Sunday, September 30, 2012

Clemson 45, BC 31: I'll take it

I guess this season is just going to be a roller-coaster, if Saturday's 45-31 victory over Boston College is any indication. We can't be stopped offensively, but we can't really stop anybody, either. Could be fun. And again -- Sammy who? Sammy Watkins missed the game with a stomach ailment, and DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins stepped up and had a record-setting day -- 11 catches, 197 yards and a touchdown.

THE TURNING POINT: Tahj Boyd's big TD pass to Hopkins.

WATKINS' MEDICAL CONDITION: It was "very scary."

DABO SPEAKS: Says the defense grew up. Really?

GAME NOTES: Items of interest.

PLAYER NOTES:  Nuggets of knowledge.

UP IN THE POLLS: Clemson is now 15th in both major polls after Saturday's win.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

FSU 49, Clemson 37: Defensive debacle

Despite a decent offensive showing, Clemson couldn't stop Florida State in any manner en route to a 49-37 loss on Saturday night in Tallahassee. The Tigers (3-1, 0-1) gave up a whopping 667 yards of offense, and they seemed to have problems doing basic, middle-school-level things, like tackling.

The loss puts Clemson in a big hole in the ACC Atlantic Division race. The team must win every remaining league game and hope the Seminoles lose twice. Based on Saturday's results, good luck with that.

NONEXISTENT DEFENSE: Brent Venables takes the blame.

THE TURNING POINT: I guess the 35-3 run FSU put together to finish the game was a "turning point."

DABO SPEAKS: "It's a tough loss."

POLL PLUNGE: Clemson dropped from 10th to 17th following the loss.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Five things to watch with Clemson-FSU

Orange and White breaks down tonight's big game between Clemson and Florida State. Bottom line: Special teams might be the decider in what could be an offensive shootout.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Clemson-FSU: A 'season-shaping' showdown

The biggest Clemson game in years is a little more than 24 hours away, and Orange and White says the showdown with Florida State will go a long way toward determining what kind of season the Tigers have. You think?

IN THE BALANCE: Florida State's offense is powered by a balanced attack of rushing and passing.

SEMINOLE TROUBLE SPOTS: Key players to watch in red and gold.

ADVANTAGE SEMINOLES: How they can win.

ADVANTAGE TIGERS: How they can win.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Clemson-FSU will be a top 10 showdown

Next Saturday's marquee matchup between Clemson and Florida State will be a showdown of two teams in the top 10.

Sunday's new football polls show the Tigers moving up to No. 9, while the Seminoles are ranked fourth.

Clemson 41, Furman 7: Watkins returns in style

Yawn, again. Clemson walloped an overmatched Furman squad 41-7 on Saturday in Death Valley in a game that saw the return of star receiver Sammy Watkins.

BOYD'S BIG DAY: Clemson's quarterback had another 300-yard game, but he faced some stiff competition from Furman signal caller Reese Hannon.

'SPORADIC' DEFENSE: The Tigers will have to play much better next Saturday against Florida State, says defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

DABO SPEAKS: Clemson's coach on the game.

NOTES: This & that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Notre Dame joins ACC, won't actually compete in football

Notre Dame has agreed to join the ACC as a full member in all sports except football. It will play five games a year against ACC teams, though. Apparently Clemson President James Barker was a driving force behind the decision to bring Notre Dame into the league.

So once every three years, an ACC team will get the honor of facing Notre Dame in football, but the game won't actually count in the standings. (And once every six years, they'll play in your favorite ACC team's stadium.) The Irish certainly know how to leverage their brand.

Regardless, the mega-conference trend is proceeding as I have foreseen.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Stats entertainment!

Orange and White has a quick look at some statistics of interest regarding No. 11 Clemson after two games. Andre Ellington leads the ACC in rushing, and the Tigers have been perfect in the red zone so far this season.

CLEMSON-FSU GOES PRIME TIME: The Tigers and Seminoles will square off at 8 p.m. on Sept. 22 on ABC.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Clemson 52, Ball State 27: Record-setting day

Yawn. No. 12 Clemson racked up 526 yards of total offense and put 80 players into the action in Saturday's 52-27 rout of Ball State. Clemson improves to 2-0; Ball State falls to 1-1.

THE OFFENSE: It's on a roll, even without Sammy Watkins, who will return next week.

RECORD KICK: Spencer Benton booted a 61-yard field goal in the game, an ACC record.

DEFENSE CONCERNS: The Tigers aren't doing a great job of stopping the run, says defensive coordinator Brent Venables.

DABO SPEAKS: Quotes from Clemson's coach about the game.

NOTES: Facts and figures from the Tigers' record-setting day.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Check out the upgrades to Death Valley

Are you going to Saturday's game against Ball State in Clemson? Then check out this preview from Tigernet of the $3.8 million in upgrades the university has put in place. They include HD video boards, a new sound system and cellphone boosters, courtesy of Verizon, to help fans stay connected during games.

I'm aiming to make it to a game this fall with my dad, and I'm looking forward to the constantly improving Death Valley.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Brian Dawkins to join ESPN as analyst

Former Clemson defensive standout and nine-time NFL Pro Bowl safety Brian Dawkins will take on a new role this fall after retiring from football -- analyst on ESPN.

Dawkins' first day in the studio is Sept. 13. Congratulations to a true Tiger great.

Three Tigers lead NCAA in statistics. Really?

Great work and all that, guys, but I'm sorry, but this is kind of a BS story: Three Clemson players -- running back Andre Ellington, receiver DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins and kicker Chandler Catazaro -- lead, or are tied for the lead, in the NCAA in their respective statistical categories.

That's after one game. One.

When I was a young sports writer some *mumble-mumble* years ago, I seemed to recall that the NCAA wouldn't even release statistical standings until a couple of games were in the books. I guess they do things differently now.

ELLINGTON HONORED: Clemson's running back was named the Maxwell Award National Player of the Week for his 228-yard performance against Auburn. He was also named the ACC's back of the week.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Tigers move to No. 12 in poll

Clemson has jumped two spots in the new USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll following Saturday's 26-19 victory over then-No. 25 Auburn. Alabama is No. 1, followed by USC and LSU.

South Carolina is No. 9, Florida State is No. 6 and Virginia Tech is No. 18.

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Clemson 26, Auburn 19: Great opener

Sammy who? (wait, AP had the same lede. Oh well -- ed.)

Clemson, missing top receiver Sammy Watkins for disciplinary suspension, defeated Auburn 26-19 on Saturday night in Atlanta in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. DeAndre "Nuke" Hopkins (13 receptions, 131 yards, 1 TD) and running back Andre Ellington (26 carries, 231 yards) filled in more than adequately, and the defense under new coordinator Brent Venables got the job done.

Other coverage from the game:

TAJH BOYD: Is Clemson's quarterback a  Heisman hopeful?

DABO SWINNEY: The coach speaks about the game.

BOX SCORE: The complete rundown from the game in Atlanta.