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Snap Count Review - Clemson vs. SC State

Back to business

NCAA Football: South Carolina State at Clemson Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

After failing to score a touchdown against the mighty Georgia defense, Clemson’s offense appropriately had far more success against a different set of bulldogs. The defense still managed to keep a touchdown off the scoreboard, and Saturday’s tune-up was a much needed palate cleanser for both the team and fans.

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 53 119
Taisun Phommachanh QB 15 15
Hunter Helms QB 7 7
Will Taylor QB/WR 6 7
Will Shipley RB 23 42
Kobe Pace RB 16 44
Michel Dukes RB 15 15
Lyn-J Dixon* RB 12 30
Darien Rencher RB 12 12
Kevin McNeal RB 1 1
Joseph Ngata* WR 30 75
Frank Ladson Jr.* WR 28 75
Justyn Ross* WR 27 71
Beaux Collins WR 24 24
Ajou Ajou WR 23 39
E.J. Williams WR 21 61
Max May WR 15 15
Dacari Collins WR 12 12
Will Swinney WR 12 12
Drew Swinney WR 11 11
Troy Stellato WR 11 11
Will Brown WR 6 6
Tye Herbstreit WR 3 3
Braden Galloway* TE 33 68
Davis Allen TE 29 57
Sage Ennis TE 13 13
Luke Price TE 6 6
Jake Briningstool TE 5 5
Jaelyn Lay TE 2 2
Walker Parks* OL 51 118
Will Putnam* OL 51 118
Marcus Tate* OL 51 99
Jordan McFadden* OL 49 116
Matt Bockhorst* OL 48 115
Paul Tchio OL 33 52
Mitchell Mayes OL 33 33
Trent Howard OL 26 26
Hunter Rayburn OL 21 21
Jacob Edwards OL 17 17
Bryn Tucker OL 15 15
Tristan Leigh OL 10 10
Dietrick Pennington OL 4 4
Ryan Linthicum OL 3 3

An opponent with SC State’s level of talent is never going to tell us too much about where Clemson is in relation to last week - there was always going to be an uptick of offensive production and ideally a sustained defensive effort at least on par with the UGA game. Still, it’s always comforting to see 28 points scored in the first quarter no matter who the opponent is (that 3 on the box score last week just hurts to even look at).

DJ took a healthy amount of first-team snaps and at times looked much improved in both his pocket presence and in some designed rollouts/scrambles. However, he also made some critical errors and poor throws and seems to still be shaking off the rust. Taisun made his season debut, an impressive (and somewhat nerve-wracking) feat given his timetable, as did Hunter Helms and Will Taylor at QB.

Taylor had a nice designed touchdown that was called back due to a penalty but he has looked quick and useful thus far. Not bad for a dual-sport athlete.

Will Shipley led the running backs in total snaps - Dixon was notably limited to 12 plays. Some of that is the nature of the opponent but there have been a few mentions of internal discipline as well. Phil Mafah has yet to see the field.

Sage Ennis (13 snaps), Luke Price (6 snaps), Jake Briningstool (5 snaps), and Jaelyn Lay (2 snaps) all debuted on Saturday, although Galloway and Allen handled most of the workload. I do wish we could see more of Lay - he looks like a potential star but evidently hasn’t quite put it together yet.

The offensive line saw eight new faces make their season debut, after playing just six total linemen last week against Georgia. It’s hard to glean too much from this performance but it is nevertheless encouraging to see so many bodies get playing time. Sadly, Dietrick Pennington suffered a torn ACL and will miss the rest of the season.

EJ Williams, at first reported to miss several weeks due to a finger injury, has since decided to play through it and looked strong. All three freshman receivers saw action, introducing us to the Collins Towers and the Florida native Stellato. One does wonder about the reasoning behind playing the Swinnney boys above a talented prospect such as Stellato, who could certainly use valuable playing time as a raw freshman.

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
Kevin Swint DE 24 24
Regan Upshaw DE 21 21
Myles Murphy* DE 20 55
Xavier Thomas* DE 20 51
KJ Henry DE 14 33
Justin Mascoll DE 13 33
Greg Williams DE 11 11
Jabriel Robinnsonn DE 1 1
Bryan Bresee* DT 20 64
Tyler Davis* DT 20 20
Tre Williams DT 19 47
Ruke Orhorhoro DT 18 66
Etinosa Reuben DT 14 14
Payton Page DT 12 14
Darnell Jefferies DT 10 17
DeMonte Capehart DT 4 4
James Edwards DT 2 2
Nick Eddis DT 1 1
Trenton Simpson* LB 30 82
James Skalski* LB 29 91
Baylon Spector* LB 24 75
Keith Maguire LB 17 18
Kane Patterson LB 15 16
Barrett Carter LB 13 14
Sergio Allen LB 13 13
Jeremiah Trotter Jr. LB 13 13
LaVonta Bentley LB 8 18
Jake Venables LB 4 4
Fred Davis II CB 33 33
Sheridan Jones CB 27 45
Nate Wiggins CB 25 25
Mario Goodrich* CB 18 69
Malcolm Greene CB 12 24
Andrew Booth Jr.* CB 9 70
RJ Mickens S 28 28
Tyler Venables S 24 25
Jalyn Philips* S 21 55
Ray Thornton III S 19 19
Andrew Mukuba* S 15 74
Joseph Charleston S 13 43
Carson Donnelly S 8 8

Fred Davis made his season debut after being held out for the opener due to some less than intelligent driving decisions. Freshman Nate Wiggins also made his season debut, while Booth only clocked a mere 9 snaps.

RJ Mickens debuted and had a nice interception, but Nolan Turner has yet to make an appearance this year. Mukuba and Phillips both had nice games - this unit seems to be full of playmakers.

Four different defensive ends made their season premieres and I was hoping we’d get to see the freshmen Cade Denhoff and Zaire Patterson as well, but I will have to wait for now. Mascoll and Henry turned in stronger games overall, but through two games Clemson has registered just two sacks.

Etinosa Reuben got his first taste of blood this season, as did Tyler Davis. There are some monsters on this line, and I am eager to see where these guys will be by December. Payton Page logged 12 snaps and looks like he will also be a problem in the best way.

Sergio Allen and Jeremiah Trotter Jr. saw their first snaps of the year, with Trotter making good use of his 13 snaps to produce five tackles and the only sack of the game. Trotter paired with Simpson next year makes me weak in the knees - can we see more of them and less of some other cough dudes?

Almost everyone performed better than last week, but as mentioned before, proclaiming anything to be legitimately fixed while playing SC State is a foolish statement. It’s kind of like tying your little brother’s feet together, pushing him over, and then running away to prove how fast you are - hardly a fair fight. On the other hand, I did hear someone behind me at the game call DJ a moron for failing to connect with Ross on that open endzone pass, so I guess he has already given up on our new signal-caller. I’m excited for Uiagalelei to prove him wrong in the coming games.

FOCO has created a limited edition (only 321 being made) Trevor Lawrence bobblehead commemorating Clemson’s perfect 15-0 2018 season. It is now available for pre-order. You can see it here.