The Clemson Tigers we're given all of the motivation that they needed during pregame warmups Saturday.
After a 58-0 drubbing of Miami on Saturday afternoon in front of a national audience the Tigers are making a case week by week for the college football playoffs. They are also serving notice to opponents--don't talk trash.
"They were talking the whole time," Clemson defensive end Shaq Lawson told the media following the game. "I guess this a talkative bunch down here. I like stuff like that. I like when they talk. That motivates me more to do better, and that's what we did as team today. They started with some of our players in pregame and that just motivated us to come out here and get a shutout."
At 7-0, the first time since 2011 when the Tigers started 8-0, the Tigers have won 10 consecutive games and are serving notice that giving this team extra motivation is not advisable.
The victory today tied the largest margin of victory over another ACC school tying the Tigers 1981 win over Wake Forest. For Clemson safety Jayron Kearse today was about making a statement to the nation and the Hurricanes.
"It got personal. It kind of got personal," Kearse said. "We just wanted to come out here and pretty much show the world what we are capable of."
The talking reached a head in pregame warmups as the Hurricanes and Tigers had a dispute over field position and from there things boiled over.
"We always do our workouts and stuff on that side of the field and they were getting in our way and stuff," Clemson cornerback Cordrea Tankersley said. They were looking at us the wrong way, and it escalated from there...after that it was like, 'Alright! It's getting personal. It's time to take care of business now."
And take care of business is exactly what the Tigers did jumping out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and did not look back going into halftime up 42-0. That is when coach Dabo Swinney stepped in to put a stop to the talking,gathering his team on the sideline for the first couple of minutes of halftime to have a meeting about his expectations.
"This is one of those place's where you've got both teams crossing (to go to the locker rooms) and all that stuff. It's not a good setup to be honest with you," Swinney said postgame. "And I was in the locker room but I heard there was a little chippy-ness before the game and it just seemed like we were losing our focus a little bit. You know it's one thing to play with emotion but it's not okay to be emotional and we have to channel that the right way. So I just felt like we needed to get refocused on who we are and the way we do things at Clemson. You know I'm not about all that stuff."
After Swinney's meeting with the players the 6th ranked team in the country put the finishing touches on the worst loss in the history of the Miami Hurricanes football team scoring 20 more points before the clock mercifully wound to all zero's.
However, for future opponents might want to heed the words of Tankersley--don't talk, just play.
"They played hard and they are a good program, but with the caliber we are I don't think you want to do that."