Grobe optimistic despite struggles

PINEHURST, N.C. - With a bye week between Clemson's games against Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, the Tigers are scheduled to host the Demon Deacons in mid-November.

On Monday, Wake Forest was picked to sixth in the ACC Atlantic.

Interestingly enough, last place is exactly where Grobe believes his team should have been selected in the preseason poll.

"I would think [that way] after last year, going 3-9, playing as many freshmen that we played last year," he said. "I'm assuming our sophomores would play better than they did as freshmen last year. I don't have a problem with that [prediction].

"We've just got to always keep in mind, the year we won the ACC, we were picked last. Nobody knew that Riley Skinner was going to be our quarterback [in 2006].

"We thought Ben Mauk was going to be our quarterback. If we had known Riley Skinner was going to be our quarterback, we would have been probably been picked to finish seventh in our division."

Grobe, who has given Clemson its fair share of troubles over the years, has never beaten the Tigers in Death Valley.

He's also never beaten Dabo Swinney as a head coach.

But with 18 starters, tied for most in the ACC with Florida State, he has no problem starting the season as an underdog.

"I think this is where we should start the season. I'm certain that, and certainly hopeful, that's not where we end up," he said.

History has shown he's likely right.

The Tigers and Deacons will do battle on Nov. 12 in Death Valley, in what will be Clemson's last home game of the 2011 season.

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