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Snap Count Review - Clemson vs. Boston College

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The home streak stays alive

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

It’s starting to feel like this might be a season in which nearly every game comes down to a last-minute defensive stand — four out of five games so far have been decided in the final few seconds, mostly on the backs of this Clemson defense. This is a tight season, one that doesn’t allow for much breathing room. In a way, I think I’m growing fond of the tight back-and-forth affairs - it is more entertaining than watching Syracuse get blown out by a million points. That being said, I hope we beat Syracuse after the week off by at least ten touchdowns.

This week, Clemson did not win by a million, nor did they win by ten. Six points and a botched snap were all that stood between a potential BC victory on Saturday. Win and advance, that’s all that matters, right? All snap counts come from the official Clemson report found here; numbers do not necessarily denote official plays, but rather non-special-team snaps.

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
DJ Uiagalelei* QB 68 308
Will Taylor QB/WR 1 15
Kobe Pace* RB 47 120
Phil Mafah RB 22 22
Darien Rencher RB 2 14
Beaux Collins WR 57 83
Joseph Ngata* WR 55 228
E.J. Williams* WR 46 106
Justyn Ross* WR 29 207
Ajou Ajou WR 15 73
Frank Ladson Jr. WR 4 137
Will Brown WR 3 9
Sage Ennis TE 38 51
Jaelyn Lay TE 16 18
Davis Allen* TE 15 134
Luke Price TE 7 13
Braden Galloway TE 2 130
Jordan McFadden* OL 68 307
Matt Bockhorst* OL 68 306
Hunter Rayburn* OL 68 100
Walker Parks* OL 66 307
Marcus Tate* OL 62 231
Paul Tchio OL 6 100
Mitchell Mayes OL 2 35

Injuries continue to pile up for Clemson, this time mounting more on the offensive side of the ball, as Justyn Ross, Braden Galloway, and Will Taylor all exited the game after limited playing time.

For all our gripes with him, at least we can be grateful that DJ has not had to face injuries that would weaken his confidence even further. It was a mixed bag once again for the sophomore, but there was some visible improvement despite the bad spots; hopefully, this upward trajectory keeps building for him.

The receivers were already struggling before injuries started to thin this position group out even more, but things do not look great for these guys right now. Ross is a shell of his former self thus far, Ladson has been little more than a footnote on the injury report, and Ajou Ajou has yet to show why the coaches are so hot on him. At least Ngata looks decent.

In addition to Galloway leaving, Davis Allen was ejected for targeting in the first quarter as well, meaning the tight ends got to see some depth play. Sage Ennis looked competent for his first real action with 38 snaps, although Lay disappointingly dropped the only pass that came his way.

Phil Mafah saw his season debut and played quite well, rushing for 58 yards on 7 carries to go along with Kobe Pace’s 125 rushing yards. The line blocked better for these guys and both backs had a solid night. Pace was named the ACC running back of the week after becoming the first Clemson player to reach 200 all-purpose yards since ETN, who did it last year against... Boston College.

The offensive line saw a different starting group for the third week in a row, with Rayburn (68 snaps) manning the center position while Bockhorst slid over to guard. I’ll have to see what our film gurus say, but I was more impressed with the line play this week against a good BC front than in any previous game. Putnam (injury) did not play, but I thought this was a step up from last week.

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
Myles Murphy* DE 48 208
Xavier Thomas* DE 44 197
KJ Henry DE 29 127
Justin Mascoll DE 17 84
Justin Foster DE 16 93
Ruke Orhorhoro* DT 46 216
Tre Williams* DT 34 146
Etinosa Reuben DT 23 55
Payton Page DT 6 30
James Skalski* LB 77 260
Baylon Spector* LB 72 243
Trenton Simpson* LB 66 229
Barrett Carter LB 15 52
LaVonta Bentley LB 4 134
Andrew Booth Jr.* CB 77 315
Sheridan Jones* CB 77 183
Nolan Turner* S 76 220
Andrew Mukuba* S 50 258
Tyler Venables S 46 106
RJ Mickens S 27 101

This was a game in which I was worried about the defense running out of steam, as BC typically is capable of wearing out their opponents with long, sustained drives fueled by a strong running game. Instead, Clemson held BC to just 46 rushing yards and split the time of possession almost exactly even.

Big efforts from Murphy (48 snaps), Thomas (44 snaps), and Orhorhoro (46 snaps) helped stifle the Eagle’s ground attack, although the secondary allowed over 300 yards passing. Sheridan Jones had a season-high 77 snaps (Booth matched that snap count) with Mario Goodrich, Fred Davis, and Malcolm Greene all out.

RJ Mickens had a nice interception toward the end of the third quarter, and Booth (who is looking like a 1st-round NFL draft pick) turned in another solid performance.

I wonder how things would have fared had BC’s Phil Jurkovec been available to play in Death Valley, as more than once an Eagles receiver was open or had his man beat only for Dennis Grosel to miss him. Thankfully, it didn’t cost Clemson too badly on the scoreboard despite the 311 passing yards allowed.

Skalski led all linebackers with 77 snaps and played like the team captain he is. His awareness on this play to bounce outside and deflect Grosel’s pass is exactly what you expect out of a sixth-year veteran - right place, right time.

This open date could not come at a better time and will allow some players to heal up and hopefully push past their nagging injuries. Everyone knows the Tigers aren’t operating at their usual Death Star Super Mega Destroyer Death Laser full capacity currently. How will they respond now that they are sitting at 3-2? I’m hoping it’s a stronger return to form than the last time Clemson visited Syracuse on a Friday night. Shudder.