CLEMSON — Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott has been a part of two of the most dominant runs in ACC football history. First, as a child with his father, Brad, who was an assistant coach under legendary Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden. And secondly, as a coach, under head coach Dabo Swinney.
For Scott, when he looks back on the Seminoles’ run of dominance in the ‘80s and ‘90s, he can see a lot of similarities between the Seminoles of old and the Tigers of today.
"I've talked about that before. I think there's a lot of similarities in the culture of the program that Florida State had when my dad was there in the ‘80s and early ‘90s under Bobby Bowden, and maybe what we're doing now here under Coach Swinney and just the consistency that they had," Scott said. "I think they went on a run at least 10 years if not more of top five finishes. If they'd had the playoffs back then, they probably would have had a couple more opportunities for national championships. So there's definitely a lot of similarities."
After his father's move to South Carolina and then to Clemson, Scott realizes that his family is more a part of the Tigers' legacy than that of the Seminoles or the Gamecocks, for whom Brad Scott served as head coach.
"The funny thing for me as maybe being a kid, when I look back at kind of my dad's career, I think that we were at Florida State forever, and then we came to South Carolina, and then we'd been at Clemson," Scott said. "And now looking back, my dad going into his 20th year here at Clemson, and he's been at Clemson now twice as long as he was ever at Florida State. So it's kind of unique now looking back. But there's no doubt those were a special time. Very similar to what I've been fortunate to do here at Clemson.
"Kind of moving up from being a graduate assistant, to recruiting coordinator, now an offensive coordinator role is very similar to my dad's path there at Florida State. And for him to be able to work under a guy like Bobby Bowden, and then many years later me get the opportunity to do that under a guy like Coach Swinney, is very rare and a true blessing for our family."
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However great the blessing is to be a part of the success of the Tigers, there is always pressure.
But for Scott and the rest of the coaching staff, there is an understanding that if they are going to maintain the level of consistency and winning, they must guard the culture.
"I think the biggest thing is we don't sit around and talk about how many games we've won in a row or count them down or anything." Scott said. "I think Coach Swinney and our staff try to do the best job we can of making each week about that opponent that we're playing. I think that's one reason that maybe we've had that success is because we have really each week tried to focus on what we have in front of us.
"But I think the biggest thing that comes from that is you're going to get everybody's best shot. I mean, we didn't play as well as we could have and as well as we should have Saturday, but North Carolina played very well. If you went back and graded their defense, I mean, we got their best shot and that's to come to be expected now when you're kind of one of those teams at the top."
Part of ensuring that his Tiger offense does what it takes to not have a slip-up like they had in their last game, a one-point win at North Carolina, came last week.
During the Tigers' bye week, the coaching staff took some time to look in the mirror and do a lot of self-scouting. And while Scott was hesitant to give away any of the major details of what they learned, he does believe the Tigers learned enough to make them ready to play this week — against the Seminoles.
"I think overall, as we look at our offense and look at each position, it's really just kind of locking in on maybe some of the reasons why we haven't executed," Scott said. "A lot of it is, I mean, it's real boring stuff. It's communication, it's alignment, it's assignments, it's being on the same page. It's just kind of that ... The very small things of what we do. That really is the biggest thing, and just allowing those guys now that we've had five games to kind of put that on paper and put some video in front of them to show them that, 'Hey, we know what we're doing and we're using the proper technique. We're able to execute, and that play looks really good. When we don't, this is what it looks like.'
"So I think just kind of learning from that overall. But I mean, there's definitely some things that we were able to see this past week that we knew that we had some tendencies on that maybe we want to try to counter that here as we move forward."