Like a child waiting and anticipating their birthday, several months can seem like a lifetime. So it is, waiting for September.
Just staring at that wall calendar or the one you use as a screen saver on your computer, anyone can see that September 5th isn’t just around the corner.
As fans, there is a somewhat unrealistic expectation that they will actually witness much of value in the spring game. Especially this season. There was little of anything dramatic or even overly stimulating. It was, like always, just a scrimmage.
Sure, the defense is going to be stout, this side of the ball might be as talent-loaded as the 2018 edition. The safeties were in lockdown mode though there were few long passes. The corners were impressive, too. The linebackers are athletic and fast. The defensive line are nasty good. It was reassuring but not unexpected.
The offense, the most snakebite group in recent memory, is riddled with a multitude of players still recovering from injuries. Saturday’s game offered little except momentary glimpses of the potential of Cade Klubnik.
Here is the $64,000 questions in the hearts and minds of many. Can this offense, led by DJ Uiagalelei, really carry this team back to greatness? Yes, it’s a team sport where no one person wins nor loses a game. However, one position that is always the focus, the starting quarterback, is a little different. Saturday’s scrimmage featured some improvement from Uiagalelei but some are left wondering is it enough?
Those fans that aren’t afraid to express exactly what’s on their minds, will loudly ruminate over the next 140+ days to see if Dabo Swinney’s Tigers can once again be at the top of the mountain. Let’s be honest, a 10-3 season is considered great for any team not named Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, Georgia.
Remember, the defense delivered most of those 10 victories with little to no help from the offense led by Uaigalelei. 10-3 just won’t cut it, that’s getting close to settling on mediocrity.
Even though many fans won’t admit it, there are butterflies fluttering deep in the souls of many in Tiger Nation. Anxious that the ride is over, the dream has ended. One can rationalize that 2021 was an anomalous season.
Many can minimize the anxiety of seeing this once powerful offense rated last in the ACC in most categories and near the bottom of the FBS in total offense last season. Sitting here today, factoring in injuries, lack of continuity on the offensive line and many other things, Clemson should never, ever be at the bottom of any offensive ranking. It’s simply unacceptable and this has to change. Let’s hope it does.
After last season, the delighted doubters in the media are sitting on the edge of their perches just waiting for the first sign of mediocrity. Yes, it’s easy to feel shunned and make no mistake, the Clemson Tigers were at best ignored, at worst shunned in 2021, and deservedly so . Do they get that same treatment this season? Only one remedy exists that can change this, winning. That’s yet another reason why September can’t come quick enough.
It’s likely going to be a long, hot summer. My advice, which I won’t even be able to follow myself, is to just stay cool and chill. It will be September soon enough. The last reason the season can’t come quick enough, can we actually survive the wait? Maybe.
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