Guest Blogger: Block C
Clemson blog Block C used to be known as DannyFordisGod. The name misconstrued their intent, which wasn't just to lionize Ford but to have the best Clemson blog around. They've done that. During this Tommy Bowden mess they've had a great mix of news, opinion and humor. BC gets the unfortunate task of facing Clemson now that they are finally healthy, rested and using a new system. No one knows what to expect. To get a better feel for the Tigers, I asked the guys from Block C a few questions. Their answers follow.
1. The offense had sort of a grab bag feel against Georgia Tech. Obviously two new player callers will do that. Do you have any guesses on what Dabo and Co. will try to do this week with the ball? What will be a point of emphasis?
Block C: The Georgia Tech game can't be used as a good measuring stick for Dabo Swinney and Billy Napier (Assistant HC) in terms of offense. The entire week was a chaotic experience (TUMULTUOUS) for everyone. Less than a week is definitely not enough time to change a lot of things in the playbook, but given that they've had two weeks to prepare for Boston College you're going to see a little bit different style of football. Swinney has said that he's going to play both Cullen Harper and Willy Korn to add some confusion. CJ Spiller should be back as well after having somewhat healed from an aggravated hamstring. If we had to guess after listening to Swinney's press conference this week it would be that the Tigers are going to
2. Everyone says the problem with Clemson is not the skill players but the offensive and defensive line. Is it that simple?
Block C: Yes on the offensive side, and sorta kinda on the defensive side. The offensive line was the linchpin for our offense and that linchpin has been pulled out of the football machine, bent up, and jammed into our collective retinas. Injuries have left them as one of the most banged up lines in the ACC, if not the nation. The defensive line has had their ups and downs, but we don't think it's totally their fault. Between scattered injuries and being backed up by a very young and undersized linebacking corps, they've fared as well as could be expected. We also have a seasoned defensive backfield that was supposed to be the strength of our defense that has had to make a lot of tackles missed by our line and LBs, but has also given up some big pass plays. Our defense is starting to come around as injured players are starting to heal and younger players are beginning to understand the game at this level a little better. You shouldn't expect our offensive line to get any better as there have been some season ending injuries to some key players and our younger players just don't have the stuff to be as physically dominant as we need them to be in order to complement all the talent around them.
3. What's your take on Swinney? I thought the rah rah stuff was over the top in the Georgia Tech game (especially when he had the Punter run back on the field and run off again on national TV). Do you guys fear that if he puts together a decent run you'll end up with the next Bill Stewart/Ted Roof type?
Block C: Swinney is definitely a breath of fresh air to our program. PR-wise, he's taken all the right steps to unite the team and get our fans excited about Clemson football again. Unfortunately, the season is probably too lost at this point to salvage much of anything but pride. Some of his techniques might be a bit different, but the rest of the season is one big job interview and he's been wanting something like this for a long time. He takes these steps as though he's been planning them for a while or at least mulling over what he would do differently in his head for quite some time, because he has. He stated in his opening presser that he has kept a big notebook full of knowledge he was collecting in preparation for becoming a head coach. He brings an aggressive and excited style of coaching to the table that is completely different from the shy and reserved path that Tommy Bowden took.
Speaking to former players, we've heard from many that Swinney is their favorite coach that they've had in their careers. There will be a strong push to hire Swinney full time if he pulls off some wins this season, but the lure of a big name coach from elsewhere may be too strong for the Tigers to resist. There's no way to predict what sort of head coach he'd be if he were retained, however, so we'll lay off speculating on his Roofitude.
4. Since you guys don't do predictions until closer to game time, can you at least look into the future a bit? BC needs Clemson to play spoiler a bit and knock off FSU. Now that it is no longer a Bowden Bowl do you still think Clemson can beat the 'Noles?
Block C: Regardless of the name, the rivalry is still there. Clemson and FSU haven't been getting along since the Danny Ford era and the famous puntrooskie incident. The game being a Bowden Bowl really has nothing to do with the outcome as the series between the Bowdens ended at 5-4 in favor of the Noles. Given this information, the game itself won't be a toss up like some rivalry games tend to be. The Seminoles look really good this year. Florida State isn't back yet, but it seems that they're very close to getting there and Clemson beating them this year might just be a pipe dream.
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