Monday Mailbox: Third Edition


Every Monday, we have started a “mailbox” where we will field answers to your questions, whatever they may be pertaining to Clemson University, athletics, or sports in general throughout the week.

If you have a question, you can tweet us @rubbingtherock, leave a comment on an article, give us a message on Facebook, or email it in at

This week we have had several question pertaining to the Tigers’ football and baseball program. Obviously, people want to know what should be done for the baseball program to get it back to contending in Omaha as well as what next season holds for Jack Leggett. We’ve been doing this for a few weeks now and it’s been great to discuss these topics, so, without further a due, here is the Monday Mailbox.

Who does Brent Venables need to step up on the defensive side of the ball this season?

"Andrew: I would say if I had to pin-point one player, it would have to be Shaq Lawson. The reason I say this is because for a defense to be dominant, or even be solid for that matter, you have to have some kind of pass rush from the start. If your defensive line is not getting to the quarterback, someone is eventually going to get open no matter how good your secondary is. Clemson needs someone that can take the place of Vic Beasley and be a “sack threat” every time the offense decides to pass. Lawson certainly has the talent to be that guy and Clemson will need him to be in order to have a strong year."

"Ty: Clemson had the number one defense last year and a lot of the key players are gone. But there is talent and potential for another good defensive team to patrol the ACC. The secondary is still good, the defensive line has talent, but I think the concerns should be with the linebackers. Individually, Ben Boulware and DJ Goodson are good players but the group as a whole is inexperienced. There are a lot of good backs in the conference and the linebackers must stop the run or the Clemson offense will be asked to score, score, and score some more."

What is your prediction for who will be competing in the ACC Championship Game come December?

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"Andrew: If I had to guess right now, I would say it’s Clemson vs. Georgia Tech. Obviously, the Atlantic is basically a two-team race between the Tigers and Florida State. You may be able to make a case for Louisville, but, basically, it is between those two and I believe Clemson has the edge with the head-to-head match up being at home this season. Georgia Tech is the clear favorite out of the Coastal after being the hottest team in College Football to close the season. Obviously, UNC, Miami, or Virginia Tech could have a bounce-back year, but I don’t expect those three teams to truly contend with the Yellow Jackets this season."

"Ty: I think most people were torn on who would win the ACC championship next season. Georgia Tech, FSU, and Clemson were probably the popular choices. The pendulum swung significantly when the Seminoles picked up Everett Golson.He’s an experienced quarterback with a strong arm and the ability to make plays with his feet. He has had an up and down career but when he is on, there are few better signal callers in the country. Ga Tech wins the Coastal. I don’t think there is much debate about that choice.Clemson or FSU to win the Atlantic?My choice is FSU.Talent has always resided in Tallahassee and this year is no exception. Golson will have plenty of weapons at his disposal and the defense has something to prove after having a down year. Can they win a national championship? I don’t know but I would make them the favorite to win the ACC."

survive another season with Jack Leggett as the Coach?

"Andrew: Consistency. Clemson committed so many errors defensively this year. The Tigers lost games they should win and then the following weekend would compete with top-five teams in the nation. There is no question Clemson has the talent to get back to Omaha, regardless of whether or not Leggett is the coach, but it takes consistency. Consistency from the players and coaching staff and, minus Matthew Crownover, the Tigers have not gotten that from any of the above."

"Ty: Clemson baseball finished 32-27 and will anxiously watch the NCAA selection show at noon today to see if their season is over.If they get into the NCAA tournament, Jack Leggett should continue to coach the team. He should also be allowed to coach them next season. The Tigers are young and have shown that they can compete against the best, but Leggett must win next year or he might be asked to resign. If he leaves anytime soon, then look for former Clemson assistant and current Vandy coach Tim Corbin to be the top candidate to replace him."