It’s been two days since the Tigers beat the Demon Deacons in an empty Truist field and there were a few things that that stuck out in the win on both sides of the ball. Let’s take a look at some of those.
3 For 3:
The first thing that stuck out to me was something that some may think is minor, especially when Clemson has as good of an offense as they do. However, when it comes time for the playoffs the one thing you want to have is a dependable place-kicker. It wasn’t hard to see that B.T. Potter struggled last season. He was just 10-for-18 on field goal tries of 40 yards and closer.
Dabo had mentioned that Potter was more confident in himself in camp and this game reinforced that as he converted his first three attempts, one being a 52-yarder that may have even been good from 65. Going back to the start of last season, he is actually 4-for-4 on field goals of 50-plus yards.
Potter also converted on his 89th straight extra point (PAT) to break Clemson’s all-time record of 88 consecutive makes by Mark Buchholz (2007-08). Potter has never missed an extra point attempt. To say that this was a great sign for the start of the season when it comes to special teams and Potter’s confidence going into the season would be an understatement.
Another thing that stuck out was the fact that It didn’t take long at all for the freshmen defensive linemen to show they belong. On Saturday night Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy both showed why they were considered two of the best prospects in the country when they signed to play in Tigertown.
Bresee did start out with an offside penalty on his first snap but then came right back with a powerful half sack. He was also credited with a blocked field goal when he deflected an attempt in the first quarter. Myles Murphy also had two sacks and a team high five tackles.
These two are just getting started and the sky is the limit for both. That along with the veterans on this team make this defense one that can be scary good. Maybe Venables best yet.
Stars Being Stars:
Could “Little Ole Clemson” have two players invited to the Heisman ceremony in New York on December 14? If Trevor Lawrence and Travis Etienne continue to play like they did on Saturday night then there is the possibility that could just happen.
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence started the season as the clear leader for the award. Especially since Justin Fields and Ohio State are not playing this season (supposedly). Lawrence did nothing against Wake to change anyone’s thoughts as far as that goes either, hitting on 22 of 28 passes for 351 yards and one touchdown. He also ran for two more scores before leaving in the third quarter.
As for Etienne’s night. He ran for 102 yards (6 yards per carry) and had a touchdown. Etienne also had three catches for 47 yards. On both of Lawrence’s scores it appeared as though the Wake Forest defense was so focused on Etienne that it opened the outside for Lawrence to run it in.
The next thing that popped out was the Tigers offensive line. The Tigers had to replace four of their five starters which caused some concern coming into the the season. All things considered, you have to love what that first group did on Saturday.
Yes, it was only Wake Forest, but keep in mind that Carlos “Boogie” Basham Jr is expected to be a high pick in the upcoming NFL Draft. The Tigers offensive line held him to two total tackles and one sack, which was all on Lawrence for not throwing the ball away.
Also, with the team playing 78 of the 80 available players, the backups got a good bit of work in as well. There is very little experience in that second group and these early games will do nothing but help the coaching staff get thsoe guys up to speed.
Consistency Is Back:
Another player that didn’t take long to make his impact was junior tight end Braden Galloway. Many have been hoping that Galloway would give Lawrence and the Clemson offense another pass-catching threat that can attack the middle of the field and that is what happened against Wake.
Galloway missed all of the regular season last year due to a suspension by the NCAA for testing positive for ostarine, a performance-enhancing substance, and Galloway said he used all that time to work on his skills and get stronger. In the first half he had five catches for 60 yards while providing a reliable target for Trevor Lawrence. Galloway also had key blocks on both of Lawrence’s first half touchdowns.
Was there something that stuck out at you? If so, feel free to tell what you saw that interested you in the comments.