"Singin' in the Rain", "Fire and Rain", "Laughter in the Rain"--all well known songs regarding the liquid precipitation that the state of South Carolina have become all to familiar with in the last week. The Clemson Tiger football team is preparing for the possibility that raindrops will be falling on their head again this coming Saturday.
With a forecast of rain for this weekend's matchup against rival Georgia Tech at 3:30 p.m. head coach Dabo Swinney at least knows his team is prepared for the weather.
"Wow! Well, we're well prepared for that," Swinney said when told about the forecast Wednesday following practice.
For Swinney and his Tigers the rain has put reigns on some of the teams biggest weapons--it's receivers.
The deluge of last weekend caused the Tigers to change their game-plan, which had called for a more arial attack, to an almost exclusive ground attack or a Navy attack as opposed Air Force. The plan had called for the Air Force this week but if the weather holds true a call to the Navy may be in order for this weeks game also.
"Coming into this game (Notre Dame) I was telling the team, 'Alright boys, time to bring the Air Force out.' It's time to get the Air Force going and we end up calling in the Navy because of the situation," Swinney said. "I haven't even looked at the weather , so it really doesn't matter. Whatever, we'll be ready to play no matter what."
Being ready to play comes down to one thing for the Tigers regardless of which branch of the arsenal is called into play--take care of the football.
"Take care of the ball and don't throw it to them. That helps when you don't score for the other team. We were blazing out of the gates, just up and down the field then...you turn it over, you're in harms way," Swinney said.
In last years game, a 28-6 drubbing in Atlanta, the Tigers turned the ball over three times including two pick sixes both by Cole Stoudt who replaced an injured Deshaun Watson.
Stoudt, while not with the Tigers any longer after graduating, is still serving as a lesson for this years squad to always be ready to play.
"It was a great lesson because Cole was not ready to play. He just was not ready to play, mentally or emotionally or whatever. He came in and he really had a bad game," Swinney told media after practice Wednesday. "That's a great lesson for everybody. You have to always be ready. You never know when you are going to be called into a game."
Come Saturday night the Tigers hope that they will be "Laughing in the Rain" at 5-0 and moving one step closer to their ultimate goal.
After practice head coach Dabo Swinney confirmed that defensive end Dane Rogers will be available to play this Saturday against Georgia Tech after missing two games with an ankle injury.
Freshman defensive end Austin Bryant, who was injured in the the Tigers victory over Notre Dame, and defensive end Chris Register (shoulder) are also going to miss this weeks matchup. Both should be back and available for Boston College next week.