Reading player quotes from Clemson, as well as their fan's rantings, I'm seeing some similarities. They aren't worried about us. Hey, I get that. We are coming to their house; it is going to be a madhouse. They do get to run down their hill, in front of their people, touch their rock, all the while our little group of 80 or so football players and 6000 fans are in attendance.
Also, they are the ones that beat an SEC team to end last year, remember?
Let me tell you why I think this is like the 2008 Alabama game was for us: In 2008, our team's quotes sounded like we had already gotten *there*, we felt like we had earned the right to be where we were by the virtue of beating a team that wasn't ready for us in the Sugar Bowl the year before. On top of that, we hadn't been smacked in the mouth leading up to that game. We were convinced that our offensive weapons were good enough to over come any defense (as an aside, our 2008 offense was better, on the whole, than Clemson's is right now). We were foolishly convinced that a retooled defense could handle whatever was thrown our way.
And we felt like we had the coaching thing down because all of this.
Y'all, we might go in there and just suck. I'm not discounting that as a possibility. However, it is more likely that we'll go in there, use our multiple looks, tools, and tempo to keep Clemson's defense off balance, using the passing game to keep the front soft, and our ability to run and keep the ball on the field of play to eat up big chunks of clock. We'll also give up some big plays. However, in the end, I think Clemson is not approaching this game like it can lose. It is approaching it like they've got to show up and they'll win.
As we saw in 2008, that is a mistake against a good football team.
-The Worst of the 2000s (Shaking the Southland)
-Alabama vs. Clemson Recap (ESPN.com)