|Mickey Plyler - Radio Host - Monday, September 17, 2012 10:43 AM||
At times Saturday afternoon was smooth and easy. At other times, Clemson's weaknesses were once again exposed.
I will remember Saturday for two positives reasons though. First was the return for Sammy WatkinsSammy Watkins
So. Wide Receiver
#2 6-1, 205
Fort Myers, FL
View Full Profile. Man, it was so nice to see his explosiveness again. Also, Clemson had to find new answers like Ryan NortonRyan Norton
RS Fr. Offensive Line
#58 6-3, 270
View Full Profile, Travis BlanksTravis Blanks
Fr. Defensive Back
#11 6-1, 190
View Full Profile and Tony StewardTony Steward
#7 6-1, 235
View Full Profile.
Watkins wasted little time in making his presence felt. The opening drive gave us a glance of what the offense could look like with a healthy Andre EllingtonAndre Ellington
RS Sr. Running Back
#23 5-10, 195
Moncks Corner, SC
View Full Profile, Nuk Hopkins, Tajh BoydTajh Boyd
RS Jr. Quarterback
#10 6-1, 225
View Full Profile and Watkins. There were times where I wondered how anyone could stop this offense.
Watkins' presence makes a huge difference in the way defenses will have to prepare. The motion packages have a little different threat with Watkins involved. Watkins recorded the first rushing touchdown of his career on a 58-yard run, the longest rush of his career.
Fresh faces also made Saturday interesting. Tyler ShatleyTyler Shatley
RS Jr. Offensive Guard
#62 6-3, 295
View Full Profile, David BeasleyDavid Beasley
RS So. Offensive Guard
#68 6-4, 315
View Full Profile and Giff Timothy were limited Saturday, so we got a chance to see more of Norton, Spencer RegionSpencer Region
RS Fr. Offensive Guard
#74 6-5, 360
View Full Profile, Kalon DavisKalon Davis
RS So. Offensive Guard
#67 6-5, 330
View Full Profile and Shaq AnthonyShaq Anthony
RS Fr. Offensive Tackle
#76 6-4, 265
View Full Profile. Norton played a bunch of snaps at right guard, his second position. I think the running game showed signs of being limited due to all of the new faces but it was nice to see the new guys get valuable experience.
Boyd had another excellent game and appeared to be very comfortable running the show now. He looks like a poised veteran who is in total command of the offense.
Boyd was 20-for-29 passing for 310 yards and two touchdowns. Boyd moves into sole possession of second place on the Clemson career passing touchdowns list with 43 career touchdown passes. He now trails only Charlie WhitehurstCharlie Whitehurst
#6 6-4, 225
View Full Profile (49) in career
Boyd now has five career 300+ yard passing games. Whitehurst is only player in Clemson history to have more with eight career 300+ yard passing games. His 310 passing yards are the most for Boyd since he had 343 passing yards against Wake Forest last season. Boyd now has 4,904 career passing yards, putting him fifth all-time in Clemson history.
On defense Travis Blanks looks like a player the secondary can build around in the future but he was overmatched at times against the run. Also, Steward played more snaps than any time in his career and he looked like he was ready to make a bigger impact. Steward is a physical presence the Tigers have lacked against the run. He had a career-high seven tackles.
Rashard HallRashard Hall
#31 6-2, 210
St. Augustine, FL
View Full Profile intercepted his second pass of the season and 12th of his career. His 12 interceptions puts him into a tie for sixth place in school history for career interceptions. He also led Clemson in tackles with nine.
Clemson’s defense held Furman to 2-for-14 (.143) on third-down conversions. Opposing teams are just 9-for-41 (.220) on third-down conversions against the Tigers this season.
The defense continued to make a ton of mistakes though. The run defense has been hampered by the defensive line not dominating up front, the linebackers having bad fits and poor angles taken in the secondary. All three levels have struggled. Once again the secondary busted a coverage and gave up a long touchdown pass on a play action pass.
I told someone Saturday that Clemson lacks talent, experience and depth on defense but besides that they are OK.
The defensive staff has been extremely frustrated with some guys that continue to make the same mistakes. The lack of talent and depth is being addressed in recruiting but the lack of execution due to busted coverages is extremely concerning.
The issues in the secondary are still my biggest concern. They just missed on so many evaluations in the secondary. Spencer AdamsSpencer Adams
RS Jr. Defensive Back
#9 6-2, 185
View Full Profile, Desmond BrownDesmond Brown
#45 5-11, 185
View Full Profile and Carlton LewisCarlton Lewis
#32 6-2, 205
St. Augustine, FL
View Full Profile are no longer with the program. Cordrea Tankersly and Marty Wiliams did not qualify this season. Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS So. Defensive Back
#26 6-0, 195
View Full Profile and Cortez DavisCortez Davis
RS Fr. Cornerback
#29 6-3, 200
Daytona Beach, FL
View Full Profile have not contributed much so far and veterans like Xavier BrewerXavier Brewer
Gr. Defensive Back
#9 5-11, 190
View Full Profile, Hall and Jonathan MeeksJonathan Meeks
#5 6-1, 210
Rock Hill, SC
View Full Profile continue to underachieve.
On a very positive note, the attendance was 81,500, which is an attendance record for a game against an FCS opponent. The previous attendance record for a game against an FCS opponent was 80,625 against Furman in 1988.
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