|by Nikki Steele|
Player of the half: Chandler Catanzaro was one of the few bright spots in the first half at N.C State, hitting field goals of 45 and 49 yards. The two field goals and extra point bring Catanzaro within one point of becoming Clemson’s all-time leading scorer.
Stat of the half: Clemson’s offense ran 46 plays for 220 yards, but only had 13 points to show for it.
What’s working for the Tigers: Except for the seven play, 92-yard touchdown drive that N.C. State had in the first half, the Clemson defense held up pretty well. The defensive line did enough to stop the Wolfpack from running the ball with any consistency. Senior running back Roderick McDowell McDowell was one of the lone bright spots for the Clemson offense, showing no ill effects of the concussion he suffered against S.C. State. Also, Sam Cooper who is four months removed from ACL surgery caught his first touchdown of the season.
What’s not working for the Tigers: The Clemson offense looked out of synch for the second week in a row. The offensive line allowed two sacks on the game’s first drive, and starting right tackle Giff Timothy was benched in favor of Shaq Anthony. Late in the first half, the coaches moved starting left tackle Brandon Thomas to right tackle, moved Kalon Davis to left guard and brought in Isaiah Battle in to play left tackle.
The Pack managed to hit a couple of long pass plays on the wheel route.
Quarterback Tajh Boyd has looked out of rhythm and lacks accuracy, and wide receiver Martavis Bryant has not looked like the sure-handed receiver we heard about in fall camp.
What the Tigers need to do to win: The Clemson offense needs to start clicking. The offensive line was shuffled around for much of the first half needs to get the best five in the field. Boyd needs to regain his confidence in the passing game to get the Tigers back on track.
Nikki Steele can be reached at email@example.com