LIVE FROM MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL
While this is the lowest attended game in the bowl’s short history, there’s still more people here than was at the Panthers-Falcons game a few weeks ago. And on the bright side, South Florida head coach Skip Holtz is back in town.
Before we get started, for those of you just reading my blog for the first time, you need to know that this blog is intended to joke and make light of things. While there will be some serious and real info, it’s also full of stupid remarks.
And what is a perfect fit for the Clemson football team and season, the Tigers miss a field goal on its opening drive. That’ll give head coach Dabo Swinney even more fodder to say, “We’re just a few points away from being 9-3 or 10-2. If we just kick a couple of extra field goals, we’re playing for the ACC Championship.”
Well, there you go Dabo, now you can tell you fan base even more nonsensical stats and sound more and more like Tommy Bowden with each passing game.
Dabo and babe offensive coordinator Billy Napier have called a few trick plays early and both have been disasters.
After a couple of quick possessions by South Florida, the Tigers put in Tajh Boyd at quarterback. Many Clemson fans have been wanting him to play much earlier in the year after Kyle Parker got scared to get hit earlier in the season. I’ve been told my several people connected with the Clemson program that Kyle is not liked by his teammates and that they can’t wait for him to leave.
Personally, I think it’s got something to do with the coaching staff treating Parker like a senior and giving him all the privileges as such, like running down the hill solo on Senior Day and riding in the front of the
team bus with all the other seniors on the way to games.
South Florida just marched the length of the field and scored a touchdown to take a 7-3 lead.
And in one of the worst throws ever thrown by a BCS college quarterback, Parker threw it across his body to the other side of the field and right into the waiting arms of Quenton Washington, who returned it to the Clemson 7.
This is why Clemson fans have been wanting the Kyle Parker Era to end months ago. He’s had a horrific year and acts as though nothing bothers him. If he throws a bad pass, oh well. But Dabo had no choice to keep playing Parker because he sold him a bill of goods in that he had NFL potential. And by returning to Clemson, Parker gave up $900,000 by MLB’s Colorado Rockies.
END OF FIRST QUARTER
SOUTH FLORIDA 7, CLEMSON 3
Clemson did well to hold the Bulls to a field goal and trails only 10-3. Again, nice pass Parker.
Clemson’s next series doesn’t go well and the punt is actually partially blocked.
And just like that, South Florida takes a 17-3 lead after another touchdown pass. I wonder how much longer Parker will continue to get on the field. I was told by someone real close to the program that Boyd was expected to play most if not all of the second half. With a blowout looming, I wonder if it’s going to happen.
Just in case we’re about to see the last of Parker in a Clemson uniform, here’s some interesting tidbits about the Florida native, though I doubt all of them are true:
Coming out of high school, he was rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback in the nation… he played in the UnderArmour All-American high school game and threw the game-winning touchdown… he once dribbled a basketball eight straight hours, which earned him his elementary school’s athlete of the year award… Parker chose Clemson over Florida State, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Ole Miss and Nebraska. Clemson fans now wish he’d chosen one of the other schools… he once had a jam session with Kings of Leon and eventually turned down a chance to tour with the band because Dabo said he had a chance to play in the NFL. Everybody knows music is his strong suit.
Clemson actually makes a field goal to make it 17-6 with 3:55 left in the second quarter.
South Florida fumbles with 1:20 left in the first half and Clemson recovers at the Bulls 43. The Tigers have two timeouts remaining.
Clemson fans are now booing Parker and his throws. There are a few more people on the Clemson sideline that should get booed, too.
On fourth-and-8, Parker scrambles and eludes a couple of sack attempts and hits Marquan Jones for a major gain to put it at the South Florida 2. It was the best play of the game so far by Parker. It was also a blown coverage by the Bulls defense.
On third down, Jamie Harper scores a rushing touchdown to make it 17-13 with 30 seconds left in the half.
SOUTH FLORIDA 17, CLEMSON 13
OK, I’m going to play conspiracy theorist: I told you earlier in the game that someone had told me that Boyd was going to play most, if not all, of the second half. Well, sure enough, it was announced that Boyd will play the second half because Parker has “broken ribs.” Coincidence? Maybe I’m being ultra cynical, but I’m not sure if I believe that. I think it’s awfully convenient. Maybe he is hurt, but I’m not 100 percent sold on it.
And with that being said, South Florida scores another TD to make it 24-13 with 9:47 left in the third quarter.
South Florida has a big punt return and is very close to ending all doubt about this game.
DeAndre McDaniel just make a nice hit on a South Florida player and then the Clemson DB started jawing and the South Florida coaches. Has he looked at the scoreboard?
I just read a post on the TigerIllustrated.com message boards that read, “Dabo is the NCAA version of the death penalty for Clemson.” That’s actually pretty funny stuff.
I like Dabo a lot as a person and human being, but I think he made a major, major error in making Billy Napier his OC and keeping so much of the offensive staff, including Brad Scott. Dabo brought in a lot of outside talent to coach the defense and it’s a shame he didn’t do the same on offense. Ask yourself this question: Is this offense any better now then when Mike O’Cain was OC or Rob Spence, who was hated by all the Clemson fans? I think not.
Dabo needs to clean house on the offensive side of the ball and start anew because if this keeps up and he has another 6-6 season, he won’t be around for the 2012 season. He needs to do it to save his own neck.
South Florida missed a field goal to give Clemson a little bit of hope. There’s 3:15 left in the third quarter.
Newbie OC Billy Napier calling all kinds of trick plays. By my count, that’s four. The first two lost yards, the next two have gained modest yards.
There’s a rule of thumb, when you’re using trick plays, that’s essentially saying we can’t beat you in a normal circumstance. We have to trick it up in order to have a chance.
END OF THIRD QUARTER
SOUTH FLORIDA 24, CLEMSON 13
This fourth quarter has been less than climatic. However, the Clemson Tigers have scored late and meaningless touchdowns to make it much closer than the game really was. I just pray Dabo won’t do the whole, “I’m so proud of my guys for not giving up and we come to work everyday” crap. And the reason I call it crap is because this was an absolute waxing done by South Florida minus the last two minutes.
It’s now 31-26 with 0:43 left to play. Here comes another onside kick for Clemson. South Florida recovers and that’s the ball game.
I have a lot of friends that went to Clemson and work at the school, but even they can’t spray enough perfume on this sorry of a season and game to make it not stink.
A quick note: I was told that former SFU quarterback Matt Grothe spoke with Clemson officials (Dabo) about possible joining the staff next year. In all likelihood it would be as a graduate assistant.
I’m happy for Skip Holtz, who is one of my all-time favorite coaches. And just for the record, former Clemson defensive coordinator Vic Koenning is my other all-time favorite. Glad both got bowl wins this year. Vic is the DC at Illinois.