likely due to the lack of push the Clemson offensive line provides-no doubt.  That has to improve and has been an issue in Tigertown for many years now.

The defense played pretty well overall, though the 300+ yards surrendered on the ground is disturbing.  A lot of those yards came on a couple big plays and the game was never in doubt but you never like to see two opposing players with 95 or more yards on the ground.  I will point out that a chunk of those yards came on a fake punt...so the defense isn't on the hook for all 300.  Clearly Clemson was dominant against the Syracuse passing attack.  The Tigers made Terrel Hunt pay the price for miscues with three interceptions on the day.  I'll say that I was impressed with Breeland's play yesterday.  He did an outstanding job in coverage yesterday.  Vic Beasley looked extremely quick on the turf.  I'll admit last year when the coaches moved him to end I thought his lack of size would make that decision impractical.  That statement is flat out incorrect.  Beasley's speed off the edge has been a decided asset for this football team.  If LSU was his coming out party, he's definitely kept the party going through the '13 campaign.

Overall, you take the win and get ready for BC-for STS viewers, that means understanding that their fans will roll over here and lecture us on the unimportance of talent on the football field.  Before we put this on behind us, I'll point out the item that none of us liked (that being most Clemson fans and the Syracuse coaches) was the decision not to kick the field goal at the half.  I get it, it really doesn't matter in hind sight but the correct decision there is to take the points there and extend the lead going into the locker room.  If Clemson hadn't lost yards on the 3rd down play and had the ball (literally) the goal line, then maybe you can justify trying to jam it in the endzone.

Onto Boston College...the next three football games mark a critical stretch in this season.  Clemson has to stay composed and take care of business.  I am not overly impressed with Boston College but they did push Florida State.  Win this week and a monster showdown in Death Valley looms for all the marbles in the Atlantic Division.  We'll be looking at Boston College here at STS but, as has become the new norm, have FSU in our peripheral vision.  The ‘Noles rolled Maryland yesterday and have an open week to prepare for Clemson.

Outside of our little world, Georgia surprisingly struggled against Tennessee.  I understand that they did lose quite a few players to injury however as bad as Tennessee is, I really expected more from the Dawgs.  In spite of their injuries, they should be able to avoid losing two SEC games and will most likely represent the East in this year's SECCG.  Ohio State really got away with one last night which is unfortunate from my point of view for several reasons.  Gamblers out there were a little bent out of shape (or extremely happy) because of the late more or less fluke touchdown that allowed the Luckeyes to cover.

I was a little shocked that Ole Miss got Rick-rolled for the second consecutive week.  The Bama loss wasn't really unusual.  The loss to Auburn officially popped the Black Bears' bubble.  Mississippi now has the pleasure of hosting aTM and LSU in consecutive weeks...can you say "Four game losing streak?"

Stanford squeaked one out against a pretty good Washington football team and Oklahoma was able to hold off TCU to stay undefeated.  The U is looking stronger and stronger each week.  They were able to overcome an early deficit hosting Georgia Tech and ended up winning comfortably.  The 'canes could easily run the table if they can get past the 'noles in early November.  If there were any questions about Baylor's offense, I believe they were answered with authority yesterday.  600+ yards in a half is rediculous.

In other areas of interest, the Americans have an excellent chance to take home the President's Cup.  The US has a comfortable lead and looked to be in pretty good shape.  The only complaint from me so far is the weather that has delayed this event.  I guess that is out of Fred Couples' hands.

The Falcons have another primetime matchup on Monday.  Today I'll be watching the Patriots/Bengals early then flipping between the Broncos / Cowboys and Panthers game.  I don't really care about the Panthers but if the last couple Denver games are any indication of what will happen today, it will be over early.  I will say that watching Peyton Manning is impressive.  That guy knows what everybody on the field should be doing-including the opposing defense.  His ability to check into and out of plays, move players around, identify where the pressure will arise, and then execute is absolutely incredible.  If you haven't watched him in action this season, go ahead and do it because his understanding of the game and ability to translate that understanding into a bunch of points is something else.

That's all I've got today...enjoy the golf/football today then we'll look forward to 3:30 in Death Valley on Saturday.

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