When the revised ACC schedule was released there was some talk that the Tigers first bye, after just two games, was a little early in the season. Even Dabo Swinney wasn’t a big fan.
However, now that we are into the season, maybe that isn’t the case after all. Two games in and a lot of things are going right for this Clemson team. The offense is firing and the defense has been flay out nasty. Although, that isn’t to say there aren’t some areas in which the team could improve upon, not to mention getting some the banged up guys time to heal.
This defense has been so good, it is easy to forget that the Tigers have been without Justin Foster and Xavier Thomas, both who were expected to start at defensive end. Tyler Davis has been out since being injured in the opener. Getting Davis and Foster back will be huge for an already dominant defense.
Fortunately, with the first two games being blowouts, the coaching staff was able to get the backups a ton of reps. As it turns out, some of those guys needed those reps.
It was known the backups along the offensive line would be a work in progress, and that they are. For this group, the bye is coming at the right time. The coaches now have two games worth of film to teach from, and those guys still have some work to do. In a season in which depth could be more important than ever, these next two weeks will be crucial in the development of this group.
Another position that is still a work in progress is the secondary. The talent on the back end of the defense is unquestionable, but while getting those young guys some experience, there have been some bumps in the road.
It is important to remember though that Derion Kendrick has barely played in the first two games and Mario Goodrich hasn’t played at all. They are arguably the two best cornerbacks on the team, and not having two guys of that caliber is always going to hurt. Once they are both back, which should be after the bye, things in the secondary should be improved.
Outside of those two areas, you couldn’t have asked for a much better start. For many teams, an off week can at times derail momentum, but this Clemson team has to much veteran leadership to allow for that to happen.