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Player Grades: Clemson at Boston College

Clemson survives a tough test in New England. Who made the grade this week?

Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports


Mike Williams, WR, FR, A: Williams looked back to normal this Saturday by snagging some key catches on the 2 touchdown drives and racking up 128 yards in the process. Williams didn't see pay dirt this weekend, but given the fact that BC's DBs could basically get away with murder this weekend, it was going to be hard for any of our WRs to find the end zone. Williams will need to keep it up for the rest of the season, especially in the games before Deshaun Watson returns. He has the ability to take some of the pressure off of Cole, like Sammy and Nuk did for Tajh.

Jordan Leggett, TE, SO, C+: 2 catches for 25 yards doesn't sound like a whole lot, but I'm just excited for us to get to see us get the tight ends involved again. Leggett is a good target for Stoudt to utilize, and could have been essential for us to get this offense going a little bit, had he not gotten hurt in this game. Still, Jay Jay McCullough and Sam Cooper each had a catch as well, so I really hope this means we're going to start utilizing our TEs more.

Running Backs, A: As a group, our running game was strong. Wayne Gallman and CJ Davidson did a good job of stepping up when Adam Choice went out, and were the only Tigers to find the end zone Saturday. Each had 39 yards a piece. As I've stated before, we don't necessarily need another CJ Spiller (although it would be nice), we just need some consistency in moving the ball and not turning it over, and our backs did that this weekend. Running back by committee isn't a bad option as long as we keep having consistent, solid performances.


Tavaris Barnes, DE, SR, A: I've been rooting for this guy all year, and I'm really excited to see him have a big game. 2 sacks on the day from the big man. Barnes is a guy who is under the radar on our DL due to Vic Beasley, Grady Jarrett, and others, but he is a beast. Seeing him getting pressure Saturday just reinforces how deep our DL is.

Tony Steward LB, SR, B-: Steward had a good day at Linebacker, and was able to sack Tyler Murphy once. It was nice hearing the Senior's name called a lot. Like the DL, the Linebacking corps has a lot of talent in it and is another key to this Tiger defensive success. Look for Steward to continue terrorizing QBs for the rest of the season

Defensive Backs, C+: Overall, it was a successful day for the DB's, with just 2 big mistakes. Those 2 big mistakes happened to lead to touchdowns. We also could have very easily given one up at the end had the BC receiver not dropped it. Our DB's play lights out, but every now and then slip up and give up a touchdown. QBs haven't bean able to pick us apart, but they can occasionally find a hole, and a hole is all they need sometimes. I don't know that it is entirely on the DBs, because the scheme may put them at a disadvantage. On the first touchdown to Sherman Alston, Alston came out of the backfield, kind of on a wheel route (like CJ Spiller used to do) and was able to catch the ball in a wide open space where only Jayron Kearse had the slightest shot to get any kind of contact on him. I can't tell if someone was out of position or if BC just found a flaw in our scheme, but it needs to be addressed this week or teams will be doing that all year. The second touchdown to Josh Bordner was a TE slipping out to the opposite side and being wide open as Murphy rolled right. The only man left to cover was Tony Steward, and he was covering as much distance as he could once the ball was in the air. It was a good effort by Steward, but he was so far behind that he could't make the play. That guy should have been Steward's man, but I don't like it that there was no help for him on that side. Something that I'm sure will also be addressed this week.

Special Teams

Bradley Pinion, P, JR, A+: 10 punts for 418 yards for Pinion this week. He keeps on rolling and is a big reason why Clemson's defense has been able to play so well. He certainly is giving them a huge advantage in the field position game. I'd like it if he wasn't having to punt so much, but he is getting it done and we are winning, so I can handle that.