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R&R Q&A: Talking Tigers With Block-C.com

November 4, 2010
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In the ACC blogging circles, the guys from Block-C are what you might call the bad boys. The guys willing to sip a little Jack, crank some Hank and mix it up with anyone willing to get after it. Leave the kids at home when you visit Block-C…the adult words fly freely and frequently.

But the league needs a couple of blogs that occasionally blur the line between PG13 and R, and we love ’em for it.

Following are my questions for them and their answers. My responses to their questions can be found here.

1. The Clemson passing game, ranked 99th in passing efficiency among FBS schools, has to be the most disappointing aspect of this year’s Tiger squad, given the last-minute return of Kyle Parker to the team when he passed on playing baseball full-time for the Rockies. Is that a safe assumption? In short, what gives?

There are several factors here: Primarily I’ve heard that KP had no time to develop chemistry with our receivers as he didn’t participate in practice and drills over the summer. I don’t mean chemistry as simply a report with the guys, but the timing of how they run the routes, blind spots, tendencies, etc. That’s a pretty big part of it. Some people question his dedication with all the money in the bank from his signing bonus, but I don’t think it’s a case of lack of desire. Secondly, our receivers are just weaker this year. We don’t have Jacoby Ford around to outrun coverage or CJ Spiller’s wheel route pattern around to bail us out of tough spots. DeAndre “Nuke” Hopkins and a couple of our younger guys have since stepped up, but the passing game still isn’t what it should be.

2. State’s lost six straight games against Clemson, dating back to Philip Rivers’ senior year. Does the length of the streak give Tiger fans any added measure of confidence heading into the game, or does none of the past matter at all in 2010?

I think most Clemson fans have paid attention to the Wolfpack this year and understand they are a formidable squad. Last week’s fantastic game against FSU should open some eyes as well. I think NCSU doesn’t immediately conjure the same predictions as does a Miami or FSU, but nobody is taking them lightly, either. I sat through a couple of those Philip Rivers games and I for one was damned happy to see that six game streak start.

3. What’s your read on the Clemson fanbase? I imagine most Tiger fans are disappointed to be 4-4, especially since they were so close to pulling out a huge win on the road against now-#2 Auburn. Are folks upset with any one player or coach more so than others?

Much of the ire is focused on young offensive coordinator Billy Napier. Even Danny Ford said that Napier looked like “a little Spurrier” up to the Auburn game, but his playcalling has been questionable at the same time it is predictable. Seriously, we pass 18 times out of 21 in the shotgun. Clemson coaches did a “self-scout” earlier this season and found out just how predictable we’ve become. The talent we have at RB, OL, TE, and QB in no way aligns with our offensive production, which is 10th in the ACC. In my mind, Napier has to be jettisoned as soon as possible. Coach Brad Scott, who used to be the head coach at Sakerlina, is our line coach and has always been a target in the minds of Clemson fans who remember years where Clemson prided itself on a big, mean offensive line. His son, Jeff Scott, is our wide receivers coach and has received some blame for our WR play this year. Some fans want them both out, but they’re good people and good recruiters; I don’t have a serious beef with either. That being said, if we can get someone better, fine.

4. Give me your own personal opinion: Is Dabo “the guy” moving forward? There have been plenty of fiery interims in the past at all levels that have taken the torch from their predecessor and made it work for a year or two, but it seems almost inevitably that fades. We saw that at State in the 90’s with Mike O’Cain taking over for Dick Sheridan. He won over the players and the administrators, and even had a couple of good years. But the rah-rah, buddy-buddy mojo faded in the back-half of the decade and he was kaput. Do you feel Dabo’s on a similar career trajectory?

He was the kind of coach fans who love slogans and t-shirts and bumper stickers love. I was on board to begin with. Dabo had the Bear Bryant pedigree, was our top recruiter, and seemed like was destined for a head coaching job somewhere. The promise was that he’d get the money he wanted for the staff he wanted. This turned out to be half-true. He was allowed to get some pretty good coaches, but still had to settle on a couple positions when our AD pulled back a bit. What we’re seeing now is on-the-job training for a guy who never even held a D1 coordinator position. Do I think he has a future in coaching? Absolutely. Do I think he’ll be at Clemson long enough for us to reap the benefits? I really don’t know.

5. Ok, explain this: What is the deal with mustard-based barbecue. I have tried and tried to wrap my head around the concept and I just can’t make it work. Admittedly I’ve never tried it, partly out of fear of eating a pile of yellow pork, but if you like it, can you explain it?

First off, Clemson is not really in the “mustard belt” of SC BBQ (see attached map), but I’ve been to BBQ joints all over the South so I can try and shed light on it for you. OK, to the best of my knowledge, mustard based sauce dates back to habits of German immigrants to South Carolina, who use mustard for everything up to and including lubricant. You can break it down into vinegary or sweet. I prefer the vinegar style of such places as Mamma Brown’s in Mount Pleasant to the sweeter of, say, a Maurice’s in Columbia. Sometimes, though, it’s just a bunch of mustard. I honestly don’t have one type of BBQ sauce I swear by. Most of my family is from NC, so I’ve had plenty of good vinegar based NC BBQ, but the best BBQ of any kind  I’ve ever had was at Scott’s Variety Store in Hemingway, SC. Hands down the best.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Riggs permalink
    November 5, 2010 8:17 am

    Mamma Brown’s is great. I’ve lived in Greenville, SC, Augusta, GA, Charleston, SC, Clemson, SC, and Greenville NC. I can say without reserve that Bee’s Barbecue is the best vineger based I’ve ever had.

    • Riggs permalink
      November 5, 2010 8:20 am

      Bee’s is in Greenville NC.

  2. David permalink
    November 5, 2010 8:23 am

    I saw signs for mustard base pork when my Dad lived in Columbia…what a tragedy

  3. November 5, 2010 8:24 am

    Lube?

  4. penthousetiger permalink
    November 5, 2010 1:52 pm

    I enjoy both mustard-based and vinegar/tomato-based barbecues, being raised on the aforementioned Maurice’s out of the Columbia area. If you ever get a chance to try Maurice’s or the World Famous Shealy’s Barbecue out of Batesburg-Leesville South Carolina, I suggest you do, it is a different experience than NC BBQ, but a good experience nonetheless

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