Our friends over at Block-C, the premier Clemson blog on the 'net, were kind enough to virtually sit down with us and trade emails on Saturday's matchup. While we'll have a full preview tomorrow, here's an early taste from the best source available: the enemy.
1) Alright, we probably played a part in the Tommy Bowden firing, so it should be asked: how's Dabo been so far? Are you pleased with the hire?
Dabo brings the sincerity and personality that many felt Tommy was missing. Simply put, Bowden wasn't a "Clemson Guy." Dabo is. Our fanbase is pretty please with him for the most part, but he's yet to really pick up any marquee victories over truly tough teams. But he is a good coach. He hasn't totally crapped the bed on us yet.
2) Maryland's underachieved pretty terribly. How has Clemson looked this year: overachieved, underachieved, or just right?
Clemson has looked just about right so far this year. We're going to be a seven win team, eight if we're lucky this year. For this year, we're going to be the same old heartbreak Clemson Tigers you've come to know and count on to lose when you need them to win. Don't put too much stock in us, but we should get better as the year progresses.
3) On the note of Maryland underachieving, how's the Clemson fanbase viewing this game? We aren't a Duke-esque auto-win yet, are we?
People are guessing that you're not far from the truth with the Duke comparison this year, but you haven't dropped to those standards on the whole yet. You've got a pretty good coach who has a good chance to turn things around if you folks don't get crazy and can him. All you guys need is a huge recruiting swing and a few assistant coaching hires and you'll be fine down the road.
All signs point to Parker as quarterback. He seems to have a bit more arm strength and a faster delivery. Korn injured his shoulder last year and that seemed to set his progress back a bit. He has seen limited time this year and hasn't shined but at the same time hasn't gotten any reps to really gel. Transfer rumors abound but with a solid Parker and the incredibly talented Tajh Boyd waiting in the wings it may be inconsequential. Korn has a huge albatross hanging around his neck that he needs to shake. Start saving your horseshoes...
5) C.J. Spiller hasn't looked all that worthy of the gigantic SPILLER FOR HEISMAN posters and hype, at least not stats-wise (and he has fewer all-purpose yards than Torrey Smith, so take that). Has his real play looked better/is there a legitimate reason, or has he not taken well to being "the man"?
CJ Spiller has been battling injuries all year but has still managed to rack up no less than three 60 yard games plus scoring touchdownss this season. He's got plenty of talent, but he's still getting adjusted to carrying the majority of the workload that he shared with James Davis last year. He's going to be alright, just give it some time.
6) We're ACC-niks, but Saturdays are busy: what's one strength and one weakness about the Tigers that we may not know?
Our strength is our well publicized but sometimes loose defense. Our turd in the punch bowl has to be the receivers on our team and their inability to catch the ball, block, run routes, communicate with their quarterback, walk and chew gum... Yet again, Tommy Bowden's teams wouldn't have come back from 24 points down either against Georgia Tech in Bobby Dodd.