Wasn't able to watch this one, but I think I'm glad I didn't. By all accounts Clemson's offense sucked for 3 quarters before finally pulling away in the 4th quarter. I'm gonna try and give my main takeaways just from watching highlights, but this probably won't be one of my better recaps. I'm also not gonna totally freak out about the non-blowout as I've been known to do. It might be because I didn't watch, but I also think that the Tigers will be just fine.
Obviously not a great passing game for Clemson in this one. Two interceptions for KB and no passing TDs. Not ideal, but it seemed like he was under a little bit of pressure for a lot of the afternoon. Hopefully they clean up the air attack before Virginia Tech this week because Bud Foster's defenses are always pretty damn solid. I still believe in KB even after he struggled. Maybe this game was a bit of a wake up call for him - not every game is gonna be as easy as they say on paper, and you don't get to face Louisville's defense every game.
KB didn't let his poor performance passing affect his running game as he posted over 100 rushing yards and 2 TDs on the ground. He's a smooth but strong runner and he can make people miss tackles in multiple ways. His running game will always be a key in games to keep defenses on their toes. Against a more quality opponent, you won't be able to rely on just one aspect, in my opinion. Also, before I move on from talking about KB I should mention that his 3rd down throw to Overton in the 4th quarter when it was still tied was one of the more impressive throws I've seen him make this year. And it was a huge play in the game.
The rushing attack was one of the bigger question marks facing the Tigers coming into the season. And all they've done is rack up almost 275 rushing yards a game, good for 13th in the country so far. Dabo wanted to give CJ Fuller and Adam Choice their chances as "veterans" of the group but Tevian Feaster and Travis Etienne are top tier talents at the position, and have emerged as the go-to guys. Fuller and Choice have their strengths for sure, but Feaster and Etienne are much more talented and fun to watch. Feaster didn't have his best game in his first start, but he's the right guy to give the most playing time to right now. I can't say enough about Etienne though. He leads the team in rushing yards despite only having 23 carries and not playing in the Auburn game. And he is a threat to break one to the house every time he touches the ball. I fucking love this kid. It looks like we'll be seeing more of him too going forward which is quite good news.
And I'd be remiss to not mention the defense, who kept BC scoreless for so long despite the offense giving them some pretty good field position a few times. The defense continues to dominate games and they figure to only get better. Hopefully some of the injuries in the secondary aren't too serious (Mullen and Fields both left the game Saturday) but the front 7 is so insane right now I'm still confident in the defense as a whole.
The Tigers go on the road to another top 15 team this weekend, facing Virginia Tech. One of the tougher venues to play in in college football, I'm more nervous about this game than I was about Louisville. It helps that VT is starting a freshman QB but he seems to be pretty damn good so far. I imagine KB and the offense will have a little bit harder time getting going than they did at Louisville so I'm hoping the defense can remain dominant and stuff VT until the offense gets rolling. I think KB will bounce back but it might take a couple of series to do so. Go Tigers.