Clemson football recently returned to uncharted territory after suffering a loss to division rival NC State. The Tigers’ playoff hopes were hit hard in the 27-21 double-overtime loss, as was their roster, which ended without three key players: the defensive lineman Bryan Bresee, linebacker James skalski, and coming back Will shipley.
In a recent edition of Cover 3 Podcast, Bud Elliott and Danny Kannell discussed the Tigers’ current situation after suffering two losses and multiple injuries early on.
âI mean, if you ask if they’re going to start playing like they normally do, I don’t think so. If you ask me if I think they are going to have another drop, like another new low, I don’t really think so either â, Elliot said. âI think this team can find a way to win maybe eight, nine games. They already have two losses, but they are still the betting favorites to win the ACC this morning. What you know, sort of talks about what ACC is right now. But these are big losses. Tyler Davis, as you mentioned, is also absent. I mean, that’s one of the reasons we really liked this Clemson squad, it’s because of their dynamism on the defensive front, and now you have two of their best players in the conference, who are going to be away for long periods of time. So yeah, it really hurts.
Kannell highlighted how difficult things could be for Clemson’s head coach Dabo swinney when it comes to keeping his team motivated down the stretch if the playoffs are unattainable.
âObviously the injuries will hurt. I don’t know if it hurts as much as their feelings right now. And that’s what I’m watching for Clemson for me â, Kannell said. âThey haven’t been in this position for six or seven years, so you have an entire class – no one on this list has faced that kind of adversity. No one on this list had to say, ‘Well, let’s give it our all because we want to make a bowl.’ Like, it’s not the playoffs. And it’s a different dynamic and we’ve seen different programs across the country struggle in that position when you expect a championship or a failure. What happens when he goes bankrupt so early in the season?
âI think it’s a healthy culture, really. I think Dabo preaches the family, all-in, I like it, I like what he preaches. It will be tested this year. Like, how invested is this team and, ‘Hey, the team before me, and we just need to get to work and keep doing our best.’ It will be fine, I think it will be fine on the pitch. But practical – Do they have the same motivation? Do they have that same hunger, that same desire to get a ten-win season? Is it enough to really motivate them? I do not know. And it’s not the disappearance of Clemson or something, I think it’s going to be a really unique challenge for Dabo to go after his players and make sure they’re still as invested as they are. they’ve been every two years because every other year that you’ve been able to take, ‘Well, that’s just a waste. We can still go back to Playoff. And they did. They got, they won the ACC – they still got to accomplish all of their goals. I’ve talked about it a lot, you know, if you’re a coach, you can go back into that room and say, “We can still hit all of our goals.” What happens when you can’t? Can you still sell the playoffs as a two-losing team? No. So, are they going to be so motivated to say, “Let’s win our division or win the ACC” when everyone is laughing at the ACC? I guess it’s going to be a challenge for Dabo.
When asked if he is keen to motivate his players without a clearly visible playoffs, Swinney said expectations for his team have not changed yet.
âThe expectation is that we are the best we can be. It never changed. And that’s the only case, âSwinney said after the game. âThings happen, guys get hurt, you get your heart broken along the way. But the expectation is that we are the best we can be and that has not changed. This is not going to change. So in order for us to do that, we have to lock ourselves in and dump that, learn from it, and go and try to win a game this week. This is what we have the opportunity to do. “
Clemson football returns to action with a homestand against Boston College on October 2.