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Old 01-11-2017, 07:20 PM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default From the Sidelines

Each week I share some thoughts after watching Clemson From the Sidelines. Tonight a special edition after watching the Tigers win the national championship From the Sidelines of Raymond James Stadium.

- First I have to talk about the tremendous turnout of Clemson fans who took over Tampa and the stadium. If you followed our live reporting from Tampa you know when we arrived on Thursday it looked like Bama had the advantage, but as the weekend came Tampa bled orange. Clemson fans were everywhere and sure enough the Tigers owned the crowd. From the field I would put the crowd at probably around 65 to 70 percent Clemson.

- I went into the game very confident that Clemson would get it done and win it all. In the middle of the second quarter I had some doubts, but once the offense scored the confidence started to rise again.

- Kaila and I stood in the endzone where Clemson scored shooting our pictures. I will never forget that feeling when I saw Renfrow catch that final pass. I have never seen such raw emotion from the team as I did at that point.

- On the second drive of the game I did not like the decision to go for the first down. Punt the ball and pin Bama back inside the ten and Clemson likely has the first lead of the game, but we will never know.

- If you saw our pregame coverage you know that before getting off the bus when the team arrived Dabo had a very strong message for those on his bus (defense). Christian Wilkins stood next to Dabo with his eyes open looking shocked as Dabo talked. When they were in that bus there was an angry, focused look on Dabo. Dabo wouldn't tell us the message he delivered but that was the first time I had seen that.

- Since the Pitt loss Clemson had always jumped out quickly in the games. Monday night that didn't happen of course. I'm not sure if they were tight but something just didn't seem right. Once they got that first touchdown things changed and as the game went along you just had the feeling Bama wouldn't be able to hold them off. All of those close games paid off in the end as the team never lost their confidence.

- Deshaun Watson will certainly have to go down as the best QB ever at Clemson and one of the best ever in college football. The thing that makes Watson special is not his athletic skills but his mental makeup. We have all seen Watson make that final drive or the one that is needed to win the game over and over. I looked at the clock after Bama's final drive and said they left too much time. Watson told his offense the same thing and led them down the field for what will always be remember as "the drive".

- How about Hunter Renfrow? What an amazing player he is. When Clemson needs someone to make that big catch Renfrow always delivers. His classmates didn't know who he was last year. Everyone in the nation knows who he is now.

- How about Watson playing a clean game in the biggest game of his life. He had to listen to the media talk all year about his interceptions instead of talking about his great plays and how he was the best in the nation. Watson got the last laugh Monday night. I couldn't be happier for him.

- I'm calling it now. We will see Christian Wilkins on dancing with the stars at some point. If you saw our video from media day where Kaila interviewed Wilkins and Lawrence, Big Dex talked about how Wilkins could do a split.

- There was an arrogance from the Bama fans in the stadium. We could hear it as we shot pictures from the endzone. They were stunned that Clemson won the game.

- As I ran around the field taking videos during the celebration I have to admit it was either raining or there were some tears in my eyes. It was great watching all of the coaches celebrate the special moment with their families. I have a great video of DeAndre McDaniel we will run soon.

- Jordan Leggett certainly made up for that drop that looked like it might be big in the fourth quarter. You won't see a better catch than the one he made on that final drive. He will certainly be missed. His future will be bright in the NFL.

- What a game for Mike Williams. No question Clemson wins last year if he plays in my opinion. He made a lot of money Monday night. All of those voters that didn't have him as one of the top ten receivers in the nation should no longer be allowed to vote. Williams simply couldn't be stopped when the Tigers needed him most.

- Speaking of players that missed last year's game how about Deon Cain. His big catch and run woke the offense up and he made a huge impact. He will be phenomenal next season.

- With six seconds to go on that final drive I thought Clemson should have kicked the field goal. I didn't think Bama would be able to stop the Clemson offense in OT. That is why Dabo makes the big bucks. He went for the W and got it and that play will live in college football history.

- Raymond James Stadium was a great venue for the title game. My last trip there was not so great. I still remember losing that ACC title game where the defense couldn't get one stop all night long. Look at how far the program has come.

- We discussed in the second quarter how some of the Clemson fans that spent so much for tickets had to be wondering if they made the right decision. At the end of the question I'm sure there were fans that didn't buy tickets that wished they had paid up as the prices climbed.

- Enjoy this one Clemson fans. There may be other national championships on the way for Clemson. I think there will be. But there will never be another win like that.

- By the way the new football building opens in a couple of weeks. It is the perfect storm for Clemson football. It is hard to believe better days are ahead but they are. There are more trips to the College Football Playoff ahead for the Tigers. Something that will never happen for the team in the middle of the state.

Last edited by Gavin Oliver; 01-11-2017 at 07:39 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:19 PM
jlcu91 jlcu91 is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

I agree this was so special. It had everything from the revenge factor, to the drama of us scoring with a second left, to us taking down the big bad Alabama that no one else could beat. Just a crazy game and story, and it couldn't of ended better than Renfrow being the one to put the nail in the coffin.
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Old 01-11-2017, 08:57 PM
Jonathan4jc Jonathan4jc is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

This game not only encapsulated the entire season, but was also the perfect culmination. The win in and of itself was absolutely fantastic, but the WAY in which the game was won with 1 second left was iconic. Much the same way as "the catch" is part of Clemson's lore, so too will Watson's pass to Renfrow go down forever as a part of college football's legendary plays.

College football fans, excepting Alabama fans, all celebrated such an enjoyable and entertaining game. As a Clemson fan, the emotion is difficult to communicate in words. I will forever remember the game and that exact moment when we won the National Championship.

Enjoy and revel in this wonderful feeling!

Go Tigers
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:08 PM
WasatchTiger WasatchTiger is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Great stuff Robert, thanks for sharing it. Would love to know what that bus speech to the defense was.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:34 PM
Judge Keller Judge Keller is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Thank goodness it doesn't matter now, but I didn't understand why we let 30 seconds run off the clock on our final drive despite having two timeouts. It almost seemed like we were too calm, or even playing for a field goal and not a touchdown. I was yelling for us to hurry up or call a timeout. Did anyone else wonder the same thing?
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:35 PM
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TigerNE TigerNE is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Not only did Deshaun rise to the ocassion and not throw an INT but the whole team was mostly disciplined. 3 total penalties to Bama's 9 proves who had better control over that to me.
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Old 01-11-2017, 09:59 PM
jlcu91 jlcu91 is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Originally Posted by Judge Keller View Post
Thank goodness it doesn't matter now, but I didn't understand why we let 30 seconds run off the clock on our final drive despite having two timeouts. It almost seemed like we were too calm, or even playing for a field goal and not a touchdown. I was yelling for us to hurry up or call a timeout. Did anyone else wonder the same thing?
Lord yes I was yelling too. I think it was after DW scrambled for a short gain with about 50 seconds left and then about 30 seconds ran off before the next play which was a quick slant for a first to Renfrow. I didn't understand letting all that time go with 2 timeouts left but thank goodness it worked out.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:19 AM
Clemsonfan1364 Clemsonfan1364 is offline
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The clock running didn't bother me. They were milking that thing as much as possible and were not going to leave any time on the clock if possible. Worst case you just kick a field goal and do overtime.
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Old 01-12-2017, 07:34 AM
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Walhalla2Atlanta Walhalla2Atlanta is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

DW4 was great, as was Renfrow, Williams, Caine, Boulware, Wilkins, Leggett, the list goes on.

But, in the end, Nick Saban was out-coached. Dabo & company may have made a few decisions here and there that we all would have done differently, but when push came to shove, the right calls were made at the right time. That game-winning TD play call was pure genius, IMO. And BV had his guys prepared and the D executed wonderfully. On Monday night, the best team and the best coaching staff won the natty.

On a different note... My prediction was that Clemson would win by at least 2 TDs if they had zero TOs and lose if they had 2+ TOs. Well, they proved me wrong. This team knows how to overcome adversity and our guys put it all on the line in order to get that trophy!
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Old 01-12-2017, 09:56 AM
C-Born63 C-Born63 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Last year, we got out-coached. I hate to say it but it's true. Their onside kick and all those plays to Howard killed us.

This year, we out-coached Bama. They tried that tricky pass, which worked, but in the end, they tried everything they had and it didn't work.

I LOVED Dabo's cheeky little onside kick at the end. I thought it was extremely fitting that we did that. Kind of like saying "Hey Nicky, we can do it too!"
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Old 01-12-2017, 10:55 AM
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talltiger83 talltiger83 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

It is three days later, and words still will never fully describe this experience. The catch by Renfrow is forever etched in my mind's eye and this was as complete a win and as fantastic a storyline as ever there has been in college football. I can't imagine this ever being topped by any team! Truly a win for the ages!
"Some day you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address." What was once faith is now sight.
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