We’re half way through the college football season and our Clemson Tigers are 6-0 and bowl eligible after defeating Boston College. The final score of the game was what we were expecting going into the contest but the journey to get there was very much not. The offense struggled for the entire 1st half until finally punching in a TD right before half time. They looked much better in the 2nd and scored 3 unanswered TDs to comfortably put the game away.
Let’s take a look at each position.
DJ did not look good in the 1st half outside of the opening drive where he went down the field and threw a perfect pass to Collins for a TD that was dropped. After that drive the offense was held to multiple 3 and outs and DJ threw his 2nd INT of the year on a very poor decision. He looked reminiscent of the DJ from a year ago.
In the 2nd half we saw the improved DJ that we’ve become accustomed to this year. He was accurate throwing the ball, threw some beautiful TD passes and ran the ball effectively. He manipulated safeties with his eyes and found the open receivers. Great job not getting down on himself and shaking off the poor play of the 1st half to come back strong in the 2nd.
We saw Cade Klubnik for the first time in 3 weeks this game. He was only in for a few snaps and there wasn’t much to glean from his play. It’s disappointing that he didn’t get more snaps this game but hopefully he gets more opportunities in the coming weeks.
This was one of the worst games that the OL played given the opponent. BC has one of the worst rush defenses in the country and yet they stoned Clemson at the LOS more often then not. Clemson rushed for 144 yards and a large chunk of those yards came from a big run by DJ in the 2nd half. The RBs ran the ball 17 times for 69 yards. There were a number of screen plays where the OL failed to block anyone and ruined a potential big gainer. That’s unacceptable and Clemson’s asperations for a special season will not come to fruition unless the OL can run block better.
The pass blocking was solid as we’ve come to expect but they struggled in the 1st half at times letting rushers get to close to DJ. The overall play improved in the 2nd half but this group needs to play better that what we saw Saturday.
There was not a lot of running room this game with BC keying on Shipley and the OL not run blocking well. Shipley did tag on a TD at the end of the 1st half but was held to only 33 yards on the ground. Shipley deserves praise for his continued progression in pass protection. His blitz pickup was excellent this game and he stoned rushers keeping DJ clean. It was very encouraging to see as pass protection is normally the last thing that great RBs become proficient at.
Mafah actually had more rushing yards than Shipley and this looked to be the type of game for his running style. Mafah will always grind out an additional yard or two after contact because of how big and strong he is.
Kobe Pace is out for a few weeks due to injury. We hope for his quick recovery and that he can come back healthy and rejuvenated to make an impact.
The TEs weren’t utilized much this game. Jake Briningstool didn’t record a catch and Davis Allen brought in just 2 for 34 yards. Blocking at TE also seemed poor this game. Teams are going to start keying on them as the film tape shows how dangerous they can be but this game felt more like a lack of overall effort from this position.
The WRs looked good in the 1st drive of the game making catches and getting YAC. After that drive the WRs regressed to the poor unit we saw earlier in the year. Passes were dropped, effort in blocking was lacking and there was no separation with the BC secondary. They rebounded in the 2nd half and the group recorded 3 TDs, the most of the year behind only the Wake Forest game.
Beaux Collins lead the team with 58 yards through the air on 4 catches and a TD. He dropped another TD pass for the second straight week and looked frustrated with himself. His blocking was also lacking at times on the perimeter. He’s a good WR that will become great once we reduces the dropped passes and provides better effort in the blocking game.
Joseph Ngata continues his solid play with 3 catches for 47 yards and his 1st TD of the year. Ngata turned things around once we got into true ACC play and has become one of the most reliable targets on the team. As long as he stays healthy, he will continue to produce.
Brannon Spector deserves praise for not sulking after losing his starting position to Antonio Williams and playing hard on the snaps he’s given. He caught a tough TD throw from DJ and was 3rd on the team in pass yards. Williams is the better player but Spector is a solid depth piece that can come in and make plays.
Antonio Williams had the most catches this game with 5. The staff is calling plays for him that we haven’t seen since Artavis Scott and Ray Ray McCloud. We’re trying to get the ball in his hands anyway we can because he’s the best pure athlete the team has at the WR position. Only Collins has more passing yards than Williams and he makes a flashy play every game.
After the opening drive the offense looked terrible. Poor play calls and lack of effort from the players made it a slough to watch. The offense looked better in the 2nd half but it’s upsetting that we didn’t put BC away much earlier. There was a lack of commitment in running the ball. Some of that is because the OL hasn’t run blocked particularly well this year but the best way to improve that is to tell them to “man up” and call running plays to force them to improve. BC is one of the worst rushing defensive teams and yet instead of trying to establish the run, the staff seemed to call passing plays to avoid the stacked box. Great offenses don’t just take what the defense gives them, they impose their will and force the defense to react to them.
FSU is a much better team then BC. Hopefully the 1st half of this game was a bump in the road and not a foreshadowing to a return of bad offensive calls and inept production.
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