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Paws Up, Paws Down: Tigers March On Towards CFP

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The Deacs were no match for the high powered Tigers

Wake Forest v Clemson Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Tigers continued their march through the ACC on Saturday with a 52-3 dismantling of Wake Forest. The fact the the Demon Deacons are the conferences second best team speaks volumes about how down the league is as a whole this year.

For the fourth consecutive game, this Clemson team came out and asserted its dominance right out of the gate. As we head down the stretch, this offense is rolling, and the defense is as dominant as ever. The big rivalry game with the downtrodden Gamecocks is coming at a perfect time.

Defense

Is this defense as good as last seasons? That is hard to answer. It is in areas, but mostly it is just different. Wake Forest had just 105 yards of offense, meaning the Tigers still haven’t given up 300 in a game all season. The Deacs averaged just 1.7 YPC, were just 2-13 on 3rd down and managed just 5 first downs. More often than not their slow developing zone read plays resulted in a TFL, as Clemson had 10 tackles behind the line of scrimmage..... Paws Up

Travis Etienne

Make it six straight games, and seven overall, with more than 100 rushing yards for ETN. He had 121 yards and averaged over 7 YPC. The biggest takeaway is he looks very fresh. Maybe as fresh as he has looked since the opener..... Paws Up

Trevor Lawrence

Lawrence is rounding into form and more closely resembles the QB we saw carve Notre Dame and Alabama up in last seasons playoff. He had 4 TD throws, tying a career high and thankfully showed no ill effects from a bruised knee suffered on the teams first offensive play..... Paws Up

Tee Higgins

Three TD catches in what was very likely his final game played in Death Valley. Tee has the best hands on the team..... Paws Up

James Skalski

Skalski is getting better each week. He led the team with 7 tackles and has become one of the most vocal leaders on the defensive side.

Tanner Muse

Muse was all over the field in this one. He had 4 solo tackles, and 2 TFL, including a sack. He also had an interception. He has made great strides in his effort to become more consistent this season..... Paws Up

Penalties

Just 4 penalties this week, down from the 10 last week..... Paws Up

Will Spiers

Spiers had a 42 yard punt, a 30 yard punt, and fumbled the snap on another. He booms them in practice though.....Paws Down

And in other games.....

Baylor

Baylor took a 31-10 lead into halftime, then came out of the break and never scored another point. They watched the Sooners storm back and win 34-31, probably killing their playoff hopes in the process. The Bears had been playing with fire all season and finally got burned..... Paws Down

Minnesota

Iowa jumped out to a 20-3 lead and the Golden Gophers could never recover. Kinnick has been a house of horrors for Minnesota. The Gophers have not won there since 1999. The row boat hasn’t completely sunk, but it is taking on a lot of water..... Paws Down

LSU

No, LSU didn’t lose but they gave up 37 points and 614 yards of offense to a 4 win Ole Miss team. Over 400 of those yards came on the ground. That offense might be high powered, but that defense is a liability. Teams that allow 1.35 points per drive or worse are 1-8 in the playoff and LSU is allowing 1.64. By comparison, Ohio State is allowing 0.73, and Clemson and Georgia are both allowing 0.77. For that LSU defense..... Paws Down

U of SC

Here we are at the end of another season, and yet another Will Muschamp teams has turned into a MASH unit. At what point is it no longer coincidental? The Gamecocks loss last night guarantees that they won’t be going bowling. They gave up more than 300 yards on the ground to A&M and this Tiger team has to be licking their chops in anticipation of their matchup in two weeks. Can you say six straight..... Paws Down

Tua Tagovailoa

Best wishes to this young kid. No one ever wants to see those kind of freak injuries..... Paws Up