Once again we are returning to an annual series by taking a look at the snap totals for Clemson football. We've broken down each position by snap totals based on players and class. All of the snap data can be found on the Clemson website in this handy little game notes pdf. A quick reminder that all of this data is only for snaps on offense or defense. It does not account for any snaps played on special teams. Today we are going to take a look at the rather experienced defensive line.
Obviously we are losing a lot of production at the linebacker position because of the departure of Stephone Anthony and Tony Steward. The good news is that the loss is mitigated a bit thanks to the typical formation Brent Venables likes to run. Because Venables only runs two linebackers in most plays the backups have a decent amount of experience. Ben Boulware and BJ Goodson are experienced players who know Venables system. Though both are prone to mistakes, they will help soften the blow of Steward and Anthony leaving.
It also hurts that Kellen Jones is quitting football. Completely understandable, but it definitely hurts Clemson by reducing the returning experience. There will be a lot of questions here after Boulware and Goodson, and honestly there are a few questions to ask of both players as well.
As much as we talked about the loss of production on the DL, the linebacker position may scare me more. A combination of how critical the position is as well as the lack of experience makes me uneasy. We've seen a good amount of ugly linebacker play at Clemson over the past decade and it can make a defense look ineffective, insecure, and generally bad. Hopefully one or two guys manage to step up and provide some quality depth here as well as Boulware and Goodson becoming quality players for us.