Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Offensive line powers CU's success

I think we all knew it would be a good unit, but even a jaded fan such as myself has been surprised at how strong they've played. The media has noticed, too.

* Don't forget the defense: Especially the pass defense. Speaking of which, why isn't anybody trying screen passes against us? ... Here's another positive story about defensive end Gaines Adams. ... Some sports gamblers rank defensive coordinator Vic Koenning one of the best in the country. ... Linebacker Nick Watkins also is playing well, and his family, displaced by Hurricane Katrina, has returned to New Orleans.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Is Clemson the complete package?

That's the thrust of this story, and this one, too.

* Blowouts yield experience: Clemson's romps against UNC and Florida Atlantic have given young players plenty of playing time.

* Ray Ray update: This story examines how Ray Ray McElrathbey's on-field career is going.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Clemson 52, UNC 7: Heels get stomped

There's no team I love to beat more than the Tar Heels. And Saturday, we really took it to them. That was pretty, especially the running game, which is shaping up to be one of the best in the country. We didn't move much in the polls, but that's OK.

* Memories: As you know, Saturday's game also honored the 1981 national championship team on the 25th anniversary of that momentous achievement. Read stories about the reunion here and here, and a story about Danny Ford, the Tigers' coach at that time, here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Bowden to kickers: Drop dead!

OK, that's an exaggeration. But this story makes it sound like Clemson's coach is not a huge fan of the skinny guys upon whom so much is often riding in football.

* Offensive line's commitment to excellence: Just being great isn't enough for Clemson's veteran unit.

* Coleman contributes: Remember running back Duane Coleman? After a topsy-turvy couple of years, he's now the leading tackler on the team. Weird.

* Looking back to 1981: As Clemson prepares to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its national championship during Saturday's game against North Carolina, there are a few stories out there about that seminal event.: A look-back at the '81 game against UNC and a story about the reunion of the 1981 team.

* Tobacco roadkill: The ACC's North Carolina schools are really stinking it up this year in football. Well, except for Wake Forest.

* Happy birthday, rock: Apparently, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of the placing of Howard's Rock at the top of The Hill in Death Valley. Who knew?

* A new Frank Howard quote? I found this on a political blog. I've never heard it before, but it's a pretty good one from the Tigers' legendary coach.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Gaines Adams leads defense, quietly

And our all-star defensive end is doing it even though he's injured. Here's to him getting healthy and realizing his full potential.
* What does ACC stand for? According to this column, it's Atrocious Coaching Conference.

* Flashback: Here's a look at Clemson's 13-3 victory against Georgia in 1981, the defining moment in the Tigers' march to the national championship 25 years ago. I was there that day with my father, and I still remember all the details: The "Kick the Mutt in the Butt" banner we saw draped across the balcony of a student apartment around 9:30 the morning of the game, a scene made complete by a massive pile of beer cans and a passed-out undergrad in a lawn chair; standing by UGA's bus as its players arrived hours before the game and having Herschel Walker smile at me and say, "What's up?"; and, of course, the game itself, in which Walker uncharacteristically fumbled three times, I believe. Good stuff.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Trust established for McElrathbey brothers

It's the story that captivated football fans everywhere, and now you can become part of it by contributing to the fund set up to provide living expenses for Ray Ray and Fahmarr.

Make checks payable to First Citizens F/B/O Fahmarr McElrathbey. Send the checks to:

Fahmarr McElrathbey Trust
C/O First Citizens and Olson, Smith, Jordan and Cox Attorneys at Law
PO Box 1627
Clemson, SC 29633

* Dean's list: Clemson kicker Jad Dean is hoping to leave his recent unpleasantness behind him this week.

* Tigers movin' on up: Clemson may be the second-best team in the ACC as of right now. I'd kinda agree with that.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Dean to work on his kicking stride

Clemson placekicker Jad Dean has to kick the ball quicker after it's snapped, says coach Tommy Bowden. That's probably the main reason he's had three kicks blocked in the past two games, one of which cost the Tigers the Boston College game.

* Rejuvenated Tigers: Man, winning sure cures a lot of ills, doesn't it?

* Memories of 1981: The national championship team will be honored at Saturday's game against North Carolina, and Jeff Davis and Terry Kinard recall the good old days.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Clemson 27, FSU 20: Another landmark win!

Apologies for the lack of posts until late Sunday. I just got back from out of town.

There's no way around it; Saturday's win in Tallahassee was one of our biggest road victories ever. I know, I know. Florida State's offense is pathetic. But to win in a place where we haven't won since Danny Ford prowled the sidelines is indeed heartening.

Much less heartening were the two kicks that were blocked and returned for points, a problem that now appears to be more the fault of kicker Jad Dean, who seems to be taking a little too long to get the kick off than he should. (I wondered the same thing after watching replays.)

Anyway, I feel much more confident about the season. The voters in the polls agree; we're back in the rankings at No. 19. But I hope we don't get complacent.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Linemen pay fines in watercraft death

Finally, some closure. Clemson linemen Roman Fry and Nathan Bennett have been fined $257.50 for a tragic Jetski accident over the summer that left assistant track coach Jarrett Foster dead.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Running game must carry us against FSU

Heck, it'll probably have to carry us the rest of the season, too.

* Clemson-FSU preview: Pretty straightforward.

* Noles hurting, too: FSU's defense sounds about as banged-up as Clemson's.

* Bowden Bowl is all business: The fun has subsided as the game looms large for both teams.

* Homecoming time: That's what Saturday's game will be for Clemson's Florida-based players.
Banged-up Tigers prep for FSU

The defense is really hurting, and now comes news that Gaines Adams and C.J. Gaddis could miss Saturday's crucial game against the Seminoles. That would mean five starters would be out because of injury.

* FSU looks very beatable: And there should be no excuses for not doing so, according to this piece.

* Can we bounce back? We've certainly done it before under Bowden.

* Ray Ray update: New York Times veteran columnist Ira Berkow parachutes in to write about Ray Ray McElrathbey and his odyssey. And here's some praise for the NCAA.

* Not-so-special special teams: Everybody's talking about it. Is anybody doing anything about it?

* Two-dollar bills catch BC's eye: After seeing an orange invasion last weekend, Boston College hopes it can travel as well as Clemson does. Good luck with all that.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

McElrathbey OK'd for financial aid

Clemson football player Ray Ray McElrathbey will be allowed to receive financial assistance to take care of his 11-year-old brother, whom McElrathbey has custody of because their mother has a drug problem and their father has a gambling problem.

All I can say is that there is still hope in this world. Thank you, NCAA.

* And now for the bad news: The injuries on the defensive side of the ball just keep mounting.

* FSU, you have a problem: And it could be Clemson's offensive line.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Boston College 34, Clemson 33: Hello, Tire Bowl!!

Here we go again. The special teams fell apart, and that's why we lost a crucial ACC game and fell out of the Top 25. The Sporting News has a good take on the meltdowns that have become so painfully common during the Tommy Bowden era.

I'm thoroughly disgusted, but I'm keeping hope alive. FSU, next week's opponent, looks pretty weak offensively, and after that, we should be in the clear until we face Virginia Tech in October.

* In better news: At least it looks like Boston is a great town to visit for a football game.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Clemson vs. Boston College: Game on

The Tigers tangle with the Eagles Saturday at 3:30 p.m. in a huge game for both teams. Here's a look at the game, with some added historical perspective. And here's Eagle in Atlanta on why BC will win.

*Focus, please: Clemson is trying to keep its eyes on the prize amid a season already rife with distractions.

* Proctor finds a home: Clemson quarterback Will Proctor is settling into his role as a leader on the team.

* Don't forget Reggie: Merriweather, that is.

* More on Ray Ray: The excellent UGA blog Hey Jenny Slater has a very nice post up about the Ray Ray McElrathbey situation. Thanks, Doug, for a nice reminder that there are more important things in life than football. Not many, but a few. And here's to your Dawgs beating the Gamecocks.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Tigers enter unfamiliar territory

Saturday's game in Chestnut Hill will be the first game for Clemson against Boston College since the Eagles joined the ACC the other year. And a lot will be riding on it.

* We're No. 12: At least according to College Football Resource.

* All things Boston College: Again, I commend Eagle in Atlanta to your attention. Here's something I completely forgot to link at the time it happened; my blog interview/season preview with ATL_Eagle from earlier this summer.

* Ray Ray update: No real change in his status, just another nice, in-depth feature story about Ray Ray McElrathbey raising his 11-year-old brother.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Web site owner in trouble with the NCAA?

Chris Ard, the proprietor of the popular Web site, is considered a "booster" under NCAA rules because he was formerly a member of IPTAY. Why is that a problem? Well, if you've ever visited Tiger Illustrated, you'll know that it's all about recruiting. He talks to potential recruits constantly, and writes about their chances of signing with Clemson.

The question that immediately leaps to mind is: how many other people running Web sites across the country are in a similar position?

* Tigers, Tigers, future bright: So sayeth Ron Green Jr., so you know it has to be true. (Kidding! If his dad had written it, then that would be in effect.)

* Tough road ahead: Clemson's next two road games, at Boston College (Saturday) and at Florida State (Sept. 16), could be the make-or-break stretch of the season.

* Waters looks ahead: Injured linebacker Anthony Waters, whose Clemson career is over, is looking ahead to the NFL.

* Ray Ray's day: Here's a look at a typical day for Ray Ray McElrathbey, probably one of the few Division I athletes who is raising an 11-year-old kid while he's playing sports.
Tigers stay strong at No. 18 in poll

We didn't move up, and we didn't drop. We'll see what happens after Saturday's crucial Boston College game. (Here are some SID-approved notes about the game.)

* Ray Ray update: Clemson's Ray Ray McElrathbey may get a break from the NCAA and get some financial assistance to raise his 11-year-old brother.

* Will BC QB play Saturday? Clemson is prepping as if he will.

* Life without Waters: Clemson needs to adjust to the loss of potential All-American linebacker Anthony Waters, and fast.

* For BC news: Be sure to check out the fine Boston College blog Eagle in Atlanta.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Waters suffers career-ending injury

Clemson linebacker Anthony Waters, the top tackler in the ACC in 2005, will miss the remainder of the season because of a torn ACL suffered in Saturday's 54-6 victory against Florida Atlantic.

This is sad news for Waters, and it's a huge blow for our defense.
Clemson 54, FAU 6: A solid opening win

There were many positives -- and a few negatives -- in Clemson's decisive victory against an overmatched Florida Atlantic team. One big negative was the excessive turnovers; another was a knee injury to linebacker Anthony Waters. A huge positive: the defense. Another plus: a great punt return for a score by speedy freshman Jacoby Ford.

* Game stories: Read about the contest here, here, here and here.

* Player profiles: Jacoby Ford's spectacular debut is the subject of this story. Quarterback Will Proctor's debut also gets good reviews. Super-recruit C.J. Spiller did OK in limited play. Receiver Chansi Stuckey had a good game. And whatever you do, don't forget about Reggie Merriweather.

* Bowden blows up:
Clemson's coach went absolutely nuts after a blown call by the referees.

* WestZone looks great: The reviews are in, and it's two enthusiastic thumbs up.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Clemson vs. Florida Atlantic: Game on!

Yes, the season officially begins on Saturday, if it isn't washed away by rain. And here's a straight-up preview of the game. And here's another season preview type thingee.

* McElrathbey update: Ray Ray's case is still in limbo. And I'm still pissed off about it. The link also includes some other football notes, so do click it.

* Clay will play: Linebacker Antonio Clay is back in the lineup after attending the funeral for his sister.

* All about the running game: Several stories out there about our talented backfield. Go here and here to read two.

* Memories: Here's a great column on the day Clemson hung 82 points on Wake Forest in 1981. My father and I were there that day, and yes, we left early.