Missing Person’s Report

MISSING PERSON’S REPORT – Clemson’s Football Team
LAST SEEN – 10/21/06 during demolition of GT
CONTACT Tammy Bowden, Clemson SC, with any information

As much as I enjoy a good joke at Tammy’s expense, I am actually shaking my head after Clemson’s BCS dreams have evaporated into the ether over the last two weeks. The team that was generally considered the best in the ACC has essentially disappeared after a thorough dismantling of GT. If you think that I am exaggerating, take a look at their conference rankings even after back-to-back defeats:

Not too shabby. Now let’s look a little closer look at how the season has unfolded so far:

Here are a few things that stand out to me:

– Clemson’s three losses are also the three worst games for their rushing offense. In fact, they are 0-3 when they were held to less than 150 net rushing yards.

– Clemson’s best two passing games also occurred in losses. (???)

– You can not really blame any of their losses on turnovers.

– Nearly 400 yards of offense against Maryland and four field goals to show for it. (Did they hire Mazzone as an offensive consultant?)

BC is ranked 12th in the nation in rushing defense and VT is no slouch at 23rd nationally…so having “bad� games against these two teams is not a huge surprise. But UMd is ranked 96th in the nation and 11th in the ACC. What happened last Saturday?

Obviously, offense is only half of the story. Here is the breakdown on the defensive side:

A few items of note:

Clemson is 0-3 when giving up over 300 yards of total offense. The fact that the three worst defensive games (based on yards allowed) resulted in three losses is not exactly a huge surprise. But how those yards were accumulated are:

It should come as no shock when I say that Frank Beamer prefers to grind out yardage on the ground and depend on his defense. However, when the VT rushing attack:

– Is ranked 77th nationally…even with a pretty easy schedule. (Total SOS ranked 59th)

– Only managed 117 yards rushing against UNC (rushing defense ranked #114)

– And somehow managed to scorch the ACC’s #2 rushing defense (#11 nationally) for 224 yards on the ground.

– I told some friends that I expected the VT-Clemson game to be over by half-time. I have never been so right and so wrong all at the same time.

Maryland’s passing offense ranks 10th in the conference and 92nd nationally. Against the nation’s 16th best pass defense (#2 in the ACC), Hollenbach had his best game of the year…23/34 for 247 yards through the air. …What’s up with that?

Did you notice that the Maryland game was in Death Valley?


I appreciate the kind remarks after last week’s GT preview. I would really like to do something that good this week for the Clemson game….but I have no idea what to say. Which Clemson team is going to show up?

– The one that destroyed GT on both sides of the ball?

– Or the one that let a weak rushing attack bowl them over and then followed that up by letting a weak passing attack have their best game of the year?

I am not sure that State can beat either Clemson team…but it is clear that State needs to put as many defenders in the box as it takes to stop Clemson’s rushing attack. Clemson’s receivers and QB do not quite match up to what State faced last week and if they don’t stop Clemson’s dual rushing threats, then it stands no chance at all.

State’s OL has to protect Evans as well as it did against GT. Overall, the offense has to find something that works…and then stick with it. I don’t care if State rushes the ball 50 times or passes it that many. Just don’t move the ball all the way to the red zone and then try to do something different!

About VaWolf82

Engineer living in Central Va. and senior curmudgeon amongst SFN authors One wife, two kids, one dog, four vehicles on insurance, and four phones on cell plan...looking forward to empty nest status. Graduated 1982

'06 Football General

15 Responses to Missing Person’s Report

  1. 94wolfpack 11/08/2006 at 9:43 AM #

    “Overall, the offense has to find something that works…and then stick with it. I don’t care if State rushes the ball 50 times or passes it that many. Just don’t move the ball all the way to the red zone and then try to do something different!”

    I tend to agree, however, this only holds true for a rushing attack. If the offense is creating space by spreading the field deep then you can’t continue to do that in the redzone.

  2. GAWolf 11/08/2006 at 10:07 AM #

    If anyone can find them, it’s the Wolfpack. We’re on the unfortunate side of more than our share of “break out games.” Be careful what you ask for…

  3. Micky McCarthy 11/08/2006 at 10:24 AM #

    If we played Carson-Newman College of Knowledge right now, we would somehow, someway find a way to lose–fumbles, turnovers, failed execution, whatever—we would lose.

  4. class of 74 11/08/2006 at 10:44 AM #

    IMHO it is not about Clemson and what they do, it is about what we do on offense. If we have penalties, drop passes, fumble and don’t convert more than 25% of our third downs then it’s a done deal. Clemson wins and the margin is determined by how bad our offensive execution is on Saturday. They may be able to beat us by 4 TD’s but I really think it will be like most of our games, a close loss by somewhere between 4 – 10 points.

  5. GoldenChain 11/08/2006 at 11:20 AM #

    Every year under Bowden I hear how this year is going to be “Clemson’s year” because they have all the pieces. Then they seem to fall appart at some point during the season. Now if they don’t lose again a 10-3 season is plenty good but will this be the same as State’s ’02 campaign?
    Then again the potiential is certainly there to lose to one or both State/USC.
    Much like the WP faithful point to ’74 and ’83 and say we deserve better, the Clemson faithful point to ’81 and say the same.

    In a sense we’ve played good enough to win the last 4 weeks so if Clemson shows the way they did last week, who knows. However history certainly isn’t on our side.

    Another question and possible topic for you guys: is Chuck dead meat now that he has received the dreaded “vote of confidence” from the AD?!

  6. partialqualifier 11/08/2006 at 1:00 PM #

    The best part of the whole piece was:

    “I’m not sure State can beat either Clemson team…”

    My thoughts exactly. Matchups, defensive strategy, offensive play-calling. None of this matters if we drop 6-8 passes, commit numerous false-starts, fumble the ball, miss tackles, etc.

    Give the State coaches credit. Each week they find a new to beat someone. The problem is that someone is us!

  7. GAWolf 11/08/2006 at 1:10 PM #

    Who else was at the Thursday night game against Clemson when we got demolished? That tells me all I need to really know.

  8. Woof Wolf 11/08/2006 at 1:12 PM #

    I’m not sure we are in a position to take shots at anyone that has a 7-3 record no matter how they got there. And as GoldenChain referenced above, in 2002 we were flying high with our 9-0 record and came crashing down with three loses in a row. We rebounded and beat FSU and Notre Dame.

    I don’t think we are going to do well on Saturday. We haven’t had a decent road game all year. Most of the Vegas boards have us at +17 right now. 30-17 maybe?

  9. Woof Wolf 11/08/2006 at 1:15 PM #

    That was meant to be “30-13.”

  10. cfpack03 11/09/2006 at 10:04 AM #

    I’d feel a lot better about our chances this saturday if we were in Raleigh. We don’t just lose on the road, we perform poorly in every category when we’re not in Raleigh.
    Luckily, I’ll be in Death Valley to witness this up close. Unluckily, I’ll be in Death Valley to witness this up close.

  11. redfred2 11/09/2006 at 11:39 AM #

    I was offered six free tickets way back, right after the App State game, but I got the dates somehow mixed up with the WFU game, and turned them down. Then I watched the BC and FSU games and wanted to kick myself in the butt. It’s about an eight drive for me anyway, I’ll just watch in my livingroom. It’s much closer to the refrig/beer anyway.

  12. genefoto 11/09/2006 at 12:00 PM #


  13. cfpack03 11/09/2006 at 1:24 PM #

    ^ use instead of [ ]

  14. Wolfpack4ever 11/09/2006 at 11:57 PM #

    redfred2 Says: “I was offered six free tickets way back,”

    Reminds me of the contest that 1st prize was 2 season tickets to ECU home basketball game. 2nd prize was **4** season tickets to ECU home basketball games.


  1. The ACC Basketblog - 11/08/2006

    The Daily Roundup

    We’re tracking this story on the Basketblog. Get over there!!!

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