After its 2-3 start, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney was forced to adjust his team’s thinking from the big picture to the much smaller picture of the old “one game at a time” approach. So far, it’s working.
The Tigers have won their last two games to keep alive their hopes for a second straight Atlantic Division title. Swinney, in his conversations with the media, is identifying each game as a season into itself. That approach has been adopted by his players as well.
In preparing for this week’s game at Boston College, the Tigers appear to be totally focused on the task at hand. To the point that some weren’t even aware their next two opponents, NC State and Florida State, play each other Thursday night in Raleigh.
Click below to listen to audio from the Tiger players and coaches.
Boston College features the ACC’s leading rusher in Montel Harris who had 191 yards against Florida State and 116 yards last week against Maryland. Clemson’s defense is coming off a game where it was prepared for Georgia Tech’s option attack. Defensive coordinator Kevin Steele made some major adjustments for that game including starting Jonathan Meeks at free safety ahead of Rashard Hall, who is the team’s leading tackler.
The Tigers “held’ Georgia Tech to 242 rushing yards, a much better showing than in their two meetings last season when Tech combined to rush for over 600 yards. Last year in a win over Boston College, the Tigers limited the Eagles to just 54 total yards. This week the Tigers are 51st nationally in total defense at 253 yards per game.
Clemson’s Andre Ellington is emerging as one of the ACC’s new, young stars. The redshirt sophomore from Berkeley is the league’s third leading rusher and is coming off a career high game of 166 yards in the win over Georgia Tech, his fourth game of over 100 yards this season. Ellington also is a dangerous receiver and kick returner. He has 10 touchdowns rushing and one each receiving and on kickoff returns.
Tiger quarterback Kyle Parker was sharp against Georgia Tech competing 17 of 27 passes for 167 yards and 1 touchdown. He has not thrown an interception in his last three games.