We knew this game should've been little more than a glorified scrimmage against 1-AA SC State, but I wonder what happened with the offense this week in practice that made them come out completely flat and look so discombobulated against the Bulldogs. Thankfully Clemson's defense played its best game in a couple seasons and completely whipped SC State up front.
Clemson's defensive front destroyed the Bulldogs from the first snap til the last. That was a performance closest to the level of the 2009 DLine than we've seen since. Yes its a 1-AA team but usually we don't bring that level of intensity an entire game against these lesser opponents. A few tackles should've been made which must improve but the D came ready to play and with 2 pick-6's, they've beaten SC State by themselves without need of an offense.
Only two plays were complete busts from the defense, which allowed them to score. Blanks appeared to give far too much cushion in a C1 situation to a slot receiver, after which the FS Robert Smith decided to do nothing right with a poor angle and worse tackle attempt. Later in the game the CB was beaten up the sideline and the FS did the same thing. There were other men open today but the pass rush was so dominant that they had no time to hit them. Hopefully that continues to be the case against NC State, because they will be able to hit some of those.
The offense came out very uninspired, which was disappointing. I want Tajh to win a Heisman Trophy and today's play by the entire first team offense didn't really help his case. Tajh was off on many of his throws and didn't play to his level. Our WRs did not appear to be working themselves open against the coverage. Sammy didn't make any plays at all, but at least Bryant made some nice grabs to help his confidence. A big culprit was also the first team OL, which wasn't firing off the ball and didn't seem to have any energy. The 2nd team outplayed them after their first drive with Tajh. Cole Stoudt looked very good in relief.
The offensive pace and stats look great, but we were flat, both in the stands and on the field. I suppose that is to be expected after an emotional win but I hoped The Chad would have a foot in some asses to prevent it this week.
A pretty good win in the end but not quite what we were hoping to see from Clemson's offense against a 1-AA opponent. A dominant performance by the defense is a big confidence builder for the off-week.