Clemson football team tries to get back on track after losing season

Clemson tries to turn it around after losing year

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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson right tackle Landon Walker saw something change early on offense that sunk the Tigers in 2010.

Clemson sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd (right) takes over as the starter from Kyle Parker. Boyd welcomes the fast-paced offense that has been installed by new offensive coordinator Chad Morris. The Tigers hope to run off 85 to 90 snaps a game.  MARK CRAMMER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
MARK CRAMMER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Clemson sophomore quarterback Tajh Boyd (right) takes over as the starter from Kyle Parker. Boyd welcomes the fast-paced offense that has been installed by new offensive coordinator Chad Morris. The Tigers hope to run off 85 to 90 snaps a game.

Clemson held a 17-0 lead last September at Auburn, a game that if the Tigers won might have changed the entire complexion of the college football season. Instead, Auburn and Cam Newton rallied for a 27-24 overtime win as part of their national championship year.

Clemson, stung by the defeat, could not recover on the way to its first losing season, at 6-7, in 12 years.

“I hate to say we got used to losing. It’s more like we forgot what it was like to win,” Walker said. “It’s something you can’t let happen. Once you forget how to win, it’s hard to get back there.”

That’s the goal this season for Clemson, which only two years ago played for an Atlantic Coast Conference championship as a league divisional winner. But an offense that couldn’t be stopped struggled to score points minus stars like tailback C.J. Spiller and receiver Jacoby Ford. Two-sport quarterback Kyle Parker took a hard shot to the ribs from Auburn safety Mike McNeal in that contest and was barely the same.

Once tailback and the team’s touchdown leader Andre Ellington got hurt in a 16-10 loss at Boston College, the Tigers’ offense was all but finished. They managed just 64 points their last four regular season games, including defeats to Florida State (16-13) and rival South Carolina (29-7).

Head coach Dabo Swinney knew something had to change. He revamped his offensive staff, getting rid of coordinator Billy Napier and hiring Chad Morris from Tulsa.

Perhaps the biggest question for the Tigers offense is the performance of first-time starter Tajh Boyd. The sophomore picked Clemson over Ohio State and Oregon back in 2009, yet had largely sat behind Parker the last two years.

Boyd said he’s put the work during film sessions and picked Morris’ brain when possible about the fast-paced system. Morris hopes to cram in up to 85 or 90 offensive snaps a game.

SCHEDULE

SEPT. 3: Troy, 3:30 p.m.

SEPT. 10: Wofford, 3:30 p.m.

SEPT. 17: Auburn, noon (ABC-Ch. 6)

SEPT. 24: Florida State, TBA

OCT. 1: at Virginia Tech, TBA

OCT. 8: Boston College, TBA

OCT. 15: at Maryland, TBA

OCT. 22: North Carolina, TBA

OCT. 29: at Georgia Tech, TBA

NOV. 12: Wake Forest, TBA

NOV. 19: at N.C. State, TBA

NOV. 26: at South Carolina, TBA


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Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 06:39 am
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The biggest improvement was

The biggest improvement was bringing in a new offensive line coach. Brad Scott never had a line that could even slow the opposition. Kyle Parker took beatings every game. Scott should have been relieved a long time ago. Good luck, Tigers.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 10:48 am
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Clemson has broken my heart

Clemson has broken my heart more than Cynthia did in 10th grade. But there was that one miraculous year...1981. Clemson didn't play that tough of a schedule back then with the old ACC and there was a question if they went undefeated would they be national champions. Luckily they had played Notre Dame, still a legend,a two game home and home series and beaten them a couple of years before so that kind of gave Clemson respectability.

That Notre Dame game at Clemson had people in the town lining the streets to curse as the Irish buses rolled into town. At a stoplight, townspeople started to rock one of the buses and nearly tipped it over. After the loss, Notre Dame said they would never come back to Clemson. Said they had never seen fans like that. Ha.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/31/11 - 11:21 am
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UGA committed 9 turnovers in

UGA committed 9 turnovers in losing that 1981 game 13-3.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 11:29 am
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Andy Cheek said at one

Andy Cheek said at one Clemson UGA game the goal post moved and Clemson missed a field goal. LOL....Anyone know what he is talking about?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 11:33 am
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I'm going to wait a while and

I'm going to wait a while and hope someone who was there can tell the story of the moving goal post. I'll try to tell it as I heard it later if no one posts.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/31/11 - 11:33 am
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I remember something about

I remember something about that. A joke I'm sure. Maybe caused by the crowd cheering so loud the ground shook.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 11:41 am
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Oh heck, I'll just go ahead

Oh heck, I'll just go ahead and tell it the way I heard it. The game was at Clemson so it's kind of strange this would have happened. Apparently the goal post was leaning to one side so badly during the game, the Clemson folks had tied a rope to it and some how pulled it back straight when Clemson began to drive toward that endzone late in the game. As Clemson attempted a game winning field goal with a second on the clock the ball sailed toward the goalpost, but the rope SOMEHOW CAME LOOSE with lots of people standing there and the post move causing the ball to go outside barely. It's a great story if it's true or not. Andy Cheek, who is a Clemson fan, says it happened. He said Georgia fans loosened the rope.

justthefacts
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justthefacts 08/31/11 - 12:48 pm
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Makes sense. Can't wait until

Makes sense. Can't wait until Saturday night...8:00 PM!

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