Pigskin Prophet: Lugubrious Leprechauns Edition


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Pigskin Prophet: Lugubrious Leprechauns Edition

Lugubrious leprechauns. Has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

When Notre Dame visited Clemson back in 2015 (seems like a few days ago, seems like decades ago), college football analyst and Notre Dame grad Aaron Taylor predicted that Clemson would be “lugubrious” following the game.

Lugubrious means “looking or sounding sad and dismal” and Taylor’s position was that Notre Dame was used to the big stage, while little old Clemson was a mere interloper on the biggest of stages. Clemson beat the Irish in the rain, and then beat the Irish into a pulp in 2018 in the College Football Playoff and Cotton Bowl in Dallas.

After the win in 2015, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney had this message for Taylor.

"I don't know who Aaron Taylor is, but I guess he is analyst or commentator," Swinney said. "The comment was we were not going to be ready. Clemson wouldn't be ready and our crowd was going to be lugubrious when the game was over. I don't know how to spell that. I'm hooked on phonics. I just sound it out. Lugubrious. But I did look it up, and 'lugubrious' means to look sad and disappointed.”

Swinney and his Tigers had the last laugh, handing the Irish their first loss of the season. He’s also looking forward to Clemson’s return trip to northwest Indiana in five years.

Swinney then looked ahead to this weekend’s game in South Bend.

“I want to wish Notre Dame and their lugubrious crowd safe travels back to South Bend," he said. "And we will show up in 2020. We look forward to that trip. So, I appreciate the education that we got this week — the vocab lesson. The first thing our players said to me when they came to the locker room was 'man that leprechaun was a little lugubrious looking.'"

Clemson plays at Notre Dame this weekend in a top-four matchup. It’s the biggest home game for the Irish since maybe 1993 (Florida St.). For Clemson, it’s just another game.

The leprechaun will be lugubrious leaving Notre Dame Stadium late Saturday.

FRIDAY

MIAMI AT NC STATE

A night game in Raleigh was once where ranked teams go to die. Remember the one guy hanging off the stadium pole against Florida St. and becoming a sensation? Now head coach Dave Doeren and his laptop antics and players stealing towels and a lot of anger seem to the only thing the Wolfpack have to offer. It won’t be easy for Miami, and it will look ugly at times, but the Canes have the better quarterback. MIAMI 35, NC STATE 23

SATURDAY

UNC AT DUKE

North Carolina has a good offense. The defense is horrific a lot of times. Duke can be ok offensively at times and there are times when they look terrible. In other words, we really don’t know what to expect at Wallace Wade Outdoor Stadium. I expect North Carolina to score a lot of points and I expect Duke to score a lot of points, but I also expect Duke to commit some turnovers and do enough bad things to not be in it late. UNC 41, DUKE 30

FLORIDA VS GEORGIA

This is another one of the marquee matchups for the weekend. The World’s Largest Cocktail Party won’t be much of a party this season. The pandemic will cut down on the celebrations, and one of these teams will likely see their CFP hopes go away with a loss. That means someone is gonna have to come up with energy on their own, and Kirby Smart isn’t known as being the most electric guy. Smart sits back and every once in a while will grimace, but that’s it. Dan Mullen, however, will attack opposing players at midfield and attack referees and scream and shout and wave his little arms and then dress like Darth Vader in postgame press conferences. Florida wins, because of that, and because their quarterback is a lot taller than the little dude for the Dawgs. FLORIDA 27, GEORGIA 23

CLEMSON AT NOTRE DAME

Listen, this has all the makings of an old-fashioned barn burner. Notre Dame will be fired up and eager to recoup some pride after the last two stinging losses to the Tigers. The issue at hand is that the Irish simply don’t have the playmakers to get into a shootout, and if they try and control the clock and let Brent Venables have time to dial in his defense, they wont get much traction. Expect Clemson to take the reins of Big Cinco, the Throwin’ Samoan, DJU, or whatever you want to call him, and let him throw it far and wide to his playmakers. Maybe the Irish need Rudy? Oh wait, he’s playing quarterback for Georgia this weekend. CLEMSON 30, IRISH 13

TEXAS A&M AT SOUTH CAROLINA

I see you, Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies shook off a slow start to the season – a boring and unimpressive win over Vandy and then a smackdown at Bama – to put together a solid season. They are playing keep away and controlling the clock and running the football and letting quarterback Kellen Mond make plays on third down. South Carolina, on the other hand, needs to make 2020 their new logo. And South Carolina’s defense? That Georgia quarterback plays every position on the defensive line. They are small. Look for the Aggies to do what they always do to South Carolina - beat them down. AGGIES 31, SOUTH CAROLINA 16

TENNESSEE AT ARKANSAS

Remember when Tennessee was 2-0 and ranked and we told you it was all smoke because their quarterback was terrible? Well, they’ve been outscored 132-45 over a three-game losing streak, and it hasn’t been that close. Now they travel to Arkansas to take on the pigs, and I gotta tell ya, the pigs are squeal and holler and those hounds are gonna run back to Tennessee with their tails between their legs. ARKANSAS 30, TENNESSEE 27

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