|by Nikki Steele|
The Tigers scored their only touchdown of the half with nine seconds remaining before intermission when quarterback Tajh Boyd hit freshman tight end Jordan Leggett in the corner of the end zone on a 5-yard scoring toss.
The Tigers had called their last timeout following a running play to Rod McDowell with 14 seconds remaining, setting up the pass to Leggett.
The defense gave up a 71-yard touchdown pass on the Terps’ second drive of the game, but appeared to come out of its slumber after the scoring drive.
The offense on the other hand, moved the ball at times between the 20’s, but couldn’t find the endzone.
Player of the half: Chandler Catanzaro hit all three of his field goal attempts in the first half, giving Clemson its only points of the day. Catanzaro entered the game 5-of-6, and has been successful on a cold, windy day in College Park.
Stat of the half:Before going to the two-minute offense just before the half, Clemson ran the ball 26 times for 94 yards and threw the ball 19 times for 139 yards, showing a more balanced attack than they have in the last three weeks.
What’s working for the Tigers: The running game with Roderick McDowell and Zac Brooks was working for the Clemson offense. The Tigers rushed for 105 yards against a Maryland defense that is only giving up 123 yards per game on the ground this season.
Overall, Clemson had 294 total yards, 19 first downs, ran 51 plays and held the ball for over 17 minutes of the opening 30 minutes – all of which magnified the failures in the red zone.
What’s not working for the Tigers: Red zone offense was not pretty during the first half. The Tigers had the ball three times inside the Maryland 20-yard line, only to bog down in the red zone. The Clemson defense has been susceptible to big plays all season, and Saturday was no different. During Maryland’s first three drives, the Terps had 5 plays of 10 yards or more and three plays of 20 or more yards.
What the Tigers need to do to win: The Clemson offense had success moving ball in the first half, but needs to get better in the red zone if they want to leave Byrd Stadium with a win. The defense on the other hand, needs to do eliminate the big play, take better angles and do a better job of tackling.
Nikki Steele can be reached at email@example.com