The return of the school soccer season has been eventful, stuffed with fireworks, upsets, and the magic of collegiate incompetence. So it was becoming that the weekend ended with a giant whimper, or, relying on how a lot you hate Dabo Swinney, a giant social gathering. On Monday evening the ninth-ranked Clemson Tigers confronted off in opposition to the unranked Duke Blue Devils, helmed by second-year coach Mike Elko. This yr is a crucial one for Clemson. Since the departure of Trevor Lawrence, the Tigers have been marred by dangerous quarterback play and tepid offenses, which has elevated suspicions that Swinney is probably not the good ball coach he seemed to be when he had Lawrence and Deshaun Watson round. In a last-ditch effort to trick everybody into pondering the emperor nonetheless has his garments on, Swinney poached OC Garrett Riley from TCU, who went on a run to the nationwide championship sport final season. Swinney additionally traded in final yr’s starter at quarterback, DJ Uiagalelei, for Cade Klubnik. Needless to say, there are quite a lot of kinks to work out. Despite being 13-point underdogs, Duke beat Clemson handily, 28-7. While taking a look at that rating you would possibly suppose the Blue Devils gave Clemson a drubbing, however the reality is even worse for the Tigers. Clemson out-gained Duke, bought 12 extra first downs than Duke, and had the next time of possession, however they misplaced the red-zone battle and turned the ball over thrice. The Tigers fumbled twice, threw a game-killing interception within the closing minutes, and even missed two area objectives—one was blocked and one sailed large proper—for good measure. They had first-and-goal on the one-yard line twice, and failed to attain each instances. [embedded content]It was a very listless efficiency by Clemson, who regarded like they have been actively making an attempt to play their manner out of the sport. Even through the mediocre years, Clemson groups nonetheless performed with power and spirit, none of which have been on show final evening. Clemson regarded like a group not below the spell of Dabo’s huckster Christian hypnosis. They performed bored, inattentive, and sloppy; if it weren’t for a well timed punt-return fumble, they won’t have scored in any respect.This lackluster show was particularly obvious when juxtaposed in opposition to Elko’s Duke group, who was buzzing with power and struggle, if a bit undisciplined and reckless. Their protection prompted Clemson issues all evening, and at the same time as they bent, they wouldn’t break. Their quarterback, Riley Leonard, was a gradual presence, methodically reducing down the Tigers’ protection. When the sport ended, the Duke followers stormed the sector, and for sure, the vibes have been nice:Mondy evening was a good time to be a Dabo hater. Everyone who watched the sport bought to spend a number of hours watching Dabo’s dumb, Gomer Pyle-ass face simply wanting confused and annoyed on the sideline. At the postgame press convention, Swinney referred to as this sport the strangest loss he is ever skilled. “Never been aside of a sport like that in all my years of soccer,” he mentioned. His makes an attempt to cowl over this embarrassment with extra of his good ol’ boy spiritual positivity made his failure all of the sweeter.[embedded content]Week 1 is at all times a bit of bit screwy, so who can say if Clemson is absolutely this dangerous or if Duke is absolutely this good, however what is obvious is that Duke isn’t a cupcake this yr and Clemson might be going by quite a lot of rising pains. The best-case state of affairs for them is that they bounce again and run the desk from right here on out; the best-case state of affairs for the remainder of us that this sport is an omen for what’s to come back, and we get to observe Swinney’s fame sink even additional.
First seem at Clemson Couldn’t Have Played Any Worse If They Tried