By the end of the night, it might have been the exact opposite. Lowe's coaching seat is definitely on fire and the wolfpack is going nowhere fast.
That having been said, the comeback win for the Tigers might have been a confidence and season-saving win. The Tigers came out flat, falling behind by 19. But by the end, they were able to pronounce last night's win as the biggest home ACC comeback in Clemson history. This was a win the Tigers needed. They came up just short in College Park, but were able to clamp down and interrupt NCSU's flow and control of the game. If they can adjust to the early game miscues, then they might be able to win more frequently.
All of Clemson's losses have been heart-wrenching, or at least difficult. We have the-come-from-behind-only-to-fall-short-against-MD, the-cut-the-lead-to-two-with-two-minutes-left-and-lose-by-ten-to-UNC, and the-ahead-for-most-of-the-game-only-to-lose-the-game-in-the-end-against-FSU. Hopefully, this come-from-behind-win will give the Tigers that necessary spark of confidence they need. Maybe it was just the short time turnaround?
Brownell is pumped.
Sidney Lowe explained Clemson's comeback this way:
“They don’t have a clear cut superstar, but they know how to play hard. This isn’t a young team; they have plenty of guys that have been here before. They know what type of effort they needed to give to get back in the ballgame. It showed a lot of character and a lot of toughness. They did whatever they had to do to win the game. I saw one guy body-block Scott Wood. They did what they had to do to get back in the game. When you’re down like that, you do whatever you have to do, and they did it.”
So, my man Mr. Sidney Lowe does not leave room for any blame for the NCSU loss. In fact, he says he saw a body-block and the Clemson did what they had to do.
Missing in this explanation is what NC State and inherently Lowe didn't do. The Raleigh media knows the inevitable is about to happen to Lowe, "Hope for a big basketball season probably is all but gone at N.C. State after Tuesday's collapse at Clemson." Maybe Lowe will react like Roy Williams when his coaching is questioned-
One thing Lowe did, that was not as curious as his pulling of a player at the end of a game a few weeks ago, but nonetheless, nearly as absurd, was support the Tigers with his Orange an Purple Tie.
Sidney Lowe, Clemson fan. (N&O)
Here is the look of the rest of the NC State coaching staff:
I don't know who the second row guy is, but he is loosening his tie.
Everyone else is watching their jobs disappear. (N&O)
You can watch highlights and see pictures of the game here, from the official Clemson site.
This was a big win. It was bigger than the 10 points suggests. It was bigger than the opponent. It will hopefully be a big win for the team in terms of confidence, especially with FSU coming to town on Saturday.
The FSU game will be a barometer for how much confidence the team actually has and if they can keep the strong play coming. If the Tigers can win at home against FSU and UVA, they will be 5-3 going into the 2nd half of the ACC schedule- a big improvement from the early learning the curve this year's team faced at the beginning of the season.
Last night's win was a big, goggle-sized win.
Now it is time to move forward.