Clemson doesn’t have another game until next Thursday at Wake Forest, but Dabo Swinney still did his regular gaggle with the media today to update the goings on of his team. There is a growing buzz about the fast approaching return of freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson, who hasn’t been ruled out for the game next week. Swinney said nothing is “off the table” with Watson. [Read more...]
Clemson is enjoying an off week from competition but the Tigers are still hard at work. They practiced again Tuesday and will go back out the next two days before taking a break for the weekend. The Tigers don’t play again until a week from Thursday at Wake Forest. Dabo Swinney did not have his regular Tuesday press conference but defensive coordinator Brent Venables and several players did talk with the media.
Clemson is into its second bye week of the season and considering the Tigers have several walking wounded, the break should do them some good. The Tigers are 6-2 and with four game left, Dabo Swinney is looking for a strong finish beginning with the next game a week from Thursday at Wake Forest. Monday morning on his weekly conference call Swinney reviewed some of the key points on the win over Syracuse and other aspects of his team.
Clemson linebacker Stephone Anthony is one of 15 semifinalists for the 2014 Dick Butkus Award. The honor goes to the top linebacker in college football each year. Anthony and Denzel Perryman of Miami are the only ACC players among the final 15.
Anthony is the leading tackler on a Clemson defense that ranks third in the nation in total defense, seventh in pass defense, 11th in rushing defense and 11th in scoring defense. The Tigers also lead the nation in third-down conversion defense and tackles for loss per game.
The senior from Polkton, N.C. has 58 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks, four passes broken up, two caused fumbles and an interception. In Clemson’s win over Syracuse last Saturday, Anthony had seven tackles, a sack, a caused fumble and an interception in helping the Tigers to a 16-6 victory.
The list of Butkus Award semifinalists include Stephone Anthony (Clemson), Myles Jack (UCLA), Jordan Jenkins (Georgia), A.J. Johnson (Tennessee), Eric Kendricks (UCLA), Hau’oli Kikaha (Washington), Bendardrick McKinney (Mississippi State), Denzel Perryman (Miami-FL), Hayes Pullard (Southern California), Reggie Ragland (Alabama), Jake Ryan (Michigan), Jaylon Smith (Notre Dame), Eric Striker (Oklahoma), Shaq Thompson (Washington), Ramik Wilson (Georgia).
Finalists for the Butkus Award will be announced on November 24 and the winner will be announced December 9.
Clemson ran its winning streak to five in a row Saturday night with the 16-6 win over Syracuse but the voters in the two meaningless weekly polls were not impressed. The Tigers lost ground in both rankings. They are 21st by the coaches and 22nd by the AP. The only meaningful poll comes out Tuesday night when the College Football Playoff Selection Committee releases its first ranking of the season.