Tyshon Dye, RB, FR, A+: The freshman from Elberton, GA absolutely tore it up while receiving significant action for the first time this year. Dye, who has been rehabbing from a torn achilles, made a cameo appearance at the end of the victory over Wake Forest, but Saturday the coaches let him turn loose, and he made the most of it.
On 20 carries, Dye ran for 124 yards and 2 touchdowns. He exploded through holes and showed impressive speed. He also showed his strength by driving piles and busting through tackles to pick up extra yards, including the few he needed to pick up his first TD. Even though we were playing Ga State, anytime a guy runs for 124 yards and 2 TD's while looking like a beast, especially after coming back from multiple injuries, it's impressive. We look to see what more Dye can do against South Carolina Saturday
Mike Williams, WR, Fr, A-: A nice bounce back game for Williams, and really the passing game in general after the abysmal performance at GT. Williams snagged 7 catches for 87 yards and a nice second quarter touchdown to put Clemson up 28-0 before halftime. Williams continues to be a solid target for whoever is playing QB for Clemson at a given time. His ability to get open and make athletic plays is huge to give Clemson's offense a spark. Williams will need to have a big game against South Carolina regardless of whether Cole Stoudt or Deshaun Watson starts.
Offensive Line, B-: One of the better performances of the year for a group that has been criticized often this year. They did a good job of opening up holes for Tyshon Dye. Anytime your team breaks 200 yards rushing, you're probably getting a good push up front. Pass blocking was improved. Ga State recorded 2 sacks, but one of those was when Cole Stoudt tripped in the backfield. Still, the goal needs to be to give up 0 sacks. A few penalties at times, but overall a good performance from the OL.
Gary Peters, CB, SR, A-: Peters played a solid game Saturday. Early on he let a receiver get separation and pick up a first down for State, but after that he was lights out. He had 2 pass break ups and played tight coverage for the rest of the night. He also had a nice second quarter interception to help set up Clemson's scoring drive right before halftime. He even came off a corner blitz and was maybe a second away from a sack. Peters has been a pretty reliable corner this year.
Stephone Anthony, S, SR, A: Anthony was all over the field Saturday making plays, as usual for the Senior from North Carolina. He led the Tigers with 9 tackles, including 1 for a loss. He has been a force in the middle this year, and that continued Saturday. Expect another solid performance from him against the Gamecocks on Saturday.
Defensive Line, A+: It would be hard to pick one player on Clemson's DL to applaud because so many made plays Saturday. Vic Beasley had a huge third quarter sack on fourth down to end a Ga State drive. He also was in AJ Kaplan's (LT for Ga State) head and caused him to move early twice in a row. You could see he was nervous about facing such an athlete. Kaplan also got away with a few holds, which has been common for tackles trying to block Vic this year. Grady Jarrett continued to dominate in the middle. Kevin Dodd and Josh Watson also brought it from the DT positions and each had a tackle in the backfield. Shaq Lawson got in on the action with 2 tackles, including a 3 yard loss. Tavaris Barnes was noticeably getting pressure, and Martin Aiken did the same when he entered the game late.
Bradley Pinion, P/K, JR, B-: From a kickoff stand point, kind of an off day for Pinion. He gave Ga State good field position to start off a lot of drive, but fortunately Clemson's D didn't let them do anything with that. Most of the kickoffs were pretty short. Punting wise, though, Pinion continued his great performances. The kickoff issues will probably be addressed before Saturday, but Pinion's punting will definitely be a huge help for our defense against South Carolina.