Well, we didn't see Dabo Swinney pull off the victory in his first game.
Everyone was hoping for an instant change to this team (even myself), but that’s not what we saw on Saturday.
However, we did see a Tigers' team that was intense from the opening kickoff 'til the clock hit zero. We saw a coach who was intense and made adjustments in his first start. Even out of this loss, we saw a little improvement in the way the game was played.
Clemson started off with trick plays, which was a little far-fetched to start a game. But as the game wore on, you continually saw Swinney on the sideline coaching the players and even celebrating with Aaron Kelly on his touchdown catch.
So what do you, as a Clemson fan, take from this game?
The team has bought into Dabo's "One Clemson" mentality, thus making them a more intense and unified team. You also saw a variation in the play calling and many different looks from the offensive side of the ball.
Also, you could feel the change in the atmosphere at the stadium during the game. Dabo has unified the team and fanbase. The newly implemented "Tiger Walk" was also an awesome success, with an estimated 10,000 people attending to add to the atmosphere of anticipation.
This was the first time that the Clemson team has ever dressed in suits, walked to the stadium (no iPods in hand), and been welcomed by so many fans.
But for you "win-loss" thinkers, don't throw in the towel on Dabo yet. He only had three-and-a-half days to get his team ready. Now he has two weeks to implement his plan. This only makes me anticipate the game in two weeks even more.
Don’t sell Dabo short. Give him a chance, and remember that even in the waning moments of the game, he had you in a situation to win. When is the last time we have seen a Clemson team fight back from a deficit and contend after falling behind?
Give him these last five games. If he wins out they go 8-4, and a season that has been absolutely horrible could end respectably