What You Need To Know About The Clemson Offense
– The defense will be the star of the show with so much returning talent, but the offense that averaged 430 yards and 33 points per game will be even more dangerous depending on whether or not the passing game rocks.
And there’s the big storyline.
Star quarterback prospects Hunter Johnson and Zerrick Cooper both transferred because Kelly Bryant returns as the established starter who did an amazing job – considering he had to be the guy after Deshaun Watson – and Trevor Lawrence might just be the best passing quarterback in college football right out of the box. But now there has to be more of a downfield passing game. It wasn’t the most efficient air show, but it was good enough. But now …
– The star receivers have to step up. Deon Cain and Ray Ray McCloud are gone, but leading receiver Hunter Renfrow is back, and Tee Higgins has to be a more consistently explosive downfield threat. More help is on the way with super-recruits Derion Kendrick and Justyn Ross both big, NFL-caliber targets who might just be too good not to see time right away.
– The O line that struggled a wee bit in pass protection but did a nice job for the running game gets back three starters led by All-ACC performers Mitch Hyatt at tackle and Justin Falcinelli at center. Sean Pollard is a versatile option who can step in at tackle but will likely work at guard – he’s a veteran with all-star potential, too. Pass protection will be Job One, but this group should be solid for the ground attack with a nice group of backs returning.
Travis Etienne might be the No. 1 guy, but Tavien Feaster and Adam Choice are good enough to be in the rotation and average close to five yards per pop. The rest of the running game depends on who’s under center. If it’s Bryant for the season, throw another 600+ yards onto the pile. If it’s Lawrence, it’s all about keeping the main man in one piece.
Biggest Key To The Clemson Offense
More big plays from the passing game. No matter who’s under center, the air show needs to crank out bigger yards – there’s no reason for this group to finish 13th in the ACC again in yards per catch.
It’s all nitpicking considering the Tigers led the ACC in third down conversions and there was no need to take a slew of chances, and there was going to be a drop-off without Deshaun Watson, Mike Williams, Artavis Scott and Jordan Leggett, but the O should average closer to 12 yards per grab than ten.