For the first time in ten years Clemson has dropped back to back games.
Clemson fell to Georgia 10-3 last night in Charlotte, with some good, bad and ugly mixed in. Let’s recap.
Good: The defense is elite. Brent Venebles’ defense handled everything Georgia threw their way. The run was stifled and yards were hard to come by for Georgia. Open field tackling was exceptional. Special teams was also brilliant. There were 2 turnovers forced, one on defense and one on special teams. A lot has been said about Justyn Ross, but clearly Joseph Ngata was the alpha receiver out there. He managed over 100 receiving yards in a game where opportunities were few and far between.
Bad: DJ Uiagalelei just didn’t look like the same guy from last year. Georgia hit him early, and often. He likely had nightmares about the Georgia front seven. He looked slow making reads, and indecisive, which helped attribute to 7 sacks. The pick six was the difference in the game. Also, scoring no touchdowns won’t help Clemson’s case when it comes CFP selection. Thankfully it’s just the first game, and they have time to improve, because if it were today Clemson would not be in the playoff.
Ugly: Offensive line. This unit was manhandled. This has become Clemson’s Achilles heel. After being the topic of discussion all off-season, it appears that not much progress has been made. With the amount of talent Clemson has along the line, this is completely unacceptable. Offensive play calling was atrocious. If you have a young QB that is struggling, dropping back and throwing the ball every play is probably not a good idea. Additionally, if you have the ball on the opponent’s 5 yards line, with a 6-foot-4, 250-pound quarterback, there is no reason why you shouldn’t at least attempt to punch into the end zone by running the ball.
Clearly, Clemson has a lot of things to work on. Losing right out the gate puts a sour taste in everyone’s mouth. But there’s plenty of games left in the season for the Tigers to figure it out, and the defense will keep Clemson in every game while they do just that.
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