The Clemson offensive line was not very good against Georgia on Saturday night.
Jordan McFadden was really the only guy up front that played well, as evidenced by PFF grading every other offensive linemen at 55 or lower for their performance against the Bulldogs.
While that’s a problem that can be masked by scheme, and elite quarterback play against most competition, you can not mask it against elite defenses. And if it doesn’t improve dramatically, and in a hurry, ESPN analyst Tom Luginbill thinks its something that could rear its ugly head again this season.
Clemson’s offensive line is in serious trouble,” Luginbill said. “And if you actually studied Clemson and you went back to last year and you watched them the last four or five weeks of the season, they were not very good up front. I would say they were below average. And you couple that issue with the fact that you’re breaking in a true freshman tailback (Will Shipley), you’re having to replace Amari Rodgers, replace Travis Etienne, replace Trevor Lawrence. You’ve got these wide receivers that are coming back to you, but they’re not seasoned yet. They may be talented.”
While Luginbill thinks quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is extremely talented, he doesn’t think he has the accuract that Deshaun Watson ot Trevor Lawrence had before him. However, there are many quarterbacks that aren’t as accurate as those guys. But, combine that with an offensive line that isn’t very good, and it could lead to some more issues as the Tigers navigate the season.
“In my opinion, and again, not to make a knee-jerk reaction, but I’m going back a little ways,” Luginbill said. “I’m going back to high school here with D.J. D.J.’s not the same innately accurate passer that either Trevor Lawrence or Deshaun Watson was. That’s plain and simple. So, you add problems up front to a guy that’s not innately accurate, then you’re going to have some problems. And defensively might be able to carry them, but until they get that offensive line fixed, you’re going to continue to see some struggles out of the Clemson offense.”
Clemson and Notre Dame have released depth charts ahead of this weekend’s matchup at Death Valley.
For the second time this season, Clemson will be an underdog at home.
Despite Clemson’s astonishing loss to Miami, the Tigers will head to Raleigh next week favored over NC State.