Once again the Tigers needed a stop and once again Brent Venables defense came through.
Clemson survived, holding on for a 17-14 win on the road, as the Orange missed a 48-yard field goal with under a minute remaining.
- Point the finger anywhere you like, but the issues on the Clemson offense start with the offensive line. Far to often those guys resemble a turnstile more so than blockers, and it has had a tremendous effect on this offense. Are there other issues as well? Sure, but none more glaring than that group up front, especially when facing a three man front.
- Unfortunately, fans did not get to see Hunter Rayburn start a second game at center. He was unavailable, and Mason Trotter made his first career start. It was not hard to see why Matt Bockhorst beat him out in fall camp. Trotter is not the answer there.
- This might have been D.J. Uiagalelei’s best start of the season. He was not perfect by any stretch, but he looked much better on Friday night. The Tigers didn’t try pushing the ball down the field against that 3-3-5 Syracuse defense, but the accuracy was much better in this game. Uiagalelei finished the game 21-34 for 181 yards, and was the victim of at least three drops. There were still a few throws he probably wishes he had back, but overall much better than what we had seen up to this point.
- Kobe Pace looks better each week. He didn’t have as many rushing yards as he did against Boston College, but his 76 yards against the Orange were all tough yards. Pace averaged more than five yards per carry against the ACC’s best run defense.
- The receivers just aren’t what we thought they would be. The lack of a true slot guy has been devastating. Was nice to see Ajou Ajou getting some playing time tonight in place of the injured E.J. Williams.
- Nice to see Davis Allen have a big night. Had a career high eight catches and came up with the big catch on the fake punt on a ball that wasn’t thrown all that well.
- Can’t say enough about this defense. Running back Sean Tucker got his, but as the game wore on, the tougher yards were to come by for the ACC’s top running back.
- Next up is Pitt. The Tigers opened as double digit favorites over Ga Tech, NC State, Boston College, and Syracuse. They are now 0-6 against the spread. It will be interesting to see if they are favored at all next week against Pitt.
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