Several great things happened yesterday in Death Valley. First and foremost, the Tigers avenged last year’s last second cancellation in Tallahassee with a win. They also scored more that 20 points against an FBS opponent in regulation.
Secondly, what a nice tribute to Bobby Bowden. Tommy Bowden made his first trip back since his tenure ended in 2008. I’m glad he and all the Bowden’s felt a warm, genuine heartfelt tribute to a true legend. The Clemson Family should be proud.
Finally, the Tigers, despite penalties and turnovers, showed some much needed improvement on offense. Sure it was sloppy at times but improvement was seen.
Then, there’s Will Shipley. This young dynamo arrived at Clemson and quietly went about the business of getting ready for the moment his number was called. While he’s heard it called early and often, It was certainly called and needed last night. He was unconquerable and literally “willed” himself to carry the Tigers to a win and did so, impressively.
Sure there were ugly moments. Sure there is room for lots of improvement but on balance, there is hope that this team isn’t through yet. In several post last night, I used the two words ineptitude and embarrassing to describe what I saw and at that moment in the game both applied. However, when emotionally involved, some of us get lost in the moment, not looking at the game and outcome from an overall perspective.
The blaming will continue, the meltdown will surely continue, despite NC State losing agina and this team still alive in the Atlantic. That’s what and where we are this season. Rather than ruminating, I’m at peace. Honestly, at times, this offense looks like a “B” movie featuring the Keystone Cops. It’s so painful, one has to laugh to keep from crying. Again, I’m hopeful the desperate laughter and tears might be drying up soon, because, again there was improvement.
Rather than expecting championships, I’m living in the moment here in 2021, accepting any win, even a left-handed one, like last nights. Yesterday, instead of looking for the bad, I’m thinking about Will Shipley. He and this defense hand delivered this precious “W” and Tigers everywhere should be thankful to them all. Our opportunities for many more “W’s” might be limited but yesterday, the fifth one was earned and was much needed and very appreciated.
So, it’s on to Louisville and God only knows what this upcoming trip will deliver but it won’t be delivered in the form of a surprise. Struggling, as the Tigers have been all season, at times, it doesn’t offer the luxury of many good surprises, mostly bad surprises.
Just think of the injuries and transfers, that’s a whole different, painful type of surprise and the Tigers have had more than their unfair share. My three wishes for this week’s matchup are simple. Safe travels, no injuries and please, more of Will Shipley.
Yes, last night’s win wasn’t pretty but it wasn’t ugly, either. As in life, it was a little bit of both. This team needs to bask in the spotlight of victory and then, get ready for their 7:30 meeting in Louisville on Saturday night. Here’s to a great week and to enjoying the sweet taste of this precious victory. In other words, savor the moment. That’s about it from the Sunday Morning Armchair this week.
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