Clemson's Offense Having Fun


by - Correspondent -
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CLEMSON -- Somewhere behind his straight face, Kyle Young was cutting summersaults.


Maybe it's the nature of a lineman not to show emotion. If that's the case, Young was doing good hiding his.


"It's great," he said after Clemson's 33-14 win over Virginia on Saturday. "It feels so good. I can't even explain how I feel right now." He was doing his best Bob Hope deadpan imitation. His face certainly didn't tell the whole story.


Neither did the score.


It was a 33-14 win that had the emotional release of a 50-0 shutout over an arch-rival. That's what it amounted to, though. Clemson might have conquered its own lack of confidence.


"We really couldn't be stopped," said Young. "Every time we looked up somebody caught a pass 20 yards down the field."


A tight end caught a touchdown pass, for crying out loud. That's something that hasn't happened in nearly ten years.
Clemson's been trying to figure out to throw the ball for the past ten years. Before then it unashamedly ran the option - and won. Only occasionally would it pass the ball - in desperation or to take the opposition completely by surprise.


Basically, since that touchdown pass to tight end Stacy Fields against N.C. State on Oct. 29, 1989 (Danny Ford's final home game as Clemson's head coach), Clemson's been trying to figure out the forward pass.


"Offensively, it's been a couple of years since these players have felt good about themselves," said offensive coordinator Rich Rodriguez.


There was plenty for Clemson to feel good about Saturday.
Clemson scored on six of its first seven possesions. It led 20-0 at the half, the largest lead for the Tigers in an Atlatic Coast Conference game since 1991. The Tigers tied the Clemson a single-game record with 17 first downs passing. Brandon Streeter was nine yards away from breaking the Clemson single-game total offense mark, although he did set a new passing record with 343 yards.


"We've got about eighty-five percent of the offense in," said Rodriguez. "We're only running about seventy-five percent of it. It's still new to them."


Not bad for a start, according to Rodriguez. "We've got to break some big plays," he said. "We've got a chance if we do that."


Also not bad for a quarterback (Brandon Streeter) that runs "worse than Forrest Gump," according to head coach Tommy Bowden.


"He really read coverages well," said Rodriguez of Streeter. "He doesn't have a cannon of an arm and he doesn't have great feet and all that, but he can make some plays and make some throws.


"He has to be perfect in his reads and perfect in his throws. He wasn't perfect, but he was good."
Not good enough to bring a smile to Young's face. But take his word for it - he's happy.
***

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