clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Snap Count Review: Clemson vs Wake Forest

It was a thriller in Winston-Salem.

Syndication: The Greenville News Ken Ruinard / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson has survived what I called earlier this month “The Warm Up” phase. My hope for Game 4 was listed as “the offense finds its groove and flexes on Wake Forest,” which more or less is what we saw. The Tigers are now a third of their way through the regular season schedule and have completed it with a perfect 4-0 record.

That clean sheet almost gave way to a last-second defeat at Wake Forest on Saturday, but DJ Uiagalelei and the Clemson offense powered up at just the right time to push their team to victory in double-overtime.

The high-stakes division matchup featured season-high snap counts for nearly all starters, as is to be expected with such a long game. 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 Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
#5 DJ Uiagalelei* QB 90 271
#1 Will Shipley* RB 68 149
#26 Phil Mafah RB 20 76
#7 Kobe Pace RB 3 65
#10 Joseph Ngata* WR 63 183
#0 Antonio Williams* WR 63 149
#80 Beaux Collins* WR 54 183
#6 EJ Williams WR 26 89
#13 Brannon Spector WR 25 104
#8 Adam Randall WR 19 37
#84 Davis Allen* TE 71 192
#9 Jake Briningstool TE 32 108
#40 Luke Price TE 6 22
#78 Blake Miller* OL 90 279
#74 Marcus Tate* OL 90 274
#56 Will Putnam* OL 90 272
#64 Walker Parks* OL 90 272
#71 Jordan McFadden* OL 90 265

Starters received the majority of snaps against Wake Forest, with some relief play sprinkled in at WR and RB. Shipley was the clear No. 1 for the backs, although Mafah snuck in for rotation a decent bit; Kobe Pace played only 3 snaps.

Antonio Williams earned the first start of his blossoming Clemson career to the tune of 63 snaps. Many of us predicted Williams might be starting soon after his early play/the lackluster production from the original starters, and just four games in #0 has proven himself worthy of the starting honors.

Brannon Spector had a nice 41-yard touchdown reception, but the efforts of Ngata, Williams, and Collins paved the way for DJ’s big performance.

Speaking of big performances, how about Davis Allen and Jake Briningstool? Briningstool was DJ’s favorite target on Saturday, with a team-high six receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Allen was as clutch as could be and hauled in 2 touchdowns of his own, including this stunner in the second overtime period:

Both these tight ends are weapons and Clemson is fortunate to have them this season.

All five OL starters played every offensive snap of the day. While run-blocking still left something to be desired, the pass-blocking was exceptionally good. There were multiple plays in which DJ had what felt like all day to stand in the pocket before finding his target.

Defensive Snaps

Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
Player Name (* indicates start) Position Game Snap Count Season Snap Count
#5 KJ Henry* DE 56 169
#98 Myles Murphy DE 49 150
#7 Justin Mascoll* DE 29 112
#14 Kevin Swint DE 16 96
#11 Bryan Bresee* DT 50 123
#13 Tyler Davis DT 46 78
#33 Ruke Orhorhoro* DT 30 136
#55 Payton Page DT 19 73
#19 DeMonte Capehart DT 5 37
#0 Barrett Carter* LB 75 230
#22 Trenton Simpson* LB 73 207
#54 Jeremiah Trotter Jr.* LB 45 159
#30 Keith Maguire LB 30 123
#42 LaVonta Bentley LB 2 73
#20 Nate Wiggins* CB 63 145
#23 Toriano Pride CB 51 125
#2 Fred Davis* CB 33 155
#10 Jaedyn Lukus CB 1 41
#9 RJ Mickens* S 75 199
#25 Jalyn Phillips* S 52 146
#24 Tyler Venables S 23 136

Welcome back Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee. After missing the last two games, Davis was a leader on defense, tallying 6 tackles and 2.5 TFLs, including this crucial sack to prevent Wake from winning in regulation. Bresee returned after an emotional week and came through with a key pass deflection at the end of regulation.

The starting trio of Carter, Simpson, and Trotter handled most of the linebacker duties, with Maguire taking a number of snaps as well. LaVonta Bentley saw very little time. Simpson and KJ Henry led the team with 8 tackles apiece, while Murphy and Mascoll (who started for the first time this season) each had 5 tackles of their own.

We all saw how the secondary struggled to defend against Sam Hartman and his speedy receivers, but credit to Nate Wiggins for pulling through at the very end for the game-winning pass deflection after a tough outing.

It wasn’t pretty for the corners, and there certainly will be some hard practices this week to help correct the issues we saw in Winston-Salem. Hopefully the Tigers can get more of their starting lineup to return to action against NC State, and the young players can grow from this performance in time.

Now Clemson must shake off the drama of the thrilling win against Wake Forest and focus on a dangerous Wolfpack squad hoping to bite Clemson’s Atlantic hopes again. A top-ten matchup in Death Valley, with College Gameday in town, and a potential hurricane storming through? Where have we seen this before...