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Snap Count Review - Clemson vs. Georgia Tech

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Seven in a row...

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / staff via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Clemson squeaked out a narrow win over the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, extending the nation’s longest streak of home-field victories dating back to that November 2016 game against Pitt. Thunderstorms created nearly a two-hour delay in this matchup against the nerds from Atlanta, leading to one of the longest contests in Death Valley that I can remember.

Some of it was pretty, a lot of it was ugly, but at the end of the day, the Tigers got another victory and started their quest for a seventh straight ACC championship on the right foot. This team has the potential to achieve that and even more, but right now the focus should be on the opponent in front of them each week and nothing more.

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 70 189
Will Taylor QB/WR 1 8
Will Shipley RB 39 81
Kobe Pace* RB 20 64
Lyn-J Dixon RB 7 37
Justyn Ross* WR 61 132
Joseph Ngata* WR 56 131
Frank Ladson Jr.* WR 41 116
E.J. Williams WR 21 82
Ajou Ajou WR 11 50
Braden Galloway* TE 40 108
Davis Allen TE 34 91
Walker Parks* OL 70 188
Will Putnam* OL 70 188
Jordan McFadden* OL 70 186
Matt Bockhorst* OL 70 185
Marcus Tate* OL 70 169

Snaps were scarce for depth-chart players in this game, as very few jerseys outside of the starting rotation saw action on the offensive side of the ball.

One of the strangest looking stats here is the offensive linemen all sharing the 70 offensive plays run by Clemson - there was zero rotation along the line. Hopefully, the starting unit is using that experience to gel and build confidence together, something that will ideally pay dividends down the road. Marcus Tate is doing his best to get up to speed and is doing an admirable job for the most part, but he is still young. DJ needs Bockhorst and the other veterans to step up and help shift this offense to the next gear (second gear? first gear? It feels like we might be in neutral at this point). No sacks in the last two games is commendable!

Shipley hasn’t quite gotten the honor of starting yet, but that surely is coming soon given his workload and performance. Through three games, here are the individual stats for the top three backs:

Running Back Stats

Player Name Total Snaps Carries Yards Avg. Long TD
Player Name Total Snaps Carries Yards Avg. Long TD
Will Shipley 81 33 175 5.3 30 4
Kobe Pace 64 18 88 4.9 28 1
Lyn-J Dixon 37 10 48 4.8 16 0

With the news that Dixon will be transferring, there is even less competition now for Shipley, who certainly looks the part and may very well be Clemson’s RB1 for the next few years (!!). Mellusi’s decision to transfer out during the offseason definitely looks smart now (he already has 51 carries for 265 yards).

Receivers are a bit underwhelming to this point, but then again, so is just about everything on offense right now. Ross owns the single touchdown reception thrown to receivers this year (the other belonging to Dixon at RB), and DJ has thrown for a paltry 475 yards in three games. Time will tell if this is indicative of the season as a whole or merely an early-season struggle.

Galloway and Allen continue to be the only tight ends seeing significant action. Galloway has not looked very impressive this year with several crucial drops, missed blocks, and an overall inability to impact the game like you would hope with the fourth-year tight end. As a result, Allen has been named the starter for the NC State game. It remains to be seen if anyone else will be able to push for playing time or if Galloway and Allen are the top dogs for the year. Allen currently has 6 receptions and 45 receiving yards after 3 games, which is perfectly respectable for the second-string tight end on #WRU... but is also third overall on the team in both categories. Yikes!

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
Xavier Thomas* DE 46 97
Myles Murphy* DE 44 99
KJ Henry DE 25 58
Justin Mascoll DE 24 57
Justin Foster DE 15 38
Tyler Davis* DT 51 71
Bryan Bresee* DT 47 111
Ruke Orhorhoro DT 31 97
Tre Williams DT 11 58
Etinosa Reuben DT 1 15
James Skalski* LB 73 164
LaVonta Bentley* LB 54 72
Trenton Simpson* LB 22 104
Keith Maguire LB 16 34
Barrett Carter LB 3 17
Mario Goodrich* CB 72 141
Andrew Booth Jr.* CB 69 139
Malcolm Greene CB 46 70
Fred Davis II CB 8 41
Sheridan Jones CB 6 51
Nolan Turner* S 68 68
Andrew Mukuba* S 64 138
RJ Mickens S 15 43
Tyler Venables S 11 36
Jalyn Phillips S 9 64

Three games played, zero offensive touchdowns allowed. They aren’t perfect, but this defense is doing everything they can to keep Clemson afloat right now.

Skalski came up HUGE toward the end of the game with a clutch stop to seal the win. Invaluable experience and leadership from him. Say what you will about his ejections, but that moment was a big-time play from a big-time player. 73 snaps. Awesome stuff.

Spector was held out of the contest (knee) so LaVonta Bentley was given the start in his place, who took the opportunity and ran with it, finishing with a team-high 13 tackles (including one sack and 2.5 TFL). Simpson was ejected in the first half for targeting which meant two of the starting linebackers were out for a majority of the game.

Nolan Turner had his season debut and more or less was the safety we’ve come to know. Mukuba is becoming the alpha at this position just three games into his Clemson career - the sky is the limit.

Mario Goodwich (72 snaps), Andrew Booth (69 snaps), and Malcolm Greene (46 snaps) held down the corner position sufficiently. Booth continues to have a splash play seemingly every other drive, and Greene stepped up well in the absence of Simpson. Yates proved to be a competent, mobile QB, and the corners and safeties did a good job keeping him mostly under wraps.

Man is it good to see Xavier Thomas getting pressure and contributing out there again.

Bresee, Murphy, and Davis are all freaks out there. The defensive line as a whole played probably its best game so far, just barely allowing over 100 rushing yards in a game where they produced not one, but two epic goal-line stands. It’s easy to get caught up in the offensive struggles and the frustrations of only putting up 14 points against GT, but don’t overlook how massive that final stand was. Instantly took me back to the legendary BYOG Notre Dame finish in 2015. These guys are defending the end zone harder than a mother bear protects her cubs, and I love it.

Onto the next.


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