Grading the Tigers vs Wake Forest
Derrick Hamilton once again showed his star-potential with six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
QUARTERBACKS- While his passing wasn’t always sharp on Saturday, Woodrow Dantzler’s legs once again helped carry the Clemson offense, with the senior leading the team with 119 yards rushing on 19 carries.
RUNNING BACKS- Travis Zachery looked as if he was going through the motions on Saturday, compiling a mere 29 yards on ten carries and a fumble. An effective and motivated Zachery will be necessary if the Tigers are to knock off Florida State this weekend. On a positive note, fullback Chad Jasmin ran for 25 tough yards on five carries for his highest tally of the season.
RECEIVERS- After dropping a bevy of balls against North Carolina the week before, the Tiger receivers came through with a respectable effort against Wake Forest. Derrick Hamilton once again showed his star-potential with six catches for 91 yards and a touchdown.
OFFENSIVE LINE- The Tiger offensive front provided Dantzler with more than adequate pass protection for most of the afternoon while struggling to establish the run.
DEFENSIVE LINE- Clemson’s thin defensive line looked to be on the ropes at various times during Saturday’s game against the Deacons’ smash-mouth brand of football. Regardless, the Tigers’ front four showed significant improvement after last week’s disaster. Bryant McNeal’s hit on Wake Forest quarterback James MacPherson and ensuing fumble recovery provided the defense with a huge lift early in the game.
LINEBACKERS- Senior Chad Carson came up big with his fourth quarter interception of a MacPherson pass late in the game. True freshman Eric Sampson was impressive in relief of John Leake, compiling six big tackles and providing the Tiger defense with an athletic spark.
SECONDARY- The good: Charles Hafley’s 14 tackles and critical interception in the endzone late in the fourth quarter; Eric Meekins’ nine tackles, including one for loss. The bad: Ryan Hemby again getting beat deep and continuing a puzzling trend of Clemson db’s failing to see the ball until it has safely landing in an opponent’s hands.
SPECIAL TEAMS- Clemson was decent on punt and kickoff coverage and returns. As for Wynn Kopp’s punting, once again, too many boomers into the end zone at the wrong times.
COACHING- Offensively, the Tigers continue to hurt themselves with drive-killing penalties. Even more disturbing is that for the second week in a row, an opposing defense has looked as if they knew what was coming from the Clemson offense on too many plays. Defensively, Clemson’s “new old-look defense” came up big when it had to against Wake Forest, with the Tigers finally able to come up with a few big takeaways at critical times in a game.
Grades: Offense- C Defense- B