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Clemson Football

Don't Hang Your Head: Every Goal is Still Attainable for the 2022 Tigers

November 12, 2022
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Clemson suffered its first loss of the 2022 campaign Saturday in South Bend, falling to Notre Dame 35-14. However, the Tigers still have their eyes on big goals for the season.

Many fans are frustrated with the offensive inconsistency that has haunted the Tigers in their past two games against Syracuse and the Fighting Irish.

Tight ends coach Kyle Richardson said in a press conference Monday that “Right now, we're in a rut, and we have to find a way to get out of it.” The Tigers' offense turned the ball over four times against the Orange and twice versus the Fighting Irish. Pair that with a 4-11 and a 5-15 third down conversion rate over the past two weeks, and it is easy to see the offense is struggling to find momentum and rhythm.

The national media is also playing a role in applying the pressure for a resurgence in the offense as well as questioning Swinney’s coaching. In the opening statements of a USA Today article, Clemson is mentioned with the question, “Does their insular approach create concern whether Dabo Swinney will win another national title?”

Swinney addressed national comments by reminding the media to name programs that have won two national championships in the span of six years. Also added that “he’s aware of all the problems (the team) has.”

© Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports
Clemson’s last home loss took place on November 11, 2016, a 43-42 loss to Pitt. The Tigers have the nation’s longest home winning streak at 38 games dating back exactly six years.

Despite the struggles, the players and coaches aren't going to hang their heads the slightest bit.

“Can't let it beat us twice. Every goal that we have is still attainable. The only thing is we won't be undefeated,” defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin said in his press conference on Monday.  

The 8-1 Tigers currently sit 10th overall in the latest College Football Playoff rankings with a chance to all but clinch the ACC Atlantic division with a win Saturday versus Louisville.   

Although their playoff fate is out of their control at the moment, the team wants to take things one game at a time.

“College football, anything can happen. So the goal is to get to 1-0 this week and see how all that shakes out at the end,” Goodwin noted. In fact, entering today’s game, Clemson sits at 5th in ESPN’s Playoff Predictor behind Georgia, Ohio State, Michigan, and Tennessee. 

The Tigers have been here before-- exactly six years ago to today’s date, during the 2016 National Championship run, Pittsburg downed the Tigers 43-42, but teams have to continue to grow.

“You keep learning, and you keep growing. You're always building. That's who we are,” Swinney said. “You keep believing in what you do, and you don't put your head in the sand. You keep getting better.”

This team is very talented and will not go down without a fight, highlighted by lots of talent on both ends of the ball and a veteran presence.  Despite coaching changes, the foundation is still the same, and the guys in place know what it takes to accomplish big things.

Clemson will look to get back on track and continue a home winning streak, the nation’s longest, that began after that loss six years ago.

If Swinney’s squad can clean things up Saturday against Louisville, there is plenty of reason to believe that the Tigers will find themselves in the CFB Playoff mix again. It’s one step at a time for this group at this point, but as long as they attain all their season goals, everything remains on the table for the 2022 Tigers.

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Don't Hang Your Head: Every Goal is Still Attainable for the 2022 Tigers

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