Playing a conference opponent in the first week of the season, even if they're not expected to be a top team, can be a real challenge. While other teams dominate in what appears to be a warm-up game before facing more competitive opponents, the Tigers are thrust into a matchup with significant end-of-season implications right from the start, facing Duke on Monday night. Given that this is a new offensive strategy debuting on the field, it's natural to question the team's level of preparedness for Labor Day. Garrett Riley and Cade Klubnik seem to express confidence in the Tigers' readiness.
Garrett Riley, the new offensive coordinator, was asked whether the offense is currently at the level he desires. He responded, "Yeah, we've progressed a lot since my first few weeks here. I think we're in a great spot going into it. I think we've got a lot of different guys that are capable of making a lot of plays for us. Continuity, chemistry up front. So, I think we're in a great spot going into game 1...I think we've done a lot. I think we've accomplished a lot. I think we have a pretty good grasp of kinda who we are at this point in time but now it's time to go see that on the real field."
In a separate interview, starting quarterback Cade Klubnik was asked about his primary concerns regarding the offense at this moment. The sophomore quarterback expressed strong confidence in his teammates, stating, "I don't really have any concerns. I feel great. I feel great about where we're at. I mean I'm so excited. I'm so excited for this team. They've been working, every single position and every single position group. Just quietly working, keeping our head down and getting after it. So I'm excited for a lot of guys that not a lot of people know about yet are just gonna have a great year and be able to kinda show out week 1."
It's true that nobody can predict the outcome until they step onto the field. However, for now, it appears that there are plenty of reasons for Clemson fans to feel confident as they look ahead to Monday night.