Playing time breakdown: Clemson offense depth tested as injuries pile up
|Monday, October 4, 2021, 4:36 PM- -|
Injuries overall -- particularly on the offensive side Saturday -- have tested Clemson's depth in a 3-2 start.
Add in a targeting hit flag for starting tight end Davis Allen while making a special teams tackle -- and the offensive rotation had a very different look to it Saturday.
Four wide receivers were either injured in the game or carried an injury coming in that forced some missed snaps with Justyn Ross (hit in head during game), EJ Williams (knee soreness), Frank Ladson (groin) and Will Taylor (torn ACL). That meant opportunity for freshman Beaux Collins in particular, who more than doubled his previous season-high in playing time (57 snaps).
At tight end, Braden Galloway joined Ross in suffering a hit to the head that kept him out, and coupled with Allen's targeting flag, that meant redshirt freshman Sage Ennis eclipsing his total plays from all of last season (38 snaps; 27 last season) and logging one catch for eight yards. Redshirt sophomore Jaelyn Lay also went from two snaps this season to 16 on Saturday.
At running back, freshman Phil Mafah received his first shot after attrition by way of injury (Will Shipley) and transfer (Lyn-J Dixon), going 22 snaps with five carries for 58 yards (long carry of 28). ACC running back of the week Kobe Pace made the most of his promotion to the top spot with 18 carries for 125 yards and two catches for 41 yards over 47 snaps.
Tré Williams (34) and Ruke Orhorhoro (46) took the bulk of the defensive tackle snaps as expected, in place of injured starters Tyler Davis and Bryan Bresee. Etinosa Reuben (23) and Payton Page (6) fielded the other plays out of that position group.
Playing some more 3-lineman looks, five defensive ends on the roster played double-digit snaps, led by Myles Murphy (48; 5 tackles, 2.5 TFLs, 1.5 sacks) and Xavier Thomas (44; 3 tackles; 2 TFL; sack).
The linebacker trio of James Skalski (77), Baylon Spector (72) and Trenton Simpson (66) again had a heavy workload, as well as starting cornerbacks Andrew Booth Jr. (77; 9 tackles) and Sheridan Jones (77; 7 tackles) and safety Nolan Turner (76; 8 tackles, PBU, INT). Injuries tightened the rotation in the secondary as well with the most coming with the nickel/safety roles (Andrew Mukuba - 50; RJ Mickens - 27; Tyler Venables - 24).
Clemson snaps breakdown: Boston College
(Players' snaps assigned positionally by place on the depth chart below; the initial participation report is provided by Clemson and represents all non-special teams snaps; season totals in parentheses; this breakdown notes all depth chart contributors and select scholarship players)
Quarterback: DJ Uiagalelei 68 (308).
Tight end: Sage Ennis 38 (51), Jaelyn Lay 16 (18), Davis Allen$ 15 (134), Luke Price 7 (13), Braden Galloway^ 2 (130).
Special teams-only: DB Jalyn Phillips (77), LB Kane Patterson (36), LB Keith Maguire (35). CB Nate Wiggins (25), DE Regan Upshaw (21), S Ray Thornton (19), LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (13), LB Sergio Allen (13), WR Dacari Collins (12), WR Will Swinney (12).
Did not play (on depth chart or select scholarship players with no announced season-long injury): CB Mario Goodrich% (179), DB Malcom Greene (70), OL Trent Howard (26), DE Kevin Swint (24), QB Taisun Phommachanh (16), DT Darnell Jefferies (17), RB Michel Dukes (15), OL Bryn Tucker (15), WR Troy Stellato (11), DE Greg Williams (11), OT Tristan Leigh (10), QB Hunter Helms (7), LB Jake Venables (7), TE Jake Briningstool (5), DT DeMonte Capehart (4), C Ryan Linthicum (3), OL Mason Trotter (0).
True freshman participation* (tracking for 4-game redshirt rule): S Andrew Mukuba (5), OG Marcus Tate (5), DEF Barrett Carter (5), QB/WR/PR Will Taylor (5), LB Jeremiah Trotter Jr. (5), DT Payton Page (5), CB Nate Wiggins (5), RB Will Shipley (4), WR Beaux Collins (3), RB Phil Mafah (1), OG Dietrick Pennington (1)*, OL Tristan Leigh (1), WR Dacari Collins (1), WR Troy Stellato (1), C Ryan Linthicum (1), TE Jake Briningstool (1), DE Cade Denhoff (0), , DE Zaire Patterson (0).
* Redshirting this season due to injury.
^ Missed significant snaps due to injury.
$ Ejected for targeting while on special teams.
% Announced as out with injury by Dabo Swinney.