Hey y'all, the Primer is back again. From the bottom of my bourbon-soaked heart, I sincerely hope that everyone had a most excellent Thanksgiving with family and friends...and perhaps made some new friends in the successful #occupyScottStadium endeavor. It was quite heart-warming to hear the raucous chant of "LET'S GO! HOKIES!" through the TV.
While celebrating a superb effort against our in-state rivals is dandy, this football team still has two more challenges ahead before we close the books on the 2011 season. Our last game, of course, depends on our effort in a couple of days down in Charlotte, North Carolina, in a rematch with a 9-3 Clemson outfit.
In the midst of a 2008 campaign that saw the Tigers at 3-3, Clemson fired head coach Tommy Bowden and chose Dabo Swinney as interim coach. By his own admission, Swinney was surprised by his promotion.
Although Clemson can claim one of college football's grandest entrances, which includes Tiger players touching Howard's Rock, Swinney initiated the 'Tiger Walk' upon being hired. Two hours before kickoff, the Tigers meet fans outside of Memorial Stadium.
The story of Howard's Rock is somewhat humorous. An alumni gave former coach Frank Howard a large stone from Death Valley, California. Coach Howard wanted to get rid of it; an assistant actually took the rock and positioned it in its current place of prominence. Clemson went on to beat UVA (LOLUVA) the first game after the Rock was installed.
A Presbyterian College coach once dubbed Clemson's field 'Death Valley' because of the Tigers' stout defense. By all accounts, it is regarded as an intimidating environment for opponents, regardless of the in-game music selection.
It is also custom at Death Valley to congratulate kickers in an unorthodox manner.
The Tigers jumped out to an impressive 8-0 start - climbing as high as #5 in the BCS - with an offense orchestrated by QB Tajh Boyd.
During the 8-game win streak, the Tiger defense oscillated between great and godawful.
In Atlanta, Georgia Tech handed Clemson it's first defeat of the season...
...and the wheels came completely off in a 37-13 loss at NC State.
Even though Clemson lost its annual rivalry game with Sakerlina, Coach Swinney has continued to keep his team focused on the mission at hand, although he seemed to be wearing the wrong bowl's attire earlier in the week during his meeting with the media.
Ok Hokies. Let's claim our 5th ACC title in 8 years. For all those players on the nations 10th-ranked defense that are feeling snubbed by the media, go take it out on the Tigers. But I don't need to tell you this, I think y'all are already motivated: