Originally Posted by Flameout12
Specifically our DL...the first 4 wins our DL was pretty dominant, with 2011 being the best one of the 5 wins. In '09, our speed on defense was dominant.
I give them credit in '13 for doing a better job in the trenches on both sides, but they self destructed last season and we really weren't pushed into getting out of our game plan. My only regret is the one year we ran Marcus against them, we just went conservative because we had the SECCG the following week. I would have loved for them have to played Marcus with a mature Connor Shaw together on the same team.
Their DL has caught up with ours and I would say is probably going to be better than ours this year. On the other hand our OL should be better than theirs so it evens out. The trenches argument is no longer valid, at least for this year. And to be honest, the trenches neutralized last year as well.
I think the OP hit the nail on the head. We are battle tested and we play the BIG games regularly. Clemson has a difficult time transitioning from playing Wake and NC State to us.
Our guys also just seem to KNOW they're going to win, just like Clemson back in the day.