Win or lose, Clemson getting just what it needs from LSU matchup

The Clemson Sports Blog

Clemson defense between plays. Linebacker Quandon Christian,  linebacker Jonathan Willard,  defensive end Malliciah Goodman, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, and defensive end Josh Watson.

Clemson defense between plays. Linebacker Quandon Christian, linebacker Jonathan Willard, defensive end Malliciah Goodman, defensive tackle Grady Jarrett, and defensive end Josh Watson.

Dabo Swinney insists that Clemson's heavy emphasis on physicality during Chick-fil-A Bowl preparations is more practical than philosophical.

LSU is, by nature of its playing style, the most physical team Clemson has played this year. So ramping up and sustaining a high level of physical play - good-on-good, involving both the offensive front and defensive front seven - is as natural when preparing for LSU as studying assignment defense when prepping for Georgia Tech's flexbone.

At the same time, Swinney is plenty savvy enough to know what step the Tigers are going to have to take if they're going become a fixture among the nation's elite.

Swinney's first move as head coach was to upgrade the Tigers' skill and speed on the offensive side of the ball.

The next step, via recruiting, is to boost the athleticism and talent level on the defensive side.

The umbrella that encompasses everything the Tigers do on both sides of the line of scrimmage is the challenge to become a tough, unyielding physical football team.

College football's cream of the crop dominates the trenches.

On defense, they affect the other team's quarterback and game plan by exerting pressure. On offense, they block, protect, and buy time the time needed to make the chosen mode of attack work on a play-in, play-out basis.

Who knows if the Tigers would be preparing differently if they were facing another spread-and-sling-it offense like West Virginia's or Texas A&M's in this year's bowl game.

The luck of the draw dialed up LSU this time around. There could be no better opponent, whether by necessity or choice, to prompt the Tigers to engage in the kind of practices they battled their way through over the past three weeks.

So win or lose, there's every reason to think that Clemson will emerge from the 2012 Chick-fil-A Bowl a better team than it was even a month ago.

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Comments » 6

Xander5000 writes:

If we were playing Texas A&M, West Virginia or any other finesse-smoke and mirror team, we still need to be flat out more physical than the other team.......especially in the trenches and ALWAYS on defense. We can handle our own everywhere else. Now lets go out and do it for a change to a team like LSU. Lets go out and show ESPN-nation that kisses up to the SEC, that it doesn't matter what conference you play in or play against, you have to try to play to win the game.

radtiger writes:

in response to Xander5000:

If we were playing Texas A&M, West Virginia or any other finesse-smoke and mirror team, we still need to be flat out more physical than the other team.......especially in the trenches and ALWAYS on defense. We can handle our own everywhere else. Now lets go out and do it for a change to a team like LSU. Lets go out and show ESPN-nation that kisses up to the SEC, that it doesn't matter what conference you play in or play against, you have to try to play to win the game.

OK, its time we stop fooling ourselves and come to the conclusion that SEC football is in a league of its own and thats why ESPN and every other sports network speaks so highly of those teams....Until we can recruit defensive players on their level of talents,we arent ever going to win against teams of that caliber

TrevorT writes:

in response to Xander5000:

If we were playing Texas A&M, West Virginia or any other finesse-smoke and mirror team, we still need to be flat out more physical than the other team.......especially in the trenches and ALWAYS on defense. We can handle our own everywhere else. Now lets go out and do it for a change to a team like LSU. Lets go out and show ESPN-nation that kisses up to the SEC, that it doesn't matter what conference you play in or play against, you have to try to play to win the game.

Amen Brother!

68Scot writes:

The tigers haven't beaten a team ranked in the BCS top 50 this year and I don't expect them to all of a sudden beat a top 10 team. LSU's defense will not be fooled by smoke and mirrors.

tigerrick writes:

in response to 68Scot:

The tigers haven't beaten a team ranked in the BCS top 50 this year and I don't expect them to all of a sudden beat a top 10 team. LSU's defense will not be fooled by smoke and mirrors.

Wrong!!

TigerMarine writes:

in response to tigerrick:

Wrong!!

Unfortunately Scot was right. LSU wasn't fooled by the smoke and mirrors. WE STOOD UP AND SMACKED EM IN THE MOUTH AND THEY FOLDED !!!!!!!

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