Well, it definitely wasn't pretty but it was a Thursday night win on the road in Raleigh. I'll take it assuming this was an anomaly and not the norm. We definitely didn't look crisp on offense. Tajh struggled at times and the offensive line looked simply awful. Defensively, we played pretty well other than the long drive in the fourth quarter. I will say that Travis Blanks looks to have regressed since showing up on campus. He has to do a better job tackling or we are in trouble.
I'll say that sans completely blowing a block early on, Martavis Bryant played the way we need him to play if Clemson is going to do some damage. He had two big TD catches with the last one being extremely impressive. With Peake out, Bryant has to step up. I think we saw on Thursday how much athletic ability he has. We also saw a player who ran good routes and gave really good effort. If Bryant keeps this up all year, we could be extremely dangerous throwing the football down the field.
Speaking of throwing the ball down the field, I was a bit disappointed with The Chad's playcalling. When our offensive line was getting beaten all over the place, I really wanted Clemson to run the football to right the ship. I also thought it was 2007 again with all the screen passes thrown. Then again, if a guy like Timothy actually moved his feet Chad may have been more confident about having his quarterback sit in the pocket and throw downfield. With the poor play we saw out of Timothy Thursday, I understand why he was pulled from the game and why Morris may have been shy about trusting his line to protect Tajh Boyd. Offensive line play, especially early in the game, was poor and must improve moving forward.
Vic Beasley had a very nice game. I am surprised that more teams don't just try and run him over. He has had several huge pass rushing games in the last couple years. I was very skeptical when the coaches moved him to the end position but there is no denying the fact that Beasley is able to create chaos with his speed and agility. Let's hope that this play continues and he has a very big year.
As we heard yesterday, Kellen Jones tore his ACL Thursday. I am not sure if he will be eligible to apply for a medical redshirt. You hate to see players get hurt, particularly this early in a season. Jones had a high energy level and was clearly a guy that Venables liked--brought him here when he left Oklahoma. This is going to force Clemson to play more players. Hopefully we see Tony Steward with more regularity and hopefully he can live up to the hype he brought to Clemson out of high school.
Carlos Watkins was apparently involved in a serious car accident over the weekend. While he was not seriously injured, I understand that there was a fatality due to the accident. That is a tough thing for anyone to endure and puts into perspective that football is only a game (a very important game, but a game nonetheless). I am not sure how this will effect this guy moving forward in life and in football.
I was able to catch a good bit of the Ga Tech / UNC game yesterday. First off, UNC's uniforms are not appealing to me. I understand that games are not won by uniform choice but North Carolina Blue is a very identifiable color. They looked like Duke yesterday. Anyway, we saw GT's ability to run the football and pick up critical first downs when they were needed. That is clearly Clemson's nightmare scenario as we've seen Tech methodically move the football before, converting third/fourth downs and chewing up tons of clock. Unfortunately, we saw NC State convert fourth down after fourth down on Thursday and Carolina keep the ball away from our Tigers last season so we know it can be done against this team. Paul Johnson definitely knows how to operate his offense and if Clemson does not improve its tackling, we could be in some trouble against the Yellowjackets.
Michigan again struggled. LSU rolled while Georgia had some mid-game hiccups en route to their win over the Mean Green. LSU goes to Georgia for a CBS afternoon game on Saturday. We'll find out just how good this Georgia team is against a tough running team like LSU. UGa catches a break playing Between the Hedges instead of down in the Bayou. Ole Miss and Bama play at night. That is one of those trap games that should concern Bama. Oklahoma rolls up to Notre Dame and VPI takes on Ga Tech on Thursday. All of this is in addition to Wake heading into Death Valley Saturday afternoon.
In golf, the Fedex Cup looks to be over with Henrick Stenson rolling at East Lake. As you all know Tiger is struggling this week, Phil is 9 shots back, and Stenson leads the next closest competitor by four strokes. If he holds on to win, he is looking at an $11 million payday. Not too bad for hitting a little ball around.
I don't know if NASCAR rearranged the rules this week or not. I am still bent out of shape about their decision to alter the standings and the rules just because they felt like it.