clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

What Must Clemson Do to Win in College Park?

New, 44 comments

SBN asked us this question, "What does Dabo Swinney need to do to get the 2nd road win of the year?" Well my answer to that is the same thing he's been doing this year. If he stays out of the way of Chad Morris and Kevin Steele, and lets his coaches that he picked coach their jobs, then focuses his energy on recruiting and keeping the team focused, we will win.

Just look at the things we've wanted to get done here, that have been done. We wanted a training table, and now we're getting a training table. We wanted Brad Scott gone, and now Brad Scott is gone. We suggested Caldwell as the best OL coach in the south, and Dabo hired him. We wanted Powell out, and Powell is out. He now coaches for Maryland. We wanted a single cohesive influence running the offense, Dabo went out and picked the right man for the job, and took his hands out of the playcalling.

When Dabo was hired, we were all pretty tired of Vic Koenning's defense. We were good, and had a great secondary, but he often blew leads late in games, a la John Chavis at Tennessee. He used to sit back and play Cover 3 and let them complete every dink & dunk pass, and at the end of the game it would bite us since our offense could never score points. VK rarely blitzed, and Dabo preferred an aggressive style of blitzing man-man coverage, so he was out. He went and got Kevin Steele from Alabama, which I considered a small coup at the time. Steele plays the schemes I like the most, and his defenses have been good in his time here. They were the only bright spot when our offense could never score points in 2010. Dabo made a good hire and backfilled the defensive staff spots with a group of solid coaches and recruiters.

I think we all had a few reservations about Chad Morris when he took the job, except for the mouthbreathers that automatically think every decision made at Clemson is correct. Friedgen was available and wanted this OC job badly, and many of us preferred him. I didn't expect, and I believe no one outside of the team expected, Tajh Boyd to play himself into Heisman consideration. He came so far in a few months that Chad Morris deserves every bit of credit in the world for the coaching acumen that his predecessor lacked, and Tajh himself deserves it too for the study he put into this system. I didn't expect Sammy Watkins to set every opposing defense on fire like this (600+ yds), not by a longshot. I figured DeAndre Hopkins would have numbers closer to that figure.

Just look at the changes that have occured on offense. Average YPC up from 2.95 to 4.1. Rushing yards per game have nearly doubled. Passing yards per game close to 300. Total offense up from 312 to 472. Turnovers down 33%. Thats no joke, and its all Chad Morris + Dabo's recruiting. We havent even broken 400 yards against BC since 2006, and put up 500 on Saturday. Even the true freshman backup QB led us on two scoring drives against BC. That means one thing: The Chad can coach the shit out of a QB. Pay this man what he wants.

People question me and wonder why I don't give Dabo credit and jump on his bandwagon. Well, we do, but if you want to follow the usual rule and decide on a 3-5 midseason coach after the season, on his body of work, then you'd also wait til the end of the season to decide on positive things as well. That is what we intend to do. I want to see Clemson beat the teams we're supposed to beat, win 10 games, and win an ACC Title. He lost a lot of support last year, and we don't give it back over a 6-0 start. I'll judge him after the season is over. If Dabo keeps doing what he's doing, and focuses on keeping the team's head on straight and shoring up deficiencies in recruiting, the sky is the limit at Clemson.