Barrett Carter was all over the field for Clemson's defense.
Barrett Carter was all over the field for Clemson's defense.

PFF grades and playing time breakdown for Clemson's Gator Bowl win over Kentucky

by - Staff Writer -

Defensive unit grades were updated after publishing.

Taking a look at the playing time and notable Pro Football Focus grades position by position from the 38-35 win over Kentucky in the Gator Bowl.


(The number by a player's name initially is the game's snap count. The snaps are all offensive and defensive snaps and do not count special teams, and they are provided by PFF in this edition. Snap totals for scholarship players and depth chart members are listed in the feature.)

(PFF grades tend to run lower than school grades, so high 80 grades are on the high end, and it's a harsher grade below 60 or so).

PFF unit performance grades: Offense - 68.3; Passing - 76.5; Pass blocking - 49.7; Receiving - 66.7; Running - 77.1; Run blocking - 50.1.

QB: Cade Klubnik 84, Christopher Vizzina NS, Paul Tyson NS. Notes: Klubnik was under pressure on 45.5% of his dropbacks, which was the highest number since the loss at Miami (53.7). He took seven sacks and completed only 33.3% of his passes under pressure, with the lone interception coming after he was hit on a throw. With a clean pocket, he completed 89.3% of the passes for 199 yards (7.1 yards per attempt). Klubnik only attempted two passes of 20+ yards (one incompletion and one interception) but he did connect on 7-of-12 in the medium range (10-19 yards).

RB: Phil Mafah 47, Will Shipley* 41, Keith Adams Jr. 2, Jarvis Green NS, Jay Haynes NS. Notes: PFF had its harshest grade for Clemson’s run blocking this season (50.1), yet Mafah broke free for an MVP performance with four touchdowns and 71 yards for a 77.8-grade running (third-highest of the season).

WR: Troy Stellato* 70, Tyler Brown 59, Adam Randall 58, Antonio Williams 29, Brannon Spector 5, Ronan Hanafin NS, Hampton Earle NS, Noble Johnson NS, Hamp Greene NS, Clay Swinney NS. Notes: From a PFF grades standpoint, there was nothing all that remarkable here, but Randall had a season-high nine targets and six catches for 53 yards (three for first downs), and Stellato returned as a top target with five catches for 59 yards (two for first downs). Williams made his return (toe) and caught all four targets for 16 yards, with two big catches on the game-winning drive.

TE: Jake Briningstool 72, Josh Sapp 19, Banks Pope 10, Olsen Patt-Henry 8, Markus Dixon NS. Notes: Briningstool was one of Clemson’s standouts Friday with eight catches in nine targets for 84 yards, converting four first downs and setting up multiple short goal-to-go situations (including for the game-winning Mafah TD). Patt-Henry made the most of his time out there with one catch for 25 yards and a 72.9 PFF grade. The walk-on Pope was dinged heavily on pass-blocking (30.5), where he looked responsible for the block on the hit that produced Klubnik’s interception.

OL: Blake Miller 84, Tristan Leigh 84, Will Putnam 84, Collin Sadler 84, Harris Sewell 79, Trent Howard 5, Bryn Tucker NS, Dietrick Pennington NS, Zack Owens NS, Ryan Linthicum NS. Notes: New O-line coach Matt Luke got a good look at his core set to return next season outside of Putnam, and the PFF blocking grades were not kind for the pass (49.7; second-worst this season) or the run blocking efforts (50.1; worst this season). The true freshman guard Sewell was the lone substitution, and he graded a starter-worst (54.5), while Leigh paced the group at left tackle (63.1).


PFF unit performance grades: Defense - 80.3; Run defense - 82.8; Tackling - 67.3; Pass rush - 87.4; Coverage - 64.

ED: Xavier Thomas 40, Justin Mascoll 32, TJ Parker 23, Cade Denhoff 10, Jahiem Lawson NS, AJ Hoffler NS, Zaire Patterson NS. Notes: Thomas wrapped his six-year collegiate career with a bang by posting a season-best PFF grade (92.6), tallying five total pressures (one sack and four hurries) and a forced fumble. Parker was tabbed with a career-best PFF grade (88.3) with one sack, two hurries and four total stops.

DL: Tyler Davis 38, Peter Woods 34, Payton Page 22, DeMonte Capehart 15, Tré Williams 1, Caden Story NS, Stephiylan Green NS. Notes: Davis wrapped his Clemson career with another solid grade (76.9), and Woods was right in that range as well (76.7), with the second-most pressures (3).

LB: Barrett Carter 54, Wade Woodaz 52, Kobe McCloud 21, Jamal Anderson NS, Dee Crayton NS. Notes: Carter showed just what kind of impact his return for next season can make with a high mark in the pass rush (87.9) with a sack and a QB hit, as well as an interception and two pass breakups. Maybe most importantly for Carter was zero missed tackles after some issues in previous games there. In his first start in place of NFL-bound Jeremiah Trotter Jr., McCloud put up solid numbers (67.5 grade) with a QB hurry, three tackles and a lone catch allowed for 10 yards.

DB: Khalil Barnes 54, Avieon Terrell 54, Shelton Lewis 54, RJ Mickens 54, Jalyn Phillips 25, Kylon Griffin 11, Rob Billings NS, Tyler Venables NS, Myles Oliver NS, Kylen Webb NS. Notes: With depth decimated by the transfer portal, NFL draft and injuries, four Tigers in the secondary played every snap with Barnes, Terrell, Lewis and Mickens. All four of them return next season, and Mickens led the group in PFF grade Friday (72.5), while the PFF All-ACC honoree Barnes had his roughest day at the office (49.3 grade; 34.3 in coverage) after closing the regular season with a 90.4 grade at South Carolina. He did get a key strip that led to some Clemson points in the fourth quarter, however. Lewis was targeted six times and allowed two catches for 51 yards, ending the game with an interception.

Players listed as out for the season: CB Jeadyn Lukus, CB Sheridan Jones, S Sherrod Covil Jr., CB Branden Strozier, OL Ian Reed, DL Vic Burley, WR Cole Turner, OG Walker Parks, WR Misun Kelley, OL John Williams.

NS - No snaps listed

* Been noted as injured by Clemson coach Dabo Swinney.


Charleston Southern

Florida Atlantic

Florida State


Wake Forest


NC State

Notre Dame

Georgia Tech


South Carolina

Ultimate Level LogoUpgrade Your Account

Unlock premium boards and exclusive features (e.g. ad-free) by upgrading your account today.

Upgrade Now
Comment on this story
Tags: Clemson Football, Cade Klubnik, Christopher Vizzina, Paul Tyson, Phil Mafah, Will Shipley, Jarvis Green, Jay Haynes, Troy Stellato, Tyler Brown, Adam Randall, Antonio Williams, Brannon Spector, Ronan Hanafin, Hampton Earle, Noble Johnson, Hamp Greene, Clay Swinney, Jake Briningstool, Josh Sapp, Banks Pope, Olsen Patt-Henry, Markus Dixon, Blake Miller, Tristan Leigh, Will Putnam, Collin Sadler, Harris Sewell, Trent Howard, Bryn Tucker, Dietrick Pennington, Zack Owens, Ryan Linthicum, Xavier Thomas, Justin Mascoll, TJ Parker, Cade Denhoff, Jahiem Lawson, AJ Hoffler, Zaire Patterson, Tyler Davis, Peter Woods, Payton Page, DeMonte Capehart, Tré Williams, Caden Story, Stephiylan Green, Barrett Carter, Wade Woodaz, Kobe McCloud, Jamal Anderson, Dee Crayton, Khalil Barnes, Avieon Terrell, Shelton Lewis, RJ Mickens, Jalyn Phillips, Kylon Griffin, Rob Billings, Tyler Venables, Myles Oliver, Kylen Webb, Jeadyn Lukus, Sheridan Jones, Branden Strozier, Ian Reed, Vic Burley, Cole Turner, Walker Parks, Misun Kelley, John Williams, Keith Adams
Send Feedback to Brandon Rink: Email | Comment
Dabo Swinney reportedly wanted a Paul Finebaum type for the ACC Network
Dabo Swinney reportedly wanted a Paul Finebaum type for the ACC Network
Clemson game ranked No. 1 in potential 'shocking results' that could rock 2024 season
Clemson game ranked No. 1 in potential 'shocking results' that could rock 2024 season
Clemson picks up ACC transfer
Clemson picks up ACC transfer
National outlet's bold ACC predictions not kind to Clemson's fate
National outlet's bold ACC predictions not kind to Clemson's fate
Post your comments!