For Clemson games this season, instead of making you read paragraphs of game summary, let’s try ‘message board’ literature. I might mix it up depending on the game, but here’s what I thought about Clemson-Auburn Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.
First, to read my preview of the game click here.
Here we go:
- Right offensive tackle Gifford Timothy held his own against All-SEC performer Corey Lemoiner. Yeah, Lemoiner did have two sacks, but that was it for him all night in terms of tackles, solo or assisted. Timothy made his first start Saturday and played all snaps but one due to swelling in his knee, which was something that hindered him during camp. That’s something to keep your eye on as the season progresses. Also, will Dabo play him as much as possible against Ball State to further establish offensive line consistency, or will he rest him? We’ll see.
- The pistol, particularly the flex ace, worked great. When I saw the formation on the field for first time Saturday night, I couldn’t help but move forward in my seat. It fended off the double team pretty well, and though Clemson surprisingly didn’t have any huge down field plays in the air, they were able to gain chunk yards on the ground.
- Clemson had one three and out. It came in the second half. That’s impressive. Boyd should get the majority of credit for that statistic.
-Clemson snapped the ball 87 times. In my preview, I said if the Tigers with a lake snapped the ball at least 75 times they win. Might not be the case this week against Ball State, who snapped the ball 97 times vs Eastern Michigan and run a similar up tempo offense.
-Ellington is on a mission. I’ve never seen him with that much explosiveness. Morris said after the game this is the first time Ellington has been healthy in two years. I believe it.
- Boyd wants to add the word “dual threat” to his list of self-describing adjectives. He gained 88 yards on the ground, not including yards lost from sacks. The challenge now is for Boyd to stay at this weight level the rest of the season. Anyone else think he shaved at least 0.2 seconds off his forty?
-Morris meant it when he said he wasn’t running a typical spread offense. Anyone who thinks the Texas Tech air raid and Morris/Meyer’s version of the spread is the same thing, you’re wrong. Morris uses traditional power running plays that emerge from unique formations. When Clemson scored a touchdown to go up 23-19, the play call that drive was 6 run, 2 pass. Interestingly, Dabo said that 10 plays during the game that were called in as runs, where changed to pass by Boyd.
- Multiple times linebacker Quandon Christian hurried QB Frazier and forced him to overthrow or toss it out of bounds. That might have been what excited me most all night. Christian looks like a different player in his new role as the hybrid in the 4-2-5. Credit Venables with the attitude change and increased confidence from Christian.
-Dabo could have punted on 4th and 1 in the first half. But, he didn’t and Clemson got the first down and moved into better field goal position. He also could have gone for it on 4th and goal from the one to put the game away late in the 4th, and he didn’t. Smart move. Clemson kicked the easy three, and let the defense take it from there.
- Sammy who? Nuk had a fantastic game. Earlier in the week watching ESPN, the analysts were saying Clemson’s wide receivers in the game against Auburn were the biggest concern for Clemson. Seriously? Did you know watch Hopkins last year? And, it’s only a matter of time before Charone Peake has his breakout game.
- The secondary still has work to do. They didn’t play poorly but there were some missed assignments that went for big plays. For Clemson to seriously think national title, the talent isn’t quite there at that position.
- Stephone Anthony had a solid game, as did first time playing guard in a game Tyler Shatley. Chandler Catanzaro was four for four in field goals.
Saturday night’s atmosphere was awesome. I went Friday night to see State-Tennessee, and the two games were pretty much night and day in terms of energy inside the Dome. Leaving the Dome at 1 a.m., I hopped on the MARTA to hear fans of Clemson singing “Something bout a Truck” and Auburn fans singing “Wagon Wheel.” Trying to sing louder than the other fan base on a subway. College football is back.
Later this week, I’ll post more from today’s press conference as well as a preview for Saturday’s 12:30 game against Ball State.