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How Tough Is Clemson?

Not especially, at least defensively, according to this story in The State. I'm always curious as to what degree such motivational tactics. Obviously, Ralph Friedgen's challenge to the Terrapins before the Cal game paid huge dividends. But are the Tigers really going to play harder because their defensive coordinator compares their softness to toilet paper? Maybe. Obviously, such tactics have a better chance of working with 18- to 22-year-olds than with 30-year-old NFL players, who have all the motivation they need in non-guaranteed contracts.

Meantime, Clemson quarterback Cullen Harper responded to criticism from fans and media, many of whom would like to see freshman Willy Korn get a chance.

“You look at most places and it seems like they’re always praising the quarterback and stuff like that,” Harper told The State. “Every throw I make is going to be judged and scrutinized, but that’s just the way it is here. I remember it was like that when Charlie (Whitehurst) was here. Same thing with Will (Proctor). So I don’t expect it to be any different.”

It's amazing how college students can handle situations when they're allowed to speak for themselves -- often better than coaches.

Finally, reading stories out of Clemson this week such as this one, you really get the sense that, after getting pole-axed by Alabama in the season opener and then rolling over three lesser opponents, the Tigers have little sense as to who they really are. Maryland, without question, has been wildly inconsistent, but thanks to the victory over Cal, the Terps at least have some sense as to how good they can be. It seems like this year's Tiger don't yet.

And just in case you missed it, here's Eric's story on the problems in the Terrapins' secondary.

By Matthew Rennie  |  September 24, 2008; 8:02 AM ET
Categories:  Football  
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Ralphs impassioned plea to his players the night before the Cal game was totally different than the DC calling his unit out in the paper. Ralph pitched it as an "us agaisnt the world, everyone says you stink and everyone says I stink". This guy is just saying "you stink" to the world. Totally different technique, and in my mind less effective.

Posted by: Lee | September 24, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Reading Eric's article on our pass defense made me think about how much a good pass rush contributes to good pass coverage. Navarre says he thought he played 70 of 79 plays on D. Players get tired when they play that many plays. There is just no way around it. Yes, there have been injuries but another problem that rarely gets mentioned has been created by Ralph. Everyone knows that Ralph is an offense guy and since he has been here he has been converting D linemen into O linemen and our depth on the D line has gone down, down, down. Who many division 1 teams have two walk-ons in the two deep? If Perez can play linebacker, there are definitely players on the O line that can rush the QB from the other side of the ball.

Posted by: Paco in Ajijic | September 24, 2008 10:28 AM | Report abuse

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