Former Clemson OL and current ACCN analyst Eric Mac Lain is pretty high on the hiring of Garrett Riley as Clemson’s new offensive coordinator.
Dabo Swinney, in what was somewhat a surprising move, fired Brandon Streeter after just one season on the job last week, hiring Riley away from TCU.
It’s a move that has provided a breath of fresh air into a Clemson program that finished the 2022 season on a down note, after losing by two touchdowns to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl. And now with spring ball just a few weeks away, there is a renewed sense of energy surrounding the Tigers, with Mac Lain being one of the ones leading the charge.
“You look at what he’s been able to do,” Mac Lain said. “He is a run first, second and third guy, and then let’s be explosive. You’ve got to have those explosive plays. They are going to push the ball down the field, that’s just what we’ve seen from Riley. That’s the tree that he comes from. It’s going to be the Power Air Raid at the end of the day.”
“And I’m excited to see that, especially with having a young quarterback, having a stallion in the backfield, two actually, with (Will) Shipley and (Phil) Mafah, and then some young cats that maybe are ready quicker than not to play. It’s going to be good. It’s gonna be good. I’m excited to see it.”
Mac Lain is also anxious to see what the Clemson offense will look like under the leadership of Riley, as he is expecting wholesale changes to the overall scheme.
“Because he’s going to make over $2 million in ’23,” Mac Lain said. “I don’t think you’re paying a guy $2 million to come in and say hey, just kind of tweak what we’re doing, just kind of take some plays out, add some. I think it’s his. That just makes sense to me. If you’re going to make a move this drastic that sends shockwaves through college football, you’ve got to give him the keys to the car and you’ve got to fill it up with premium.”
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.