Category Archives: Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

TFW defense isn’t an afterthought

ESPN’s future power rankings return with a look at the 25 best defenses over the next three seasons: 2021, 2022 and 2023.

Last year’s rankings had Georgia first and Clemson second.  This year, that order is reversed.  Both teams look similarly built on that side of the ball:  loaded and deep front seven, with some questions in the secondary.  (Of course, that’s somewhat relative, as both programs have recruited well.)  With regard to the latter, will the transfer portal have an impact for either before August?

For all the talk about quarterbacks and offense taking over the sport, are we giving the prospect of two very good defenses facing off in the season opener enough weight?  Is it realistic to think that the first team to thirty wins?


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football

Clemson gets one back.

Just thought you’d like to know:

Clemson defensive end Justin Foster will return to the Tigers for the 2021 season, the school announced Wednesday. Foster stepped away from the team in February due to complications related to asthma and COVID-19.

The dude was a productive player, to say the least, with 66 career tackles (17.5 for loss), seven sacks, a pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in 756 snaps over 39 career games with 13 starts from 2017-19.

Sure, it’s a long way back to being game ready, but if he makes it, that defensive front gets a little more formidable for Georgia’s opener.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, The Body Is A Temple

Opener opening line

Dawgs open as a three-point dog.

What’s your prediction on the line by game time?


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

“Tray Scott has quite the rotation to work with.”

Serious question:  of the two teams in Georgia’s opener, which has the better defensive front?

With Bresee and Murphy leading the way, Clemson’s is seriously loaded, but I’m hard pressed to think of a time when Georgia ran a deeper front itself.   Looks like it’s gonna be a helluva battle to see which gets the upper hand on the other’s offensive line.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football


Tell me, what does it say that Alabama, with the stronger SP+ rating, has less than half the chance Clemson does of going through the regular season undefeated?


Filed under ACC Football, Alabama, Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, SEC Football

“G-Day made it obvious that Clemson football will be better everywhere else.”

I’m grateful to Graham Coffey for a thing or two, one of which is being the source for discovering the treasure that is Jeff Benedict, who posts at the Clemson FanSided site, Rubbing The Rock.  I think I linked to this post from a couple of months ago for a quick chuckle.  Now, Graham has pointed out Benedict’s latest work, a detailed study entitled, “Clemson football: UGA Spring game shows Tigers are further ahead“.  Dude brings the smack:

With four and a half months left before kickoff, we all will have to pace ourselves as we look to compare and precisely predict how this game turns out but one thing was clear after watching both teams spring scrimmages – Clemson football is far better than UGA at this point and the score will reflect that UGA is once again nothing more than pretenders instead of contenders.

I was worried how I might fill the gap this summer with the likelihood of a dwindling number of Your Daily Gator posts, but it looks like Jeff is volunteering to step up and help.  Enjoy.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football

Clemson’s spring game — a couple of thoughts

Clemson had their spring game this past weekend.  Even taking this early read on things with a grain of salt, there are three takeaways worth mentioning:  (1) with the Achilles injury to its backup quarterback, Clemson has a depth issue at that position; (2) there is no Travis Etienne on the roster; and (3) the Tigers keep rolling out all these long, lanky wide receivers who are going to cause some matchup problems for Georgia’s secondary.

Did I mention that Georgia just signed Tykee Smith?  Good timing, fellas.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake

Dawgs in glass houses shouldn’t throw scheduling stones.

The next time you consider mocking Clemson for playing an ACC schedule, you might want to pause and think about where Georgia ranks on Phil Steele’s toughest 2021 schedule, based on opponent winning percentage.  [HINT:  You’ll be scrolling down for a while.]

The funny thing is that the Tigers are in fact ranked lower than the Dawgs, but not by much.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

Chess match in the opener

We’ll see some first rate defensive minds at work this September, when Georgia faces Clemson.

Brent Venables met with the media for the first time this spring and had a lot to say about his defense.  For me, the most interesting comments were his look back at what went wrong in Clemson’s last game:

— On what went wrong vs. Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl:

“Wasn’t anything worth a flip… the preparation, the game plan. You burn it all. We did a poor job of having our guys prepared. We got physically worked on the line of scrimmage. They got after us on all three levels. We were out-physicaled. They established the run early and set up play-action. We let guys run by us and through us. We didn’t set the edge all day. We got knocked off the ball.

“It was a humbling experience. A lot of self-evaluation. I think the most important thing we do in the out-of-season and what we’ve tried to emphasize in spring ball is improving our physicality at all three levels.

“We have to improve our ability to stop the run. Improving our run fundamental is where it all starts. I think we are going to be stronger up the middle of our defense this year. I’ve seen that improvement, probably the most improvement I’ve seen from any two guys on our defense is Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee. They’ve had terrific springs. If we are going to be what we all hope we can be going into next year man, it starts with those guys.”

— On alignment/pre-snap stuff vs. Ohio State:

“There were a few times we didn’t get lined up fast enough, but I think more than anything else they were more physical and we didn’t set the edge and we got knocked off the ball. When our safeties started getting over-aggressive, they threw it over us. We didn’t stop the run and did a poor job containing the quarterback. Guys trying to do too much. It was a bad night in every way. Every way.”

No doubt they looked bad.  No doubt Venables will use that to motivate himself and his players to redeem themselves in Charlotte.

Also, no doubt Smart and Monken have looked at that game and very much want to establish the run.  We’ll see who gets whom.

Speaking of not setting the edge, here’s an interesting Xs-and-Os discussion from Smart about how he and Venables deploy their inside linebackers.  Note how he uses an example of an Ohio State running play to make one of his points:


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football, Strategery And Mechanics

Goin’ to Charlotte?

Marc Weiszer asks the participants about Georgia’s season opener and they remain hopeful of playing in front of a stadium filled to at least half-capacity.  (With each set to receive each to receive the greater of $4 million or 45 percent of the event’s net revenue, I wouldn’t have expected to hear anything different at this point.)

Anyway, of far more interest to me is the event name, which I hadn’t heard until now.  Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the “Duke’s Mayo Classic”!

I can’t wait to see the commemorative t-shirt.


Filed under Clemson: Auburn With A Lake, Georgia Football