When Dabo Swinney looks at Virginia's Cavaliers, he sees a lot of similarities to his 2010 Tigers.
That wasn't a very good season in the Upstate - 6-and-7, capped by a bowl-game loss to South Florida.
The Tigers struggled with injuries, lost close games, and dealt with frustration.
All the while, however, Swinney saw potential.
Since then, Clemson has gone 28-7 and has become a fixture in the nation's top 15.
"Sometimes you've got to look beyond," said Swinney of the Cavaliers, who bring a five-game losing streak into today's contest at Charlottesville. "Everybody just says, oh, well, they're 2 and whatever, and all of a sudden they're not a good team. That's just not reality.
"We had in 2010 a team that I think we lost five games by less than six points. I mean, every game seemed like it was three points, and our guys competed their tails off. We just were in that process of learning how to win and growing some guys up and all that kind of stuff."
Swinney said Virginia has competed hard against a schedule currently ranked as the nation's most difficult.
"I see a lot of similarities in this Virginia team," Swinney said. "They've played a very difficult schedule. I think every team they've played has a winning record and is probably going to be a bowl team. So it's just not like they haven't played anybody.
"They've just got a lot of youth. They've got 13 or 14 freshmen on defense. They've got a young quarterback who is really, really talented and getting better. But I think their future is very bright.
"They're just a few plays away. I know nobody wants to hear that, but I think with a little patience this team is going to step up and be one of the surprise teams in the next year or so."