Furman did something to Clemson that fans aren’t all that accustomed to seeing, as the Paladins were able to consistently move the ball up and down the field all game.
That success never really translated into points, and the Tigers looked like they just ran a base defense and never really tried adjusting outside of subbing, but still, an FCS team putting up close to 400 yards of offense against this defense is quite unusual. Especially after the suffocating effort we saw in the opener against Georgia Tech.
Furman was able to use Clemson’s aggressiveness up front against them, routinely beating the Tigers with the screen, slants and crossing routes. Head coach Dabo Swinney was not happy at all with the effort, even using the word “loafing” in his Tuesday presser.
As unusual as the performance was, that game should serve the Tigers well when Louisiana Tech visits on Saturday night. The Bulldogs, led by first year head coach Sonny Cumbie, uses a lot of air raid concepts, so the Tigers will see a lot of similar stuff in this one.
Don’t expect a repeat performance. This defense should be more than dialed in for this one. Last Saturday’s subpar outing should be all the motivation this group needs, but with the passing of Ella Bresee, the younger sister of DT Bryan Bresee, this unit should be more than motivated.
Louisiana Tech comes in averaging 276 passing yards per game, so they will probably hit on some plays. However, all things considered, it’s hard to envision the Bulldogs having nearly the same kind of success Furman did. This defense will no doubt show up for this one.
On the other side of the ball, Louisiana Tech has allowed more than 500 rushing yards through its first two games. The Tigers, despite having that three headed monster at running back, are averaging just 133 yards per game, and that’s against less than stellar competition. More has been expected from this rushing attack and this Bulldogs defense provides the perfect opportunity to get it going.
We also have Adam Randall making his collegiate debut. This offense has really suffered from not having that guy who can consistently stretch the field and make plays, and Randall has the potential to be that player.
DJ Uiagalelei has played pretty solid football over the first games. He hasn’t been perfect by any stretch but he doesn’t resemble the quarterback we saw last season. He is consistently putting the ball where only his receivers can come down with it, but far to often, those plays have resulted in drops. There’s been at least seven over the first two games.
Having said that, the offense was better last week than it was against Georgia Tech, at least in that first half, as they were barely on the field in the second. So we are seeing improvement, and if this team is going to play up to its potential, the offense must take another step forward this week. It will.
Louisiana Tech is coming to Death Valley at the wrong time. Expect a salty defense and a more than motivated offense, as the Tigers roll.
Clemson 45 Louisiana Tech 13
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