Clemson Football: Looking Forward to Friday night in ‘Hot House’

The irony is not lost on anyone that has ever entered the Carrier Dome, aka “The Hot House,” that the Dome is named for the inventor of Air Conditioning, Willis Carrier.

Those poor souls that come to watch a football game and end up swimming in their own sweat only adds to the mystique of this place. In my opinion, having visited, its not someplace I’d choose to watch another football game. However, it seems to suit the Syracuse Orange and their fans and both use it to their full advantage, as they should.

It’s funny, Clemson’s predecessor to Littlejohn Coliseum, Fike Field house had the same reputation. Opposing teams would complain of the “cage-like” atmosphere of Fike. The cadets, the fans would be mere feet from the court of play. It was hot, it was smoky and it was intimidating. A miserable place to play, except for the Tigers, it was home sweet home. So is the Carrier Dome for Syracuse.

As the Tigers head north this weekend, the Tiger faithful hope that more than the leaves and weather changes. The Tigers are suffering from a severe Vitamin O deficiency. They need offense, quickly as the Carrier Dome has been a hard place for the Tigers to play even when they had a prolific offense.

They struggled mightily in 2017 and lost, in a Friday the 13th nightmare, as I remember. Regardless of the record of either team, this game has always been hard fought. On two different occasions, the Orangemen have “taken out” the Tiger’s starting quarterbacks. Trevor Lawrence in 2019 and Kelly in Bryant in 2017 were both sidelined against the Orange. One hopes that won’t be the case this Friday night.

Bluntness and sugarcoating aside, something has got to give in this offense. A wholesale change in scheme at this time can’t work, it’s too late into the season and it’s not as simple as “flipping a switch” and the light will magically come on either. The running game looks poised to carry its share of the load but what about the passing game? Is it poised and ready? That’s the million dollar question. I guess, like in the previous five contests, the Tiger faithful will have to wait and see.

Stranger things have happened and a complete turn around could be in the future, who knows? One thing is for certain, with any improvement in offensive production coupled with this stout defense, the ACC Atlantic championship is not out of the Tiger’s grasp. With a strategic loss by others being completely possible, the Tigers just need to win, style points don’t matter anymore. There is still a lot to accomplish in 2021. It’s all dependent on the Tigers getting that much needed infusion of Vitamin O.

So, whether you’re headed to the Hot House or staying in the cool comfort of your own living room remember, this upcoming Friday night, anything is possible. Tigers everywhere hope that includes an improved, vigorous Tiger offense and another precious win. Only the passing of time will tell the story.

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