Clemson has been known to “pull a Clemson” every once in a while.
If you don’t know what that means, I’ll explain. Or rather, here is a definition for “pulling a Clemson” from UrbanDictionary.com:
“The act of miserably failing towards the end of a task that was started with such promise. The phrase comes from many seasons in which the Clemson University football team starts off their season with huge victories, only to fall off completely at the end of the season to teams like Georgia Tech and get dominated by teams like NC State, South Carolina and West Virginia.”
“Pulling a Clemson,” aka “Clemsoning,” manifested itself in the Tigers’ last trip to play N.C. State in Raleigh.
Two years ago, Clemson was 9-1 and ranked seventh. N.C. State was 5-5 and coming off a loss to Boston College.
Tajh Boyd was the QB.
Sammy Watkins was deep into his sensational freshman year.
The Tigers had future NFL draft picks DeAndre Hopkins and Andre Ellington as offensive options.
But Watkins missed the game with a shoulder injury and Boyd threw two interceptions. Clemson QBs were sacked six times and there were two other turnovers.
The result: N.C. State 37, Clemson 13.
That sent the Tigers on a spiral in which they dropped three of their final four games, including the infamous 70-33 Orange Bowl loss.
Remember the jokes? West Virginia just scored again.
Clemson heads to N.C. State tonight, but won’t face the same fate as the 2011 team.
The Tigers have matured, as has Boyd, and have had plenty of time to prepare — physically and mentally — for this game.
Clemson might “pull a Clemson” at some point this fall — perhaps at Maryland on Oct. 26 — but not tonight.