Clemson’s upset loss to NC State Saturday night wasn’t much of a surprise if you’ve paid attention to the Tigers this year. Even Dabo Swinney knows his team is flawed.
Ahead of the 2021 season, most so-called college football “experts” locked Clemson into their College Football Playoff predictions. Those same experts just happened to forget the Tigers lost an unbelievable amount of talent, particularly at quarterback and running back, from last year’s team. No team can replace players like Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne and not skip a beat.
Clemson’s underwhelming start to the 2021 season took another bump Saturday night when the NC State Wolfpack fans rushed the field following the Tigers’ double-overtime loss. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was meh. Clemson’s running game was meh. And the Tigers defense finally looked human and gave up 27 to the Wolfpack.
Clemson’s biggest issue lands on the offensive side of the football. We know it. The fans know it. Swinney knows it.
“We got a lot of work to do,” Swinney said regarding the Clemson offense.
Dabo on offense: "We got a lot of work to do." pic.twitter.com/5YvOBXAkOs
— TigerNet.com (@ClemsonTigerNet) September 25, 2021
That, right there, is the look of a man who’s defeated. We don’t blame him.
Clemson has set a new standard of success for itself that doesn’t leave room for two-loss seasons. The Tigers failed the mark before the month of September even ended.
Dabo Swinney will find a way to get things turned around. He almost always has. But sometimes scheme and pep talks can’t turn the tide.
The reality is the Tigers’ offensive line isn’t capable of competing for a title and D.J. Uiagalelei has a ways to go.
It’s going to be a long season in Clemson.