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Historical Eye of the Tiger: Clemson v. Troy

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First-Half Struggles in 2011 Are Ancient History

Our Clemson Tigers and the Troy University Trojans, from the city of Troy, Alabama, share little gridiron history, having met just once in 2011, a 43-19 season-opening Tiger victory under first-year offensive coordinator Chad Morris. A familiar cast of characters led the Tigers that day, including Tajh Boyd, Nuk Hopkins, Sammy Watkins, Andre Ellington, and Dwayne Allen on the offense, and Brandon “Yams” Thompson, Andre Branch, Malliciah Goodman, Coty Sensabaugh, Xavier Brewer, and Rashad Hall on the defense. Most Tiger fans will remember the sluggish first half which saw Clemson jump out to a 10-0 lead (including Sammy Watkins first career touchdown on his first career reception) only to squander it and head into half down 16-13 amid a chorus of boos. But the offensive explosion in the second half (30 points and 347 yards) satiated the Tiger faithful and set the stage for an offensive transformation in Tigertown that continues unabated (and progresses) despite Morris’s departure.

If the men of Troy, AL are to have even the slightest prayer against the Orange Empire, they better bring all their horses with them.

Does Troy have the “horsepower” to keep up with the Tigers?

But to avoid being labeled a “Homer,” let’s turn the page from the Iliad and Odyssey to a story more pertinent and promising for these wayward Trojan warriors confronting their death in the Valley, Virgil’s Aeneid.

Will this “Trojan War” lead to an “Odyssey” for the Tigers?

Though duped into defeat once already in the ill-fated siege of Troy, Aeneas and his fellow Trojan survivors trekked far and wide in search of solace and support from men and gods alike. They eventually found it in the hills of Rome, Italy and sowed the seeds of a great Roman Empire that would rule the world for centuries.

Or will the Trojans fall on their own sword after an epic defeat?

Could this history repeat itself on the modern-day gridiron? Will the Trojans flip the ancient script, deploy their own “Trojan Horse,” and catch the Tigers off guard to steal a victory that transforms the college football landscape in one momentous blow?

After compiling 706 yards of offense in their 57-17 season-opening romp over Austin Peay last week, they should come in with confidence. And defensive coordinator Vic Koenning will be looking to butt heads once again with his old “Goat Boy” nemesis Dabo Swinney.

Dabo gets the Laaaast Laaaaugh over Vic.

But unlike the Greeks of old, who toppled Troy then promptly descended into division and chaos, the #ClemsonFamily bond is strong and everyone is #ALLIN with one goal: to get our Paws on that national championship trophy. This is our destiny, and we will not be denied. Men of Troy, prepare thyself for a beat-down of epic proportion!

GO TIGERS!