The Clemson football team was back in the Georgia Dome Thursday morning for about a two hour practice for their Chick-Fil-A Bowl game battle with LSU coming up Monday night.
The Tigers are six point underdogs and to a man, the players who talked with reporters after practice stated that this game is about them, it’s about Clemson and re-establishing Clemson’s good name across the college football landscape.
The Tigers cannot escape the perception outside of their own organization, rightly or wrongly, that they don’t physically match up with the better teams from that neighboring conference, the SEC.
This will be their third match up with an SEC team this season. The Tigers defeated Auburn in the Georgia Dome in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Classic, but scored only 26 points. And the Tigers lost their regular season finale against USC and scored just 17 points. Against the rest of their schedule, the Tigers averaged 46.5 points per game.
In fact, in the last ten games against SEC defenses dating back to 2008, Clemson’s scoring average is only 20.4 points per game. So, Monday night is not just a bowl game for Dabo Swinney and the Tigers, it’s a proving ground.
“LSU is a great team,” Swinney said. “We’re not a great team, not yet. We think we are on our way from a program standpoint. LSU is a great football team. They are a great program because they have earned that. The consistency that they’ve played with, national champion, played for it less than 12 months ago. A play or two away from being in it again this year. They represent where we want to go from a program standpoint.”
AUDIO: Swinney updates the Tigers after Thursday’s practice [7:18]
The Tigers left the Georgia Dome for a visit at the local children’s hospital. They will practice again Friday in the Georgia Dome.