Oh man. I'm full of negative things to say after games--far too many negative things but today I got nothing (and I love it). Umm...we didn't get the shutout? Humphries fair catch at the 50? Our 3rd string DE play? I'm stretching guys....
Cole Stoudt. Dabo Swinney. Co-offensive Coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott. Artavis Scott. Mike Williams. Streeter.
BRENT VENABLES. BRENT VENABLES. BRENT VENABLES. BRENT VENABLES. BRENT VENABLES.
This has got to be sweet for Brent Venables. He didn't want to leave Oklahoma but he really didn't want to be a co-defensive coordinator again at Oklahoma. This was a 1989esque performance. We shut down their vaunted running attack all night and could have easily gotten the shutout. I was upset for Brent that we didn't get it. Amazing.
The Clemson Defense. Grady Jarrett. Vic Beas(t)ly. Korrin Wiggins. Ben Boulware. Tony Steward.
I don't apologize for anything I have said about Cole Stoudt this season. He was a liability, etc. etc. We all know that but this has got to be one of the best ways to go out as a Clemson QB as I have ever seen. I am very happy for Cole and his family. Congratulations. I know if I had received half of the criticism and crap he has had to deal with I'm sure I would have cracked. Cole gutted it out and put together his best performance ever. 4 total TD's and no interceptions (that counted). I'm absolutely floored and couldn't be happier.
I have always maintained that bowl games don't mean all that much in the grand scheme of things (unless you get blown out). You lose to South Florida but sell Sammy Watkins on the rebuild. BCS games matter more but beating LSU, Ohio State, and Oklahoma in consecutive years is something our coaches will take on the road and recruit with. This one will also be great for recruiting momentum as we finish off the season as Scott and Elliott show their mettle. I saw Ray Ray McCloud tweeting about Artavis Scott and I think we finish this class extremely strong.
(Ok, blitz pick-up but whatever...)
(h/t Bingo Cats)
I was expecting the worst--so this feels oh so sweet.
On defense we dominated the line of scrimmage with Grady Jarrett playing like a man possessed. If he isn't drafted in the first two rounds then scouts suck at their jobs. Vic Beasly put up another stellar performance. Trevor Knight played horribly and made a lot of errant throws but we also knew what was coming. Wiggins set the tone by jumping a predictable route (one we rep all the time in our own practice) and getting the interception--he played arguably the best game of his career. Garry Peters and Alexander turned in another stellar performance at the corner (I wanted Mack to catch that one ball so much...). The senior LG Shead was a big loss for Oklahoma and would have helped their run game but Jarrett was having none of it. We will miss him, I will miss him.
On offense Gallman turned in another good performance with no fumbles. Dye continues to progress. Mike Williams really made some plays for Cole today and Scott continued to excel in his role on the team. Peake looked much better and should have a breakout season next year--granted he can stay healthy. Add Cain and McCloud--that is an embarrassment of riches.
Offensive line played just good enough against a very good Oklahoma defensive line. Their NG was a load to handle and we benefited from some injuries but overall I was pleased with the effort. We had issues with blitz pick-ups and were not able to establish the run game like we wanted but we did just enough. Number one priority for the line should be keeping Battle on the roster. Eric MacClain played a good number of snaps at LG and looked his best tonight. Lakip missed the one and got the other blocked (probably on the o-line though) but made two long ones to maintain momentum.
You beat your rival and win ten games in a season--that is cause for celebration. You do it largely with Cole Stoudt and you deserve major kudos. My hat is off to Dabo Swinney and Cole Stoudt.