Tigers shaking national stigma

CLEMSON - Dwayne Allen is well aware of the reputation that the Clemson football program has developed over the years.

The redshirt junior tight end, who has 18 catches for 291 yards and four touchdowns through five games this season, said there's been a "stigma" surrounding the Tigers.

"They have gotten off to great starts in the past and haven't been able to have that consistency through that stretch of good teams and bad teams," Allen said.

According to Allen, head coach Dabo Swinney has initiated a change in perception of the Clemson football program.

"I've been talking about how coach Swinney has been changing the culture," Allen said. "What I mean by saying culture -- that stigma that people and the media have about Clemson football."

"The whole crew just seemed so motivated, so hungry [at practice on Monday]. They understand that the fun is in winning."

At one point in the not too distant past, Saturday's meeting between No. 8 Clemson [5-0, 2-0 ACC] Boston College [1-4, 0-2 ACC] would have all the makings for another Tiger collapse.

Not now, not anymore.

"You come off a big win like Virginia Tech, you think you're going to have guys lazy, walking around, maybe not really motivated," Allen said. "The whole crew just seemed so motivated, so hungry [at practice on Monday]. They understand that the fun is in winning.

"The only thing better than 5-0 is 6-0."

Points have been at premium in the last two meetings between Clemson and Boston College considering the Tigers haven't scored an offensive touchdown in either matchup.

Red-shirt junior tight end Dwayne Allen is Clemson's third leading receiver with 18 catches for 291 yards and four touchdowns. (Roy Philpott)
"We want to be able to score against anyone, no matter who the defense is," Allen said. "That's our first challenge, being able to go out and score and move the ball against the defense."

Scoring points and moving the ball with relative ease this season has played a large part in allowing Clemson to get off to such a hot start.

Allen, who's considered by some analysts as the top tight end prospect in the 2012 NFL Draft, is also playing a key role in the success of the Clemson offense, which has flourished under first-year coordinator Chad Morris.

Nationally, the Tigers rank 20th in total offense with 466.8 yards per game and 33rd with an average of 34.8 points.

"Teams are not able to put their best defensive back on me. They're not able to double-cover me as much, because we have so many weapons around me," Allen said. "If you want to double-cover me, who's going to be over top on Sammy [Watkins]? Who's going to be underneath on Nuke [Hopkins]?

"Coach Swinney did a great job, not only of hiring coach Morris to put in this offense, but also putting the pieces together to have a successful offense. "

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