Clemson offense struggles again in stunning loss to Terps


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COLLEGE PARK, MD – Even taking on one of the worst defenses in the league wasn’t a salve for the wounded Clemson offense, which scored just one offensive touchdown for the second straight week, and Clemson missed three chances for the win in the last five minutes as the Tigers lost to a woeful Maryland team by a 24-21 score at Maryland Saturday afternoon.

The litany of mistakes for the Tigers were the same ones that have plagued this talented team the last few seasons – playing down to the competition, miscues at inopportune times, a stagnant and predictable offense, lack of big play ability from the quarterback position and special teams mistakes led to another loss, dropping Clemson to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the ACC, almost forcing the Tigers to win out in league play if their goal of reaching the ACC Championship is to be reached.

Kicker Richard Jackson, who ironically leads the nation in field goals with 14, missed two field goals [from 47 and 48 yards], both following Maryland turnovers, and a Kyle Parker fumble with Clemson in field goal position with under 20 seconds to play sealed the Terrapin win.

Now the Tigers have two weeks to think about this loss and try and fix an obviously broken offense as they have a bye week next week, returning to action in two weeks at home against Wake Forest.

“I am very disappointed in where we are at right now,” Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. “Right now, there is not a player or a coach that felt like would be here, at 2-3, after five ball games. We had so many opportunities to win, but it is my job to get us to win. That is the bottom line, and it is a poor job by me. That is my fault.”

With just over six minutes remaining in the game, Maryland decided to go for it on fourth and inches from its 30. Terrapin quarterback Chris Turner dived to his left but came up short, which gave Clemson the ball in field goal position. The Tigers failed to gain a yard, and kicker Richard Jackson missed a 47-yard field goal wide right. He did nail his first attempt, but the officials ruled that Maryland called a timeout before the ball was snapped.

On the next series, Clemson strong safety DeAndre McDaniel stripped the ball from running back Davin Meggett, giving the ball back to the Tigers with the same field position. But again Maryland's defense held Clemson to without a yard on three plays. And again Jackson missed a field goal wide right, this time from 48 yards.

The Tigers forced a punt, and drove into field goal position for a possible shot at tying the game, but freshman linebacker Demetrius Hartsfield sacked Parker, who used the football to try and keep his balance, and left the ball on the ground for a Maryland recovery. An official review ruled that the ball came out before Parker was down and that Maryland recovered.

The Tigers jumped out to 10 first quarter points, with Jackson nailing a 41-yard field, and then the Tigers put together their best drive of the day, culminating on a 17-yard run by Jacoby Ford and Clemson had a 10-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Maryland outscored Clemson 17-3 and took a 17-13 lead into the locker room.

“Defensively, we missed some tackles in the first half,” Swinney said. “We had missed tackles, and missed assignments, and they kind of ran up and down the field on us. But we came back in the second half and played Clemson defense.”

The Maryland momentum carried over into the third quarter. Clemson punted out of its own end zone early in the quarter, and Maryland’s Tony Logan returned it 43 yards to the Clemson, setting up a one-yard touchdown by Davin Meggett.

As he has so often in his Clemson career, C.J. Spiller changed the momentum, returning the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. He lost a shoe at the 35-yard line, broke away from three Maryland tacklers at the 40-yard line and then went with one shoe the rest of the way into the end zone. Parker hit tight end Michael Palmer on the two-point conversion, and Clemson trailed 24-21.

From that point on, however, the missed opportunities plagued the Tigers, and will certainly raise the level of questions and angst in Clemson over the next two weeks.

The numbers on offense speak for themselves – 30 rushes for 80 net yards [2.7 yards per rush], just 4-for-16 on third down, 22-for-40 passing for 193 yards [4.8 yards per pass attempt], 10 penalties and three turnovers, and a measly 71 yards in the second half.

“Offensively, we continue to shoot ourselves in the foot,” Swinney said. “We had two sacks that were costly, and we have to be able to catch the ball. We can do a better job of coaching and we will be fine on offense. It is now my job to try and make us a better team and give us a better second half of the season. There is a lot of hurt right now with this team and this staff.

“All we can do is get ready for Wake Forest and see if we can win a ball game. That is all you can do is keep working, and get better and make them better. We have to do a better job of preparing them and be better coaches.”

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Subject (Replies: 53) Author
spacer Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
B-Meist®
spacer Again, sorry, but why is it stunning? Stunning events are
surroundedtiger
spacer Re: Again, sorry, but why is it stunning? Stunning events are
laclemson
spacer is that a stool joke?***
deleted
spacer Re: Again, sorry, but why is it stunning? Stunning events are
clutch21
spacer "We will be fine on offense"?!?! Hey Dabo, have you been
1Tiger1
spacer Stunning was losing last year to MD at home. This was not
tigertrain®
spacer Re: Stunning was losing last year to MD at home. This was not
tigerfan8991
spacer Re: Stunning was losing last year to MD at home. This was not
laclemson
spacer Re: Stunning was losing last year to MD at home. This was not
Dugatiger®
spacer Not fan arrogance. Vegas had Clemson as a 13-point favorite.
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Stunning was losing last year to MD at home. This was n
Tiger_Tim
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
icebucket
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
Finfan
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
zip
spacer Eventually, CDS, taking the blame for Clemson's losses will
strodetiger®
spacer but it will satisfy all the people on TNet that talked about
TigerCC
spacer Has anyone suggested it is?***
TigerTown
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
jerryclem
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
LowcountryJerk
spacer I am All In!!
bigjoe404
spacer Hey TDP. How's that novice head coach experiment working?***
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Hey TDP. How's that novice head coach experiment working?***
RJTiger
spacer Hey Dabo. How's that novice OC experiment working?***
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Hey Dabo. How's that novice OC experiment working?***
Dugatiger®
spacer Re: Hey Dabo. How's that novice OC experiment working?***
jtfox12
spacer Re: Hey Dabo. How's that novice OC experiment working?***
mdtiger006
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
leftie
spacer Maybe..until it becomes an offense it should be a suckffense***
CUindahouse
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
bubba1239®
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
tigers baby
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
mdtiger006
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
Tiger_Maniac
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
scott_scarborough
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
bubba1239®
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
ga86jody
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
Butchb
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
mdtiger006
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
Mellytig
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
cobalt107
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
Game Time
spacer How bad are we?
icebucket
spacer Re: How bad are we?
Game Time
spacer Re: Clemson offense stuggles again in stunning loss to Terps
clemsongradanddad
spacer TDP fired Bowden after he went 3-3. Dabo is 2-3. Is it time?
Razzmatazz
spacer What message would it show recruits it Dabo and Co. were
bigal1
spacer Re: What message would it show recruits it Dabo and Co. were
Game Time
spacer Dabo recruited well under Bowden. Not after Bowden.
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Dabo recruited well under Bowden. Not after Bowden.
icebucket
spacer Peterson, Patterson, Leach, Kiffin, Sarkisian, Chizik, etc.
Razzmatazz
spacer Re: Peterson, Patterson, Leach, Kiffin, Sarkisian, Chizik, etc.
Sunflowercat
spacer Do you think that Dabo was THE best choice & will fix it?
Razzmatazz
spacer Well it might show that we dont accept losing, winning is
DV_1981
spacer Oh Holy Cow!
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