Clemson football once again proved that culture matters.
Saturday night in Death Valley, Clemson football took the best (head) shots that the Miami Hurricanes had to offer and kept on fighting. If this was the best the ACC has to offer in 2020, it will indeed lead to Another Clemson Championship.
All we heard leading up to this Top 10 matchup was how Miami was back and that they were going to give Clemson everything that they could handle.
It was clear in the first five minutes Saturday night that this was not going to be the case.
Miami media and fans spent two weeks trying to convince everyone that this was a new program, that somehow in just 15 games under head coach Manny Diaz, they had completely changed the culture. You know the same Manny Diaz that spent his first six months on the job hob-knobbing on yachts in South Florida with rich people instead of grinding and building an actual football program.
Everyone thinks they are ready for Clemson football until they kickoff.
The culture was on display for everyone to see Saturday night – the Tigers had it and Miami lacked any. Two selfish targeting calls and several personal foul penalties in the second half made it clear that Miami was far from being the program that they had spent two weeks telling everyone they were.
Yes, Clemson did pick up one unsportsmanlike conduct after quarterback Trevor Lawrence “spiked” the ball in the moments after scoring a touchdown that capped a drive in which he took the crown of a helmet into his stomach and had to come out of the game.
As we have seen over the years, there is clearly a difference between being a one-hit-wonder and building a championship program. In order to be a true championship program, it all starts with culture. You can have all the five-star kids in the world but if they don’t embrace what being a champion means on and off the field of competition, nothing will ever change.
Clemson football was able to build a championship program based on personal accountability. That is something that Manny Diaz and Miami should take note of.