As a resident of Columbia, I've gotten used to seeing my fair share of Gamecock apparel and car flags during football season. It's not surprising, this is the home of the University of South Carolina, after all. However, after last weeks game, I noticed a lot less Gamecock car flags. Interestingly enough, I also saw a slight surge in Miami gear and car flags. I chalked it up to maybe these were lifelong Miami fans hyped for their first ACC Championship game, or just South Carolina fans trying to troll to soften the blow of 34-10. But then Sunday I was out of my apartment for maybe 10 minutes and I saw a Georgia fan, an Alabama fan, and an Oklahoma fan. Look, I'm not saying these folks aren't dedicated fans of the program, I'm just saying I'm expecting to see a lot of Bama car flags on my drive to work over the next month.
Now, let's first begin with Miami's brilliant pregame strategy.
I mean, does this ever work? Miami tried the whole pregame trash talk thing in '15 and it led to 58-0. Mark Richt's UGA squad tried this at the bottom of the Hill in '13 and lost. After learning about this, I tweeted at a buddy of mine that we'd win by 20. Well, I was off by 15, but you get the point. Look, Miami, I get it. You've heard the stories of about the U. You probably have some vague memories of the early 2000's teams. You've watched all the "30 for 30's" about Miami and thought it was awesome. Now you're wearing that logo and the orange and green and think the U is back. It's not back. You're not there yet. Maybe in a few years we can revisit this, but don't try the "bad boy" stuff until you can know without doubt you will back it up.
Now, let's look at Travis Etienne punching Miami in the mouth to get this thing started.
Quick, easy, painless. Well, painless for the Tigers. Looks like #4 for Miami took a bit of a shot from ETN there.
Next, let's look at Milan Richard snatching the turnover chain from Miami.
When Tee Higgins was pushed into Ray Ray on an earlier punt return, Ray-Ray fumbled it and Miami got to flash their turnover chain. Fortunately, that drive was fruitless as their mulleted kicker missed it wide left. They thought they'd get to bust it out again, but Milan Richard prevented that. This was a huge save, and kept this drive alive that ended with a Kelly Bryant rushing touchdown to put Clemson up 14-0.
Seriously, this is Miami's kicker. I know they're trying to recapture the 80's, but come on, man.
I love this play so much. I honestly would like to get a canvas print of this to hang in my apartment. First of all, Clemson ran the ball under center. This is been one of the things that has frustrated me over the past few seasons with Clemson is that we like to stay in shotgun on short yardage situations. There were various issues and reasons why we've done that, but man seeing us go under center to pick up a one yard score is glorious. Also, Adam Freaking Choice scored. Choice is an underrated back who's career has faced some tough injuries. I love seeing him find the endzone.
Now sit back and enjoy some turnovers
If you've avoided ESPN completely this season, you may have missed that Miami owes a lot of success to their ability to get turnovers, and they celebrate that with their turnover chain. Well, this week, the Tigers beat them in the turnover margin 3-1. And when you dominate them in turnovers and in the game in general, that calls for a special celebration.
Last week the team danced to Sandstorm in Columbia, this week Ryan Carter cut a turnover chain in half. Clemson locker room celebrations are just becoming more and more savage, and I love it. Who knows what will happen when we knock off Bama in New Orleans.
As always, if you have a moment that I missed, feel free to mention it in the comments. We now have a little less than a month until the next Clemson football game, so have a happy Holiday Season, spend some time with your loved ones, drink plenty of eggnog, and support Clemson men's and women's basketball as they continue to do work this season.