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Snap Count Review: Miami & South Carolina

Clemson finishes the regular season 10-2.

NCAA Football: Miami at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson continued its domination of Miami in recent years with a 40-10 walloping. The hapless Hurricanes had all of 8 yards in the first half offensively and didn’t see much improvement in the second half as they were held under 100 total yards for the first time since 1965.

It was a dominant defensive performance from the Tigers, who have outscored Miami 178-30 in their last four meetings. The defense collected five sacks and only allowed 30 yards rushing; although some turnovers and sloppy play in the second half let the Canes hang around longer than they had the right to, this was still one of the more complete games Clemson has played all year.

Unfortunately, that success did not continue in the season finale against our rivals from Columbia, a game that was nowhere near as satisfying to watch. A hapless second-half offense, poor coaching decisions, and subpar efforts from crucial position groups led to Clemson’s second loss of the year and the snapping of several long-standing streaks.

All snap counts come from the official Clemson report found here; numbers do not necessarily denote official plays, but rather non-special-team snaps.

Offensive Snaps

Player Name (* indicates start) Position Miami Snap Count USC Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Miami Snap Count USC Snap Count Season Snap Count
#5 DJ Uiagalelei QB 78* 68* 810
#2 Cade Klubnik QB 7 0 77
#1 Will Shipley RB 46* 57* 535
#26 Phil Mafah RB 26 13 263
#7 Kobe Pace RB 19 2 97
#0 Antonio Williams WR 54* 54* 571
#10 Joseph Ngata WR 49* 49* 550
#6 EJ Williams WR 10 33 242
#80 Beaux Collins WR NA 26* 465
#8 Adam Randall WR 26 17 226
#13 Brannon Spector WR 58* 5 283
#81 Drew Swinney WR 15 7 45
#22 Cole Turner WR 8 0 8
#84 Davis Allen TE 46* 48* 596
#9 Jake Briningstool TE 39 23 322
#11 Sage Ennis TE 11 ST 49
#40 Luke Price TE 4 5 59
#56 Will Putnam OL 78* 68* 849
#71 Jordan McFadden OL 78* 68* 842
#78 Blake Miller OL 78* 68* 842
#64 Walker Parks OL 78* 68* 879
#77 Mitchell Mayes OL 68 68* 258
#74 Marcus Tate OL 10* NA 709
#75 Trent Howard OL 7 0 41
#70 Tristan Leigh OL 7 0 34
#53 Ryan Linthicum OL 7 0 21
#76 John Williams OL 7 0 12
#59 Dietrick Pennington OL 6 0 18
#73 Bryn Tucker OL 1 0 42

It was somewhat a tale of two halves for the offense in both its last two games, rushing out to decent halftime scorelines before failing to produce as much in the second half, or, as was the case against South Carolina, shutting down completely. It was painful to watch them find success early but then fail to keep that momentum, especially in a close loss like this weekend.

DJ had a productive day against Miami, throwing for 233 yards and 2 touchdowns, adding 89 yards and a touchdown on the ground as well (DJ was Clemson’s leading rusher of that game). His stat line against USC was abysmal, finishing 8-29 for just 99 yards, most of that coming on a catch and run from Collins.

Cade played a handful of snaps against Miami but did not take the field against USC.

Shipley has tied four other Clemson running backs for the 7th most rushing touchdowns in a single season and is just under 100 yards shy of a spot on the single-season rushing yards list. A productive game against what should be a softer UNC defense this week could put his name in several Clemson record books.

South Carolina v Clemson
Shipley is having a great year statistically.
Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

After missing the Miami game to injury, Beaux Collins returned to start against the Gamecocks but reaggravated his shoulder and exited early. Antonio Williams, Joseph Ngata, and EJ Williams handled the rest of the WR snaps, but as we saw they were unable to produce anything of significance aside from Beaux’s big catch and run for 59 yards. Clemson has yet to produce a 100-yard receiving game from any of its receivers this year.

Clemson lost four fumbles over the last two games, but none were more painful than Antonio Williams’ untimely fumble during a return that would’ve potentially set up a game-winning field goal. I hated that it happened to one of the lone sparks on the offensive side of the ball, but hopefully, it will only motivate him to play harder these last two games.

After seeing plenty of reserve faces against Miami, the OL lineup for the USC game was its usual self, aside from featuring Mitchel Mayes starting in lieu of the injured Marcus Tate. I thought they protected DJ decently well against the Gamecocks, there just wasn’t much of anything to show for it.

Defensive Snaps

Player Name (* indicates start) Position Miami Snap Count USC Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Miami Snap Count USC Snap Count Season Snap Count
#5 KJ Henry DE 35* 61* 354
#98 Myles Murphy DE 30* 60* 530
#7 Justin Mascoll DE 16 13 260
#14 Kevin Swint DE 6 4 167
#99 Greg Williams DE 1 0 31
#33 Ruke Orhorhoro DT 35* 49* 429
#13 Tyler Davis DT 30* 49* 413
#11 Bryan Bresee DT NA 15 274
#8 Tre Williams DT 9 11 128
#55 Payton Page DT 11 8 177
#19 DeMonte Capehart DT 2 2 60
#0 Barrett Carter LB 39* 69* 690
#54 Jeremiah Trotter Jr. LB 29* 63* 536
#22 Trenton Simpson LB 20* 53* 547
#17 Wade Woodaz LB ST 14 75
#30 Keith Maguire LB 10 6 247
#42 LaVonta Bentley LB 5 ST 157
#6 Sheridan Jones CB 38* 70* 459
#20 Nate Wiggins CB 44* 68* 643
#23 Toriano Pride Jr. CB 7 2 246
#10 Jaedyn Lukus CB 3 ST 61
#25 Jalyn Phillips S 41* 45* 552
#9 RJ Mickens S 28 38* 428
#1 Andrew Mukuba S 41* 37 458
#9 RJ Mickens S 28 38* 428
#12 Sherrod Covil Jr. S 3 24 124
#27 Carson Donnelly S 1 1 18

The defense largely played solid football for both these games - the USC loss is not nearly as much on them as it is the offense. Despite holding Miami to under 100 total yards, Rattler and Co. found plenty of throwing lanes against a beleaguered secondary that lost starter RJ Mickens (38 snaps) to a targeting penalty (though not before grabbing a red zone INT).

Arguably Clemson’s best DE this year, KJ Henry collected a sack against Miami and 11 total tackles against the Gamecocks. Murphy (90 combined snaps) didn’t make a huge impact in either game, nor did Mascoll in his 29 relief snaps.

Bryan Bresee missed the Miami game due to strep throat (his fourth absence of the year) and only notched 15 snaps against the Gamecocks. Orhorhoro and Davis played well in both games, holding their opponents to a combined 84 rushing yards.

Jeremiah Trotter was a wrecking ball against USC (63 snaps) and played one of his best games yet - his early pick-six gave me way too much false hope for another blowout win in Death Valley. Simpson and Carter did their jobs as well in both games, the former collecting two sacks against the Hurricanes.

Things really fell apart for the secondary against the Gamecocks. Rattler seemed to hit wide open receivers again and again, and his numbers reflect that with 360 passing yards. Mickens exiting early didn’t help, but Mukuba (37 snaps against USC) played an unusually sloppy game. Sherrod Covil saw 24 snaps to help fill after Mickens was ejected for targeting, but otherwise the usual secondary starters played for most of these two games.

It was a regression to the early-season lackluster performance in some ways, and the corners and safeties will absolutely have to bounce back as they now face potential Heisman darkhorse Drake Maye and the UNC offense in Charlotte on Saturday night.