Monday, September 27, 2004

Bye week couldn't come at a better time for Clemson

Following Saturday's tough 41-22 loss to Florida State, Clemson won't play a game until an Oct. 7 meeting in Charlottesville with Virginia. My father and I will be at that one, but I'm not really looking forward to it anymore.

And apologies for the lack of posts over the weekend. I was traveling again, though I did get to see all of Saturday's game. For a nice recap, check out Jeff Quinton's analysis at Fanblogs. A few thoughts:

Our offensive line is pitiful, and I believe that's the main reason quarterback Charlie Whitehurst was responsible for five turnovers. Besides that, Whitehurst is simply not playing anywhere near to his abilities.

Justin Miller was amazing. Setting an NCAA record for kick-return yards in a game has gotten him nominated for various player-of-the-week awards (including this one) and he may very well win a few.

I felt the defense put up a pretty good fight, but when they're forced to stay on the field most of the game, they're going to get worn down.

As most Clemson fans know by now, we are dead last in Division I in turnover margin. If I remember correctly, when we won the national title in 1981, we led the nation in that category. (Here's the NCAA's official rankings for Clemson.)

I don't know who to blame for the mess our season has become. A big part of me wants to blame Tommy Bowden; another part of me says that the devastating last-second loss to Georgia Tech two weeks ago is still weighing heavily on the players' (and coaches') minds. (It's certainly still weighing on my mind.) If the latter is the case, then I suppose we can still blame Bowden for not getting the players properly motivated. But we also have to remember that these are just kids. Most of them aren't even old enough to drink yet.

Plus, there's the fact that we just don't have the talent at key positions. I fear the early departure of receiver Derrick Hamilton and defensive lineman Donnell Washington left bigger holes than most of us realized.

Anyway, those are just my opinions. I hope we can bounce back and have a winning season, but right now, it's not looking too good.

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