Is the Sky Falling?

CLEMSON – If a 2-2 record had been offered to Clemson fans after the first four games prior to the start of the season, the majority of reasonable ones would have been happy to take it. Now, even though that is the record, fans are disgruntled and looking for someone to blame.

Maybe it's not the record, but the way the record came about.

After starting 2-0, most blind loyalists just assumed the Tigers would have a 3-1 mark at worst. But a below average performance and loss against Boston College has caused the phone lines on radio talk shows and internet message boards to be lit up with displeasure and frustration.

All the chatter and angst from the Tiger faithful hasn't gone unnoticed by some of the Clemson players.

"When we won the first two games, everybody jumped on the bandwagon and now some people are jumping off the bandwagon just as quick," tight end Thomas Hunter said Monday morning. "Everybody was jumping on the bandwagon after we beat Texas A&M and after we beat Maryland."

Hunter said he understands that many believe a different play here or a different call there might have led the team to being 4-0. But he also said on the reverse side of it, that if a play here or call there would have been different, they could be 0-4.

"It's hard from the outside looking in," linebacker David Dunham said of the fans. "I'm sure everybody tries to place the blame on somebody else. I know Coach (Tommy) Bowden likes to take the blame for things because he's the head coach and that's what he feels like he needs to do.

"But people have to understand that there's different things that happen in the football game that isn't totally on the head coach or the offensive coordinator or the defensive coordinator's back. They can only tell us what to do. We make all the plays."

Most of the wrath of the fans' ire has been directed toward new offensive coordinator Rob Spence, who has called mostly conservative plays. His close-to-the-vest play calling even brought out some boos at different points Saturday.

However, Hunter said Clemson's lack of offensive production has little to do with the team not taking chances on big passes.

For example, several times Saturday, Boston College only rushed three linemen and dropped eight into pass coverage. The Eagles also mostly played a Cover-2 defense, which generally takes away deep passes.

"We might have only thrown two or three balls downfield the past game or so, but you've got to take what the defense gives you," he said. "If we can't run the ball and they're sitting there backing off playing the deep ball, there's nowhere to throw. … We've got to run the ball to set up our play-action game and then can set up the deep ball. …

"It's pretty frustrating because we all know the offense can put up big numbers, we really do. Every play it seems like there's on person that missed a block or is out of position to really hit a big play." Top Stories