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Clemson Tigers Soundly Defeat SC State

This is the type of performance we are accustomed to seeing.

South Carolina State v Clemson Photo by Tyler Smith / Getty Images

In a game like this there just isn’t a ton you can learn from it. The offense obviously looked better and Deshaun Watson and the wide receivers were in rhythm, but it doesn’t mean anything unless you do it against a quality opponent. Defense again looked dominant with the starters playing limited snaps. I think we will learn where the offense really is at when we go on the road to Georgia Tech where we inexplicably haven’t won since 2003. Win and survive will be completely fine with me, no style points needed as we take on Louisville the next week. Our schedule sets up nicely with Louisville at home and then two struggling cupcakes in BC (who got demolished by VT) and NC State (loser to East Carolina) before going on the road to FSU.

The South Carolina State game was all about crisp execution and the first team and second team delivered for the most part. You learn as much as you do from a Spring Game.

The Bad:

Not a lot here, so I am being very picky.

Not beating former South Carolina QB/TE coach G.A. Mangus by even more.

The blocked FG. The blocking was absolutely horrendous on the attempt. Didn’t look like it was Huegel’s fault.

The special teams recovery in the endzone (of course it was a great heads up play by Denzel Johnson). Why? Because the score became so inflated so quickly that the short period of competitive football was reduced.

Cain dropped a couple of balls and Powell dropped a touchdown in the back of the endzone. Those were the only major drops of the day.

I felt like the starting offensive line got some push, but still was far from dominant. I enjoyed when Gallman got stopped that guys rallied to the pile and actually pushed forward, but the second team Oline was still underwhelming. I did like what I saw from John Simpson (apart from the penalties), who looks to be our future at LG. I also liked what I saw from a pulling Cervenka in his limited time (apart from the penalty).

I wanted to see Kelly Bryant have a better day throwing the ball, throwing the ball down the field on some long balls, and I just didn’t see it.

Jordan Leggett still needs to get it together. We will need him in the next two games.

The Good:

It was over quickly. No substantive injuries to key players (hope for a speedy recovery Adrien Dunn who is lost for the season with an ACL injury). Everyone got some experience and some film to grow from.

Defense gave up two first downs during the stretch of semi-meaningful play. Amazing performance. No long runs or explosive pass plays given up the entire day.

I love guys like Seth Ryan (what a great day as the holder) get some catches, a hurdling Radakovich, seeing Seth Penner and Logan Tisch get time.

One thing that struck me was our red zone efficiency. DW scored touchdowns and that is what you want to see against a lesser opponent. Put them away immediately with TDs, not settling for FGs.

RayRay McCloud: You know, I don’t think he is playing that much better than when he was healthy last year. Obviously he is running better routes and is a bit better down the field with his hands, but before he got injured I was seeing the same ability, short space quickness to turn a five yard gain into 8-10 yards. The 5 star status and my man crush certainly seem more validated with the touchdowns, but remember that this guy is still a true Sophomore who played RB in high school. There is more talent there to extract. Same goes for Cain who had two TDs but also two silly drops.

Trayvon Mullen: You got to see why I’m so high on him and still feel he will make a contribution this season. He plays an extremely physical brand of football and is a sure tackler, even on special teams.

Jamie Skalski: Have yourself a sack. Just brutal. Liked the legit acceleration to the ball. Got to find a way to get him over the 100 snap mark to justify burning the redshirt.

Tavien Feaster: We have got to get him involved in the gameplan at some point soon. You can see the acceleration and burst. He also has those great hands.

Albert Huggins: Liked what I saw from him. He isn’t at that elite level yet, but you can see the talent and I think he can make a rotational contribution this year and give us real significant minutes next year. He is a player I would like to see get more snaps against lesser ACC schools (Wake, BC, NC State).

On the recruiting front, the Louisville game has turned into a hot ticket item with plenty of 2018 and select top 2017 prospects wanting to make the trip. It will be the top recruiting/showcase weekend of the season for Clemson. Justin Foster was at the South Carolina State game along with commits Tee Higgins, Amari Rodgers, Chase Brice, and AJ Terrell. He was all smiles. If recruiting were betting, you’d go all in and you would do it pretty quickly.