Tigers Finally Run Out of Luck Against NC State: Position Grades

Another game, another poor performance from the offense.

The Tigers were fortunate that the NC State kicker wasn’t able to end the game with a last second field goal but that only postponed the inevitable.

Last week the defense, fortunately, was able to bail out the offense with a late goal line stand and get Clemson the win. However, this week saw the Wolfpack not only get the first touchdown of the season against Brent Venables’ group but they ended with four total and more importantly, they just got gassed after the offense hung them out to dry.

Position Grades

Quarterback: The Tigers quarterback play, again, wasn’t the best. DJ Uiagalelei went 12 of 26 for two touchdowns but just a mere 111 total yards and one interception. Once again, Uiagalelei wasn’t helped by his receivers who, four games in, still aren’t on the same page, but at the same time, he doesn’t appear to have a total grasp of the offense either.

It was another game where he showed more life in the second half. Taisun Phommachanh came for one play after Uiagalelei’s helmet came off, just long enough to hand it off for a touchdown run by Will Shipley. Will Taylor got one snap in what the announcers called the ”Wildcat” but he wasn’t successful either. Just like every other week so far, this was a week where the Tigers aren’t getting enough from the QB position… D

Running Back: Shipley began the game as the starter and had 11 carries for 36 total yards and one score before having to be helped off of the field after a knee injury in the second half.  

Kobe Pace, on the other hand, had two carries for five yards and his longest run of the day was for five yards, if it says anything. You would think after the news earlier in the week that Lyn-J Dixon was leaving the program Shipley and Pace would want to make a statement. 41 combined yards was not the statement I’m sure either wanted to make… B

Wide Receiver: A game that in the beginning looked like Joseph Ngata was going to be a force for the Wolfpack defense, turned out to be anything but. After he caught the first two passes Uiagalelei threw to him, he was held without another catch in the game. As mentioned earlier, the wide receivers once again did not appear to be on the the same page as Uiagalelei.

Justyn Ross again led the Tigers with 77 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches while Joseph Ngata had 36 yards on his only two receptions of the game. It’s a group that continues to have people questioning if they can find a way to get on the same page with their quarterback and reach the level of greatness Dabo Swinney has so often raved about… D

Offensive Line: This group again Saturday proved that they are weakest link on this team. They can not block a team rushing just three down linemen and it all starts here. You can have the greatest skill players in the country but without blocking up front you end up with a double overtime loss and just 214 total yards on offense. Oh, and those seven series that end with three and outs… F

Tight End: This one was easy. Nonexistent in the passing game once again. Galloway with another drop. Maybe it was because they were busy blocking, oh wait… F

Special Teams: Special teams was once again pretty good. Will Taylor did not get a chance to do very much returning punts but Will Spiers had another solid day punting the ball. He sure had plenty of opportunities. BT Potter continues to show that few teams are going to return his kickoffs… A

Defensive Line: This group finally showed that they are good but they will wear down when on the field constantly. They also had some key penalties that kept them from getting off of the field at times. They also lost star defensive tackle, Bryan Bresee, to what appeared to be a knee injury. Xavier Thomas had some big plays for this group and ended the day with five tackles two sacks… C

Linebackers: This is another group that took a blow Saturday when their heart and soul, James Skalski, left the game in the first half and did not return due to injury. Baylon Spector led the team with 19 tackles, while LaVonta Bentley again showed out.… C

Cornerbacks: This was a game where Clemson’s corners knew they were going to be tested and all four of the Wolfpacks scores came through the air. They had no answer for Wolfpack receiver Emeka Emezie but at the same time only gave up 14 points to them throughout regulation… C

Safety: Andrew Mukuba again proved his worth as a freshman with 10 tackles on the day. Nolan Turner also had three solo tackles and one sack on the day… B+

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