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Clemson Football

William Qualkinbush on Clemson's start: 'We should probably just hunker down'

October 7, 2021
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On predicting a 19-13 Clemson win:

"I felt coming into the game that Clemson would lean on his field goal kicker because I think one of the most noteworthy things that happened in the Georgia Tech game was they turned down what would have been an easy field goal for BT Potter-- like a 37 or 38 yarder to go for it on fourth-and-two they didn't get it. Dabo Swinney used to say in the Chad Morris era and a little bit after that their goal was to end every possession with a kick. We haven't heard that in a while because they could just go out and score touchdowns pretty much whenever they wanted. I think chasing points is not a good look for this team right now-- so I just felt like they take a few field goals."

On getting used to playing this low scoring games:
 
"We should probably just hunker down. I felt like going into the game, the crowd sort of-- there was this acceptance that okay the crowd is gonna have to be a factor. I mean, I keep harkening back to the 2014 Louisville game when Deshaun Watson was not playing well--  he gets hurt-- and then I'll never forget it, the crowd basically looked around and said, 'Okay, well we're gonna have to help win this.' And of course, you know, Clemson had the goal line stand DeShawn Williams knocked the pass down, that'd beat Louisville in 2014-- just another crushing loss at the hands of Clemson for Bobby Petrino-- you hate to see it."

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On Swanny’s comment that Clemson could lose nine games if they played LSU’s schedule:

"This is a bit of a weird take on it, but hear me out. I would never be able to prove this, but I kind of think that if Clemson had to face LSU's schedule every year that it might not have gotten to this point. Let me explain why: The last three seasons, I'm gonna include last year in this, it but particularly in '18 and '19, Clemson destroyed his entire schedule. Lest we forget there were ranked teams on the schedule in '18 and '19 and last year. Oh, by the way, Miami came in got destroyed like, obviously, you know, Miami was probably a bit overrated, but that still is a ranked game, look Arkansas is definitely overrated at No. 8, but you're not going to wipe the Top 10 win off of Georgia schedule, are you? I mean, not right now. I feel like there was almost this acceptance that even though there were issues, the offensive line was a problem last year, even though there were concerns and difficulties and you still have questions about the personnel at different spots, that ultimately the schedule was simple enough. The rubric was clear enough that if you just did what you've done in the past, it would work itself out and you would end up winning these games and you could develop your team throughout the course of the season and it will be fine.

“If in '18 and '19 Clemson had to play the same types of schedules at let's say Deshaun Watson playing '15 and '16 where the ACC was just subjectively a lot better. In '16, I believe Clemson beat six ranked teams and their 14 wins. I think they played for ranked teams in the regular season at the time. If I remember those numbers, right, it made them closest than a lot of times. Even 2016. Trevor Lawrence did not play a lot of ranked teams and 1819 or 20. But if you had then you would be used to having to get a game plan together for a ranked team in early September, right? I think that some of these things go hand in hand. I sort of agree with you Clemson would have a much harder time if they played LSU schedule, but at the same time, I think if they had LSU schedule, they would have approached the season a bit differently even though they had a game plan to win against Georgia that was a little more intensive than if they had played Troy or somebody like that."

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William Qualkinbush on Clemson's start: 'We should probably just hunker down'

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