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Old 01-10-2019, 09:03 PM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Each week I share some thoughts after watching the Tigers From the Sidelines. In this edition my thoughts after watching Clemson whip Alabama From the Sidelines.

- First more kudos to the Clemson fans. We all wondered what the crowd would be like in Santa Clara. The Tiger fans showed up in force as usual. we had reported that the Tigers expected to have at least 30,000 at Levi's Stadium. They did that and even better from my view. I would put the sellout crowd at around 55 percent Clemson.

- Santa Clara, San Jose did a great job of treating us during the visit. Everything was first class. The Cotton Bowl was hard to beat but they did a great job. I left on the first bus at 7:30 AM to head to the stadium the morning of the game. We had a police escort that was similar to what we had seen for the playoff at the Orange Bowl. We were heading down highway 101 in rush hour and they cleared a lane for use.

- All of the Clemson "royalty" came out for this one. Former players Tajh Boyd, Deshaun Watson, DeAndre Hopkins, Jonathan Meeks, Mike Williams, Artavis Scott, Ray Ray McCloud, Jock McKissic were some of the guys that I saw on the sldelines. I talked with several of them before and after the game. They all know now that the program will never be the same. They couldn't have been prouder of what Dabo has done.

- That was a night I will always remember. What a game? I thought Clemson would win but had no idea they would dominate like that. It was so awesome to be sitting in the endzone with Katie during the third quarter and planning how we were going to cover the postgame celebration.

- All we heard for the last month was whether Trevor Lawrencce would be able to handle the pressure of the playoff. Well everyone knows that answer now. The national media didn't understand Trevor and how different he was. Now the nation knows. And teams around the nation are now fearful of how good the Tigers will be the next two years with Trevor. He played a great game. I guess the love affair the media had with Tua now will have to be over.

- Clemson dominated up front. If you saw my preview I said one of the keys was going to be which team could get pressure on the quarterback. The Tigers' offensive line was outstanding. They gave Trevor plenty of time and when he has time the Tigers are almost impossible to beat. Coach Caldwell and the offensive line deserve a ton of credit. And the good news is most of the line is back next season.

- Coach Caldwell walked past me and a few others after the celebration as he heading towards the locker room. I congratulated him on the win and he turned around and said something similar to "I wonder what those fools in the media that didn't think we could stop Bama's D-line think now."

- AJ Terrell's interception was huge. Another thing I wondered heading into the game was how would Alabama handle things if they didn't jump out to an early lead like they did most of the season. Terrell's great play got the momentum going for the Tigers. AJ told us after the game that he baited Tua on that play.

- Justyn Ross was the best receiver on the field Monday night. What a playoff he had? Trevor and Ross really have a good chemistry. It is going to be fun to see him as he improves the next two seasons, if that's possible. I'm sure Alabama and Auburn fans were have heartburn after not landing him.

- Coach Venables will get another nice raise and he has earned every penny. He made the right adjustments during the game and his defense was lights out in the redzone. The "best offense ever" according to many in the media could only manage 16 points. Bama was able to run the ball better than some thought, but he knew they would have a very hard time moving it all the way down the field and that is exactly what happened. He dialed up some great blitzes to get pressure on Tua a few times.

- What a way for the Power Rangers to go out? It was awesome watching how much fun Wilkins, Ferrell and Bryant had during the game. We were so fortunate to get to watch them one more season. It was great seeing the tears in their eyes after the game.

- We talk a lot about the vibe of the team before games. It was clear that the Tigers were very confident heading into the game. We had a couple of sources very close to the program tell us the team expected to win this one convincingly. The of course did that and more.

- I have to give a shoutout to all of the others that work in the football program that aren't assistant coaches. They are the guys that work the film and help prepare things for the staff. I have witnessed how hard they work as I see them after one game sitting back in a room somewhere or on a bus ride working the film for the next game. They did an outstanding job of preparing Clemson for both the Cotton Bowl and the national championship game. Trust me they were working hard to prepare not only for the Cotton Bowl but also for the title game during the month of December. One of the first things Dabo did when taking over the job was to push for Clemson to build out the program to add the resource in the program to compete with Alabama. That has sure paid dividends.

- As coach Venables walked by us inside the tunnel he turned and said something similar to "what do they have to say now".

- Trayvon Mullen played a very good game for his final game in orange. I hope we see him play on Sunday's for many years.

- After the game in the tunnel I saw Maria Taylor talking with someone. As I walked by I said very loudly "Clemson sure missed Kelly Bryant and laughed". She heard me and turned around and gave me "the look".

- Several of the Alabama media we were around would love to be able to cover a coach like Dabo instead of Saban. We are so fortunate as Clemson to have Dabo as the face of the program. Heck the face of the University.

- Everything changed Monday night. Clemson not only won the game but they showed the nation they are the top program right now, not Alabama. The Dabo Dynasty is likely just beginning. The mighty SEC was shown to once again be way overrated. It's not about the conferene, it's about the team. Clemson is the top team in the nation right now by a wide margin. We will see where things go from here, but it sure should be fun to watch. It won't last forever so enjoy the ride. I sure did this season. But hopefully we still have many years to enjoy the ride.

Last edited by Robert Thorne MacRae; 01-10-2019 at 10:07 PM.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:25 PM
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reynolds reynolds is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game


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Old 01-10-2019, 09:29 PM
clemsonurlacher clemsonurlacher is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Thanks for reports all year long.

I was so happy to see Fields do so well. I love it when guys stick around and not give up. He played a Huge factor in this game. I hope he gets a shot on Sundays.

Concerning the Oline. Was there a reason they looked so good? Was it play calling? Or just everything came together?

Saban reminded me of the coach from Waterboy that lost his play book. That fake field goal was terrible.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:33 PM
hptiger3 hptiger3 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Loving every minute of it!

Thanks to you and your staff for the (eh-hmm) hard work. Great stuff.

P.S. I've always heard that if you love your job then you'll never work a day in your life. How's this measure up? 😁
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:33 PM
BigRedTigerfan BigRedTigerfan is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

What happened to the Maria Taylor info. I wanted to read that. Also thanks for sharing
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:42 PM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Thanks for the reminder. I'll add that Maria Taylor info now
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:46 PM
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Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Quote:
Originally Posted by hptiger3 View Post
Loving every minute of it!

Thanks to you and your staff for the (eh-hmm) hard work. Great stuff.

P.S. I've always heard that if you love your job then you'll never work a day in your life. How's this measure up? 😁
That's why I put all the money and time into the site. Days like Monday are priceless.
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Old 01-10-2019, 09:54 PM
andsckoa andsckoa is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

“- That was a night I will never remember. What a game?” Lol Robert!
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Old 01-10-2019, 10:07 PM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by andsckoa View Post
“- That was a night I will never remember. What a game?” Lol Robert!
Dangit. Fixed, thanks
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Old 01-11-2019, 05:28 AM
URR29 URR29 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Good write up.

One thing I always think. I never like to say a team we just beat is overrated. I prefer to think the team we just mauled is very good/great. Bama in 2018 the best ever? Sure they were and we just beat them by four touchdowns, so what does that make us?

Saying a team we just beat is overrated is devaluing our performance.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:47 AM
tigerpawgt tigerpawgt is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by URR29 View Post
Good write up.

One thing I always think. I never like to say a team we just beat is overrated. I prefer to think the team we just mauled is very good/great. Bama in 2018 the best ever? Sure they were and we just beat them by four touchdowns, so what does that make us?

Saying a team we just beat is overrated is devaluing our performance.
I agree. In my view Clemson came into the game better prepared and hungry. If they line up and play again two weeks later I think it’s a close game. Last year was similar, Bama got the key breaks that kept Clemson for getting momentum on offense. The 24-6 score didn’t reflect how well we played on defense that night.
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Old 01-11-2019, 07:58 AM
geech72 geech72 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Was Maria Taylor critical of the KB decision? Just curious to see if missed the back story.
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:42 AM
thadkew thadkew is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by geech72 View Post
Was Maria Taylor critical of the KB decision? Just curious to see if missed the back story.
Maria Taylor gave off the vibe in interviews and stories around Clemson over the last two years that she was "in luv" with KB2. They did have a weird "thing" going on if you saw her interviews with him.

I believe quite a few of the "experts" were questioning the demotion of KB2. She was one.
(IMHO, it's kind of classless to have said that, Robert. I mean, what's the point? Lose with class, win with class)
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:52 AM
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Walhalla2Atlanta Walhalla2Atlanta is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

Thanks for the info for this game and all season long. You, Will and the rest of the TCI staff do a great job.

A couple things...

I'm really glad AJ said that he baited Tua. Tua tried to say he threw a bad ball and that we didn't do anything to confuse him. That was an outright lie. We confused the Hell out of him all night long, starting with that pick. I've heard analysts break that play down and they start by "Clemson showed one thing (cover 2/man???) and then the ball was snapped and they went into something else (cover 3???) and that's why Tua threw the ball there and that's how AJ was able to jump the route." He was totally coached to look for that and played it just as they had practiced.

All I heard from all those analysts leading up to this game was how great Bama's receivers were and how dominant Williams was. It was so awesome to watch Clemson's receivers put on a show while Bama's were quiet pretty much all night, aside from that first TD to Jeudy. And to see our OL keep Bama from getting any sacks was so unbelievable. Those guys balled out! TL was clean all night, until he ran the ball in the 4th to help kill the clock and put the game away. And Etienne had some lanes to run when we needed him to run. He was the leading rusher in the game and ended up with 86 yards on only 14 carries, averaging 6.1 yards/carry with 3 total TDs. That's certainly a credit to the OL for blocking and to TL and the receivers' success down the field.

I know this game won't go down in the history books as one of the most epic games ever, as did our natty 2 years ago. But, for us Clemson fans, this natty is the most rewarding, IMO, because of how dominant we played against a team that was touted since week 4 as the "best team ever." We didn't just watch Goliath fall, we watched him get obliterated like David came out with a machine gun and a rocket launcher instead of a sling and a couple of smooth stones. And this ride ain't over yet, folks! #DaboDynasty
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Old 01-11-2019, 08:56 AM
carlos carlos is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by thadkew View Post
Maria Taylor gave off the vibe in interviews and stories around Clemson over the last two years that she was "in luv" with KB2. They did have a weird "thing" going on if you saw her interviews with him.

I believe quite a few of the "experts" were questioning the demotion of KB2. She was one.
(IMHO, it's kind of classless to have said that, Robert. I mean, what's the point? Lose with class, win with class)

That's a fair point, but we've moved to a world where journalists don't just report the news anymore, they have to accompany that with their opinions, bias', and personal thoughts. Instead of letting us decide if something is good or bad, they feel the need to influence us with it. Ironically, the impression given by most journalist is that they are above reproach with this as well. They are hardly ever held accountable for their "takes" on a subject. In this particular case, she was very vocal with her opinion regarding the change at QB. Why shouldn't someone call her out on it? Or anyone else that did the same thing?



If she would have written, or expressed an opinion, and then moved on I would agree with you, wholeheartedly. But she made a federal case about it.
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Old 01-11-2019, 09:11 AM
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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That's a fair point, but we've moved to a world where journalists don't just report the news anymore, they have to accompany that with their opinions, bias', and personal thoughts. Instead of letting us decide if something is good or bad, they feel the need to influence us with it. Ironically, the impression given by most journalist is that they are above reproach with this as well. They are hardly ever held accountable for their "takes" on a subject. In this particular case, she was very vocal with her opinion regarding the change at QB. Why shouldn't someone call her out on it? Or anyone else that did the same thing?



If she would have written, or expressed an opinion, and then moved on I would agree with you, wholeheartedly. But she made a federal case about it.
^^ agree with this. Zero accountability for the media and they are always arrogant with their self-promoting proclamations. Like the armchair talking heads that criticize the best coaches and players in the world like they could do better. When you are on the sidelines hurling stones, you are always right. But get in the arena and you will find that you are fallible like the rest of us.
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:39 AM
JPF16C JPF16C is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

[QUOTE=
- After the game in the tunnel I saw Maria Taylor talking with someone. As I walked by I said very loudly "Clemson sure missed Kelly Bryant and laughed". She heard me and turned around and gave me "the look".

- Everything changed Monday night. Clemson not only won the game but they showed the nation they are the top program right now, not Alabama.... Clemson is the top team in the nation right now by a wide margin. .[/QUOTE]

While your right; KB is no longer with the program, and her interview was very KB sided, we as a fan base don't need to make comments about it. He will have his shot again next year at Missou. We have Chase Brice which IMHO is not too much of a drop-off from TL, and next year we pick up Taison. Wish Hunter Johnson was around for this... he is a class act.

Dabo got it right, we will see 'Bama again next year, they are still loaded top to bottom, new season starting today...

Go Tigers!
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Old 01-11-2019, 10:51 AM
carlos carlos is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by JPF16C View Post
We have Chase Brice which IMHO is not too much of a drop-off from TL

Woah, woooooah. I'm riding high also, and Chase Brice got the job done this year when called upon - he's great! - but lets not get crazy.
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Old 01-11-2019, 11:18 AM
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Walhalla2Atlanta Walhalla2Atlanta is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines: National Championship Game

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Originally Posted by Robert Thorne MacRae View Post
Thanks for the reminder. I'll add that Maria Taylor info now
Am I blind or is this not up yet? Asking for a friend
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Old 01-11-2019, 12:47 PM
Tiger80 Tiger80 is offline
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Originally Posted by geech72 View Post
Was Maria Taylor critical of the KB decision? Just curious to see if missed the back story.
Some people suggested the demotion was racial. I don’t recall if Maria was one of them.

The sad reality for KB is that TL is simply a much, much better QB. That is the reason TL became the starter.
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