But this 2014 team will have a different identity than it had the past three seasons without quarterback Tajh Boyd and potent wide receivers such as DeAndre Hopkins, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant.
Offense has been the name of the game for the Tigers over the years. Whenever you would watch Clemson, you expected to see plenty of points.
But Boyd is gone now and the torch has been passed to senior Cole Stoudt. Stoudt has completed 86 of his 119 career attempts, throwing for 742 yards and eight touchdowns. Swinney seems at peace with his decision to go with Stoudt for the 2014 season.
“He's a great leader who is highly respected by his teammates. He never once complained. He was always ready when we needed him. He's earned it and he will be named the starter,” Swinney said to Fox Sports.
But enough about the offense, the defense is the real strength of the team this season.
Defensive coordinator Brent Venables has plenty of weapons at his disposal in 2014, including All-American defensive end Vic Beasley. But it doesn’t end with Beasley; this defensive line has plenty of experience, specifically Grady Jarrett and Corey Crawford.
The linebacking core is also ahead of the curve, returning the team’s leading tackler in Stephone Anthony. Kellen Jones and Tony Steward will join Anthony and are hoping to be one of the best front seven’s in the country.
The only question mark on defense is in the secondary, as cornerback Bashaud Breeland left early for the 2014 NFL Draft. But senior Martin Jenkins and the talented redshirt freshman Mackensie Alexander are looking to leave their own mark on the secondary.
So don’t expect to see the same type of Clemson team you’ve gotten used to over the years, this year will feature a very strong defense.
The good news is that if the offense is able to click under Stoudt, Clemson could give Florida State a run for their money in the ACC.
We’ll see how far this defense can take the Tigers.