Playing time breakdown: Clemson-Auburn edition


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Clemson pared down the rotation under the lights versus Auburn.
Clemson pared down the rotation under the lights versus Auburn.

Who has the Clemson coaches’ trust early in big games?

Not surprisingly, a largely veteran group saw the majority of the action under the lights versus Auburn.

Tiger scholarship true freshmen played a total of 29 snaps after logging an even 200 the week before versus Kent State.

Among upperclassmen, 14 Tigers played 50 or more snaps. True sophomore defenders K’Von Wallace (70) and Clelin Ferrell (67), however, paced the playing time.

Taking a deeper look by position and the production that came with those snaps...

Noting week two from the Clemson participation report (see full list below):

* At first glance, Clelin Ferrell and Austin Bryant played 97 percent of the defensive end snaps, per the depth chart, but Christian Wilkins returned to end for select situations in his 62 plays. Given the Tigers’ youth on the depth chart here, Wilkins’ versatility is invaluable, as none of the freshmen ends saw the field Saturday night (Xavier Kelly, Logan Rudolph or Justin Foster).

* I noted Monday in the “Second Look” for Auburn junior linebacker J.D. Davis stepping in for two big plays, and participation report shows he made the most of his opportunities – totaling two tackles (one for loss) in just four snaps.

* In nickel packages, sophomore linebacker Tre Lamar was the odd man out (37 snaps total) in favor of quicker, more experienced options in Kendall Joseph and Dorian O’Daniel (62 snaps each). Joseph and O’Daniel wreaked havoc around the Auburn backfield all night, while Lamar notched one of Clemson’s 11 sacks.

* After Marcus Edmond went down with a sprained foot after one play, sophomore cornerback Trayvon Mullen saw a career-high 58 snaps with one tackle on a unit that held Auburn to 79 passing yards.

* Sophomore running back Tavien Feaster ended up leading his unit in plays (25), but saw only three carries for 15 yards. After leading Clemson in rushing versus Kent State (eight rushes for 81 yards and a TD), freshman Travis Etienne didn't see the field against Auburn.

* All nine Clemson receivers got in on the action but with starters Deon Cain (56), Ray Ray McCloud (54) and Hunter Renfrow (50) seeing the lion’s share of plays, and that shows in the production - the starting trio receiving 21 of the 30 targets and accounting for 92 percent of the yards.

* The Tiger O-line rotation dropped from 11 to seven with center Justin Falcinelli, left tackle Mitch Hyatt and left guard Taylor Hearn on-field for every snap (69).

* 21 depth chart/scholarship contributors from week one didn’t play or only saw work on special teams.

Tracking Clemson's snaps against Auburn:
(Noted: Season totals in parentheses. Snaps are tracked for depth-chart contributors and select scholarship athletes. Players are listed at their positions by the week’s depth chart. The participation report is provided by Clemson.)

Offense (23)
Quarterback (2): Kelly Bryant 64 (112), Zerrick Cooper 4 (18).
Running Back (3): Tavien Feaster 25 (36), C.J. Fuller 21 (45), Adam Choice 21 (33),
Wide Receiver (9): Deon Cain 56 (79), Ray Ray McCloud 54 (81), Hunter Renfrow 50 (74), Trevion Thompson 11 (32), Amari Rodgers 10 (36), Diondre Overton 10 (34), T.J. Chase 4 (30), Tee Higgins 4 (29), Cornell Powell 2 (21).
Tight End (2): Milan Richard 50 (74), D.J. Greenlee 22 (34),
Offensive Line (7): Justin Falcinelli 69 (110), Mitch Hyatt 69 (106), Taylor Hearn 69 (106), Tremayne Anchrum 53 (88), Tyrone Crowder 49 (86), Maverick Morris 21 (43), Sean Pollard 15 (48).

Defense (21)
Defensive End (3): Clelin Ferrell 67 (93), Austin Bryant 60 (87), Chris Register 4 (18)
Defensive Tackle (5): Christian Wilkins 62 (83), Dexter Lawrence 48 (71), Jabril Robinson 21 (21), Nyles Pinckney 6 (19), Albert Huggins 2 (15).
Linebackers (6): Kendall Joseph 62 (87), Dorian O’Daniel 62 (84), Tre Lamar 37 (59), Chad Smith 13 (26), Jalen Williams 10 (34), J.D. Davis 4 (16).
DB (CB/S/NB - 7): K’Von Wallace 70 (101), Tanner Muse 62 (84), Ryan Carter 61 (76), Trayvon Mullen 58 (80), Mark Fields 41 (51), A.J. Terrell 11 (32), Marcus Edmond 1** (14).

Did not play (15): OG Cade Stewart (36), OG John Simpson (26), OT Chandler Reeves (21), QB Hunter Johnson (20), DT Sterling Johnson (18), CB Amir Trapp (17), C Gage Cervenka (16), RB Travis Etienne (15), DE Logan Rudolph (12), DE Xavier Kelly (10), S Van Smith** (9), DE Justin Foster (9), TE Shadell Bell (8), TE J.C. Chalk (4), S Denzel Johnson (0).
Special teams-only (6): S Isaiah Simmons (21), TE Cannon Smith (14), LB James Skalski (13), S Nolan Turner (9), LB Shaq Smith (8), LB Judah Davis (5).
Can still redshirt (7): CB LeAnthony Williams, OG Matt Bockhorst, OT Blake Vinson, QB Chase Brice, OT Noah NeHond, LB Baylon Spector, DE Jordan Williams.

**Injured pregame or in-game.

Clemson-Kent State playing time breakdown

Tags: Marcus Edmond, D.J. Greenlee, Tyrone Crowder, Maverick Morris, Ryan Carter, C.J. Fuller, Trevion Thompson, Taylor Hearn, Chris Register, Cannon Smith, Milan Richard
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