Clemson would limp to a 6-7 finish in 2010, which ended in a Meineke Car Care Bowl loss to South Florida.
Meanwhile Auburn won their next 11 games and finished as the national champion.
"We didn't win [at Auburn] and our season did kind of take a turn," Thompson said at the West End Zone on Monday. "I feel like all we can do is work on this year and do what we need to do to make sure what happened last year doesn't happen this year."
After back-to-back wins to open 2011, the ACC Tigers have a chance to avenge last year's 27-24 loss to the SEC Tigers when the two teams hook up at Noon this Saturday on ABC.
"How they came back to beat us sticks out. We had them down by 17 at the half and they came back to beat us," Thompson said, referring to last season's game. "That's something us as a defense could have controlled, but we didn't. We've got to come out this year and fight."
The senior nose guard believes he and the rest of his Clemson teammates have plenty to prove on Saturday.
"We still look at ourselves as a 6-7 team until we prove otherwise, so we've got to go out there and prove to the world that what people saw last year, that's not us this year," he said. "I feel like a lot of the fans, from the [Wofford] game, feel like kind of iffy, but we're going to do what we have to do, which is execute on the field."
Through two games, Thompson has recorded 11 tackles and a tackle for loss over 104 snaps.
"I feel this year these first two games I've been more consistent, but there's more I can do. There's more out there for me," he said. "I'll continue to work hard. I'm going to continue to improve on things as the season progresses."
And he hopes
that progression includes a win on Saturday.
Plenty left to prove
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