Clemson's offense looked inept to start but woke up and cruised to a 35-7 lead at the half, and both Tajh Boyd and Sammy Watkins set school yardage records in the win. Sammy broke Nuk's receiving record with 200 yards and Tajh broke Whitehurst's single game passing record with 428.
Clemson's offensive line always has issues with teams that play an Odd front because Dalton Freeman cannot handle a NG, and the rest of them don't seem to know how to block inside when they're uncovered. It was evident tonight, even though I'll grant that Whitlock is pretty good. It is clear over the last few games that our OL is not as strong as they looked earlier this season, and cannot dominate a weaker/smaller DL, and that is typical of a Batson squad. We didn't come off the ball low and don't deliver the first hit, and those are two important keys to run blocking. I also question the fire put into them during the week, as I saw several guys standing around not blocking anyone while a RB was still carrying a live ball and fighting for yards. In that 3rd quarter, our OL should have been in position to take over and put this away, and they could not do so. We need to move the ball inside so The Chad won't stop calling run plays that don't involve Tajh keeping it.
Over the last two weeks, we have improved on defense, at least up front where it is most important. We've registered more sacks, gotten more penetration and been more gap-sound. The front 7 has tackled better and swarmed to the football. We should not kid ourselves though, because Wake Forest is a very bad offensive team, and their receivers were still running rampant in our secondary. Nevertheless, we did not make them look good on offense and we should be pleased with the effort in 3 of the 4 quarters.
In the 3rd, it was a completely different team. You would think Wake was ahead by 4 TDs if you compared the two. The passion fell off completely and we still lack the killer instinct on both sides. Good teams keep a foot on the gas and put them away so we can get the backups (LIKE STEWARD DABO) in the game more. We still need them to get experience.
Garry Peters was on the sideline with ice on his hip, which accelerated the need for Humphries to play DB. No word yet on his injury. Some of our upcoming opponents will severely strain this secondary and if Peters is out then we have huge problems.
I'm hoping that Dabs has them hitting in practice heavily come Sun/Mon, but I'm glad we have the time to work on some ANGLES and TACKLING in the secondary for Duke, because all they do is throw the ball around.
In the end though we got off the Thursday night slide and got a fairly easy win on national TV.