We kind of slept Clemson the last few weeks haven’t we? There was a startling loss to Syracuse, and uneven games in wins against NC State and Florida State. Several players on Clemson’s defense were dealing with injuries, and that can catch up with you too. Just ask Alabama… Yet Clemson with the lone loss to Syracuse remained in solid playoff position if they were to win out.
The Tigers cruised against the Citadel, but facing an 8-3 South Carolina team on the road bent on avenging last year’s 56-7 loss the Tigers were a trendy upset pick. Not only was there no upset, it was a complete and total beatdown. The final score was 34-10, and it was every bit as dominanting as last years 56-7 win.
Clemson is now as healthy along the defensive line as they’ve been all year. When that unit is healthy it’s college football’s best… period.
We know the defense is championship caliber, there were questions about QB Kelly Bryant and the offense. They’ve been answered the last two games. Byrant will never be Dehsaun Watson, but he doesn’t have to be. He’s again starting to look comfortable throwing the ball. Clemson appears to have returned to their early season form when they took care of Auburn, Louisville, and Virginia Tech during the month of September. At that time many felt Clemson was the best team in the country.
They are starting to look like that again. The Tigers still have Miami to contend with in the ACC Championship game. While the Canes looked bad in an ugly loss to Pittsburgh, we’ve seen what they are capable of when they get some momentum. Their dominanting wins over Virginia Tech and Notre Dame prove Miami can play at an extremely high level.
It’s no given that Clemson will just walk into the playoffs, but it is going to be hard to bet against them after their blowout win against South Carolina.