The reality of Saturday night's 34-10 loss to No. 24 Alabama hit Clemson running back James Davis harder Monday than any of 'Bama's linebackers did inside the Georgia Dome.
"My English professor started off class by asking us if we wanted to comment on any of the college football action this weekend," he said from Vickery Hall. "I can't believe that."
But he understood it.
The ninth-ranked Tigers, who will lose that lofty status after the polls are released late this evening, did nothing to gain anyone's respect on campus, in town or across the country after the offense managed zero rushing yards and just 188 total, while the defense was pushed around for 41 minutes and 13seconds, and to the tune of 419 total yards.
"When you lose a game like this and as bad as we did, it's kind of embarrassing to me," Davis said.
But what was even more embarrassing to the Tigers (0-1) was the way in which Alabama did it. Center Thomas Austin said the Crimson Tide did none of the stunting and blitzing that Nick Saban defenses are known for, but instead just lined up with their front four and physically whipped the offensive line.
Safety Michael Hamlin confirmed the same thing happened to the defense.
"They ran straight at us," Hamlin said. "I talked with a couple of the defensive linemen and they had been practicing zone blocks all week and they said they doubled teamed them the whole game. I guess that kind of threw them off track."
What really threw Clemson off track was the way in which the whole team played. With the exception of Jacoby Ford's 47-yard catch-and-run of a first quarter Cullen Harper pass and C.J. Spiller's 96-yard kickoff return to open the second half, the Tigers did very little right.
"I feel like we came out flat," said Hamlin, who had his thumb wrapped after spraining it the first half Saturday night. "I don't think anyone played to the best of their abilities, and it showed. When you look back at the game, it was terrible. I don't even like to mention it."
Hamlin says he never expected what happened Saturday night and said Saturday's game was the worse beaten he has ever been associated with, and that includes the beat downs the Tigers took at the hands of Virginia Tech the last two seasons.
The Tigers were so physically whipped in fact the players said the training room Sunday morning was filled with a record attendance. During the game, Clemson lost defensive end Ricky Sapp (knee sprain), offensive lineman Barry Humphries (knee sprain) and wide receiver Jacoby Ford (concussion) to injury before the first half was even complete.
"They just dominated us," Hamlin said.
Now the Tigers have to try and regroup. The task should be easy considering they start a four-game home stretch this Saturday (3:30 p.m.) against The Citadel.
After that, they host a N.C. State team that was shutout by South Carolina last Thursday, Division 1-AA S.C. State and a Maryland team that hung on to beat 1-AA Delaware over the weekend.
"If we can forget it, and that's going to be extremely hard to do, and just win these games, we are okay in the ACC," wide receiver Tyler Grisham said. "We are considered the best in the conference, but we have to play like it. If we are, and if we do play like we are, and we do play like we can, then we could win the ACC and that's all that matters to us.
"We want to win the ACC and we want to go the BCS."
Davis Embarrassed by Opening Loss
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