28 October 2007


When James Davis makes a promise, he delivers

We won, I can't believe we actually won, at least so convincingly. James Davis, guaranteed a victory, and he delivered in typical Thunder style. The offense, in my opinion, looked great, despite being unable to score on the opening drive. I'm still not sure what to think of Buccholz though, I'm sure he tries hard, but I still can't understand how Tommy is letting him play two sports. Everyone keeps saying that's not really an issue, but when a kicker has trouble like this, you have to look at the obvious. If Tommy wouldn't let CJ Gaddis play baseball and football (which , by the way, aren't played at the same time of year) why would he let this kid play two sports in the same season. Hopefully our kicker will find his niche again and be able to consistently make field goals longer than 40 yards. It didn't cost us much this game, but with our other special teams struggles, it would be nice to have someone to turn to. As Chili and I were discussing a few days ago, Tommy and his coaching staff have been historically bad with kickers, citing the Jad Dean meltdown last year among others.

Some positives to take away from the game are the fact that both Davis and Spiller gained more than 100 yards, and Clemson was able to put up decent numbers on the ground and through the air against an actual BCS opponent. Maryland was weak and injury plagued, but still put up a little fight, not as much as I expected, but still enough to make us work for a victory. Clemson dominated this game, the score didn't show it, at the end as well as it did at halftime, but the defense looked great. I guess they got tired toward the end, allowing those two touchdowns, but all things considered, they held them down enough to assure a victory. Cullen Harper is repeatedly adding his name to the Clemson record books. He's now the fourth quarterback in ACC history to put up 5 passing TD's in two games in one season, though that's kind of old news now. The more current stat is that he is now tied with Woody Dantzler and Charlie Whitehurst for the single season TD record for a Clemson QB with 21. With 4 regular season games remaining, he should be able to set that mark much higher. I will say that Harper continues to be a pleasant surprise. While most of us are disappointed that we won't be seeing Willy Korn every week, we're glad that we have a dependable QB who can keep the offense moving. We're also still pissed that Harper was sitting on the bench all last year while we endured Will Proctor. Having too many good QB's is better than having none at all, so I can't complain about the controversy, if one really exists. Clemson still has a chance to play to the ACC championship, albeit a slim one, but we'll discuss that further later on.

Negatives to take away are a little more difficult to find. Of course the big one is the loss of Jacoby Ford to an ankle injury. Ford's ankle was in fact broken during Saturday's game and he will be out for the season. Clemson loses it's fastest man, and a good receiver, luckily I don't think we need to look very far to find his replacement. CJ Spiller could easily be sent to WR, and third stringer Sadat Chambers could easily replace him as Davis' backup. We'll see what Tommy does with that, but I'm guessing he won't move Spiller unless we struggle at Duke for some reason. Buccholz is still showing some inconsistencies, but I think we've beaten that horse to death.

In order to play for the ACC title, Clemson will need to play like this, or better, every game, and more importantly, they will need to get some help from other teams in the Atlantic division, since VA Tech wasn't able to take down BC. We'll need to beat BC, and have either FSU, Maryland or Miami take them down as well. Other than that, we'll probably need something horrible to happen to Matt Ryan. Hopefully this new fire I've been hearing about is for real, and Clemson will continue to step up when it counts. I'd love to see at least 9 wins this year, and the way SC is playing lately ( haha) I think we can make it happen. Duke doesn't have a conference win this year, so let's hope Tommy won't be helping them with that again this year. In parting, I think Davis needs to guarantee an ACC title or something, it just might work.