There was a day not so long ago that I dreaded the Georgia Tech game - especially the years they were played in Bobby Dodd. That place was a house of horrors for Clemson, but not anymore. Those demons have been exorcised. Now, instead of dreading this game, I love playing Ga Tech. I actually look forward to this game. There are very few things I enjoy watching on the football field more so than seeing Brent Venables' defense lay waste to Paul Johnson's option attack. That was exactly what we saw in this one (again).
Through four games, this was easily the Tigers best performance yet. Clemson controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. The defense was suffocating and the offense was clicking. We even saw that killer instinct that many thought had been lacking through the first three games of the season. Was it perfect? No, but I thought we saw a team that played very well in all phases, and thoroughly out-play an inferior conference opponent.
The first two series of the game, led by Kelly Bryant, saw the offense run just 8 plays for 13 yards. Travis Etienne had 1 carry, against a run defense that had not been very good to start the season. It quickly started to feel like more of the same on offense. Then on the 3rd series Lawrence entered the game, and it started to click. The Tigers started to run the ball with success. Lawrence capped off a 7 play, 74 yard drive, with a 17 yard TD pass to Hunter Renfrow that not many QBs can make.
He would remain in the game for five consecutive series and lead the offense to TDs on 4 of those. The only thing that stopped him was himself, as a freshman mistake on a screen pass resulted in an INT. By the time Bryant came back into the game in the 3rd qtr, the Tigers were up 35-7. In this game, we indeed saw one of the 2 QBs separate himself. What that leads to from here, we shall see, but either way... Paws Up
The OL looked like they came to play yesterday. The backs had room to run and the QBs had time to throw. Clemson rushed for 248 yards as a team. It was against a run defense that has not been very good so far under first year DC Nate Woody, but that’s exactly what you want to see in those scenarios. I thought it was a fairly dominant effort overall... Paws Up
ETN had another monster game, and he did it with only 11 carries. He showed he is an All-American caliber RB. Every time you thought they were about to bring him down, he kept going. And going. The scary thing is I think we are only scratching the surface as far as seeing what he is capable of. After an injury scare early, Feaster showed he still has plenty to offer as well, finishing with 75 yds and over 9 YPC. I expect this tandem to only get better as the season progresses... Paws Up
This is a subject I have seen debated through the 1st three games, with many saying they thought this team, or that the staff, lacked the kind of killer instinct needed to put teams away. Well, what I saw yesterday was a staff send the entire first string offense back into the game late in the 4th qtr up 3 TDs. The offense went straight down the field and scored, putting the game away in emphatic fashion. We can speculate on what led to that decision, but whatever the reason, it shows this team and the staff does indeed possess this killer instinct... Paws Up
Once again this defense showed it has Paul Johnson’s offense figured out. The DL dominated the LOS, the LBs were playing their assignments, making plays all over the field, and the secondary didn’t once get caught with their eyes in the backfield. All this while missing Kendall Joseph... Paws Up
I could really only think of one thing that was missing after this one, and that is the TEs being MIA when it comes to the passing game. After a game that was so one sided, maybe it’s nitpicking, but it was the only thing I could come up with to give the... Paws Down
And in other games....
Really Va Tech? Why are you playing road games at Old Dominion to begin with? Then to lose by 2 TDs, while getting almost half a hundred hung on you by an 0-3 Conference USA team? Yes, you lost your QB, but last I checked he doesn’t play defense. Then BC goes and lays an egg on the road against winless Purdue. The ACC is not Clemson and then everybody else, it’s Clemson and nobody else... Paws Down
I really didn’t see the Scott Frost era getting off to such a rocky start. No one was expecting them to compete for a Big 10 title this season, but I’m not sure anyone expected an 0-3 start with a loss to Troy either. Even Wendy’s was throwing Twitter shade in their direction Saturday during that beating they took from the Fightin’ Harbaughs. Maybe it’s a good thing their opener vs Akron was cancelled. They could be looking at 0-4 with 2 losses to non P5 teams... Paws Down
That’s all I have for this week. Keep checking back with STS for more on the win over Ga Tech.