Saturday, October 22, 2011
Greetings from Death Valley
By Heather Dinich
CLEMSON, S.C. -- You awake?
Clemson fans are. Noon kicks can be rough, but not here in Death Valley. The traffic was backed up on Perimeter Road long before 9 a.m., and tailgates were already set up with fans eating burgers for breakfast. Gotta love it. (Especially when the fans leading the charge are the only ones who can afford the prime parking spots). It's a cool, crisp sunny morning here. Not a cloud in the sky, and it should be somewhere in the 60s this afternoon.
With Clemson at 7-0 and No. 7 in the BCS Standings, there is already an added excitement around this undefeated program, but today there is an additional buzz, as it's the 30-year anniversary of the 1981 national championship team. Danny Ford's Tigers were 12-0 that season and the only team in the nation to defeat three top-10 teams. It was the only perfect season the program has seen since 1948.
There's a loooong way to go for Clemson to reach that point, and today's game against North Carolina is just another step. Both teams were already out on the field, just getting loose and it looks like Carolina will be in the dark blues and Clemson in the purple pants.
There are plenty of interesting plot lines to watch in this game, including two of the ACC's top receivers [UNC's Dwight Jones and Clemson's Sammy Watkins] and two of the most efficient passers [UNC's Bryn Renner and Clemson's Tajh Boyd]. North Carolina lost its past two ACC games by seven points or less. Can the Tar Heels come out on the winning end against an offense averaging 38 points per game?
Wake up, it's almost time to find out.