This past Saturday we saw the Clemson Tigers take one step closer to something the school and most importantly the fans have been longing for since 1991, the ACC title.
With their win over Florida State, Clemson has essentially made it a two horse race for the Atlantic Division crown. As we have seen so many times over the years, the tigers hold their fate in their own hands, but if Saturday's hard fought win over FSU showed us anything, it is that this team is both mentally and physically tough.
For the first time this season the Clemson tigers had a home night game, the team was ready, and so were the fans. As the fans filled the stadium no one knew exactly how this game would play out. So many times over the years Clemson has had this exact opportunity, but have managed to find a way to let it slip away every time.
With pom-poms and tiger rags in hand the fans stood to their feet to cheer on their tigers, but they were met with visions of the past as FSU marched down the field scoring, and Clemson missing all but one extra point.
The first 55 minutes of the game were up for grabs, and it felt as if FSU had the upper hand, and the tigers would suffer the same fate as they always seemed to. But in the final 5 minutes of the game something happened, something new, something tiger fans were not used to. When it came time for one team to take control and win the game Clemson asserted itself, intercepting FSU's Christian Ponder twice in the final quarter. This show of heart and determination is something new to me, and everyone in the stadium.
In my previous article I stated that I felt this team is different than the teams in the past. They had every reason to be deflated and to just give up, but they didn’t. Dabo kept his team focused, and through all the errors, miscues, and bad calls they managed to pull out a 16 point victory. So what does this win say to tiger fans?
It says, BELIEVE IN THIS TEAM, if this game would have been played under the coaching of Bowden, there is zero chance the team could have rallied and won. This team is different, this team is tough, and this team plays for each other. After the game Dabo said, "We are happy with this win, but far from satisfied." this shows us that this team is grounded, and they are not thinking past the task in front of them.
This win sets Clemson apart in the division, but the next two games are just as important as this one. If they can win their final two ACC games then the tigers are headed to Tampa, a trip tiger fans have been waiting for since 1991.