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Snap Count Review: Clemson vs. Notre Dame

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The sequel was better than the original

NCAA Football: ACC Championship-Notre Dame at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Another Clemson Championship.

The Tigers handily dismantled the ACC upstart Irish in the rematch everyone was looking for since the final whistle blew in South Bend. With numerous starters back in the rotation for this second battle, Clemson claimed a sixth consecutive ACC Championship. Those starters certainly contributed plenty to make up for their absence the first time around. Let’s take a look:

Clemson Offensive Snaps

Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
Trevor Lawrence* QB 63 555
DJ Uiagalelei QB 3 235
Travis Etienne* RB 45 448
Chez Mellusi RB 14 82
Darien Rencher RB 6 62
Amari Rodgers* WR 58 575
Cornell Powell* WR 56 562
EJ Williams* WR 47 355
Brannon Spector WR 16 173
Frank Ladson Jr. WR 5 258
Will Swinney WR 4 127
Ajou Ajou WR 3 113
Will Brown WR 3 78
Braden Galloway* TE 37 418
Davis Allen TE 24 318
JC Chalk TE 8 123
Jaelyn Lay TE 3 76
Cade Stewart* OL 66 755
Jackson Carman* OL 63 723
WIll Putnam* OL 63 720
Matt Bockhorst* OL 63 685
Jordan McFadden* OL 54 699
Walker Parks OL 14 189
Mason Trotter OL 5 140
Paul Tchio OL 1 80
Mitchell Mayes OL 1 61
Hunter Rayburn OL 1 57

Welcome back, Trevor Lawrence. The superstar’s return to the field made a massive difference in the run game alone, freeing up ETN to have his highest rushing total since the Miami game. Outside of a deflected interception early in the first quarter, Trevor played like the masterful veteran we all know and love.

The offense in general looked dominant and efficient, at times scoring so fast I wondered if the defense was going to be gassed quicker. As expected, the team is coming into its most polished (and healthy) form of the season at the perfect time. The final score likely could have been even worse, but Clemson slowed down toward the end.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • EJ Williams continues to emerge as a weapon for Trevor, with the third-most snaps (355) of any true receiver. Incredible one-handed grab. Clemson was dunking on Notre Dame at that point. Shades of Justyn Ross.
  • ETN finally busted out a long run. Feels like the first one in forever. O-line blocking was some of the best we’ve seen all season.
  • No sight of Lyn-J Dixon, though Chez Mellusi performed well as the primary backup with his 14 snaps.
  • Frank Ladson Jr. saw action in 5 snaps for the first time since the previous Notre Dame game.
  • Will Swinney had 4 non-special-teams snaps in the ACC championship game.

Clemson Defensive Snaps

Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
KJ Henry* DE 32 346
Myles Murphy DE 30 368
Justin Mascoll DE 25 338
Regan Upshaw DE 5 162
Greg Williams DE 2 67
Bryan Bresee* DT 31 395
Tyler Davis* DT 27 177
Nyles Pinckney DT 21 233
Jordan Williams DT 16 209
Ruke Orhorhoro DT 9 30
Etinosa Reuben DT 3 40
Darnell Jefferies DT 2 49
DeMonte Capehart DT 2 20
James Skalski* LB 46 264
Baylon Spector LB 30 458
Trenton Simpson* LB 25 258
Mike Jones Jr. LB 15 331
Kane Patterson LB 5 108
Keith Maguire LB 5 100
Kevin Swint LB 1 36
Malcolm Greene* CB 44 155
Derion Kendrick* CB 39 319
Mario Goodrich* CB 39 212
Fred Davis II CB 15 183
LeAnthony Williams CB 13 113
Sheridan Jones CB 8 288
Andrew Booth CB 7 287
Joseph Charleston* S 52 432
Nolan Turner* S 49 533
Lannden Zanders* S 37 338
Tyler Venables S 10 208
Jalyn Philips S 9 146
Ray Thornton III S 4 141
RJ Mickens S 4 36

A healthy Clemson defense is a beautiful thing to watch, especially this late in the season. The return of James Skalski, Mike Jones Jr., and Tyler Davis made an obvious impact on the defensive side of the ball and helped limit the highly touted Ian Book and Co.

Xavier Thomas was held out of this matchup for “protocol” reasons, but his absence was more than covered by the other defensive contributors - Clemson produced 6 sacks and 15 QB pressures. Tyler Davis being the anchor on the line is huge for the defense.

The defense as a unit largely kept the Irish offense in check. One field goal and one garbage-time touchdown allowed in the ACC championship is about as good as you can hope for.

Miscellaneous notes:

  • Bryan Bresee leads all defensive linemen with 395 snaps and is fourth overall on the team. What a valuable addition he has been.
  • Kudos to Derion Kendrick for stepping up and playing solid football when many were calling for him to be sent back to Dabo’s “love shack.” (Sidenote: I do realize that fans making comments have virtually no effect on how a player will perform, but I wanted to acknowledge his performance in light of some critiques I had seen lately.)
  • Mike Jones Jr. did return for this rematch but only tallied 15 snaps.
  • Malcolm Greene with a season-high 44 snaps to go along with 6 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Not bad for the freshman!
  • Nolan Turner leads all defensive players with 533 snaps but will have to miss the first half versus Ohio State due to a targeting penalty.

Here’s to hopefully getting two more games to rack up reps!