College Football News Preview 2020: Previewing, predicting, and looking ahead to the Clemson Tigers season with what you need to know.
5. College Football News Preview 2020: Clemson Tigers Offense 3 Things To Know
– The offense isn’t going to stop just because former co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott left for the USF head coaching gig. Tony Elliott has been in the OC mix for the Tigers since 2015, and now the job is all his.
Breathtaking, the offense was a juggernaut again as the team barely missed matching the record-setting 664-point run in 2018 with 659 last year, scoring more than 50 points seven times before the CFP with a run of 45 or more in seven of the final eight regular season games.
And here we go again, mostly because of the two future NFL franchise stars in the backfield.
Trevor Lawrence continues to put together an all-timer of a college career, hitting 66% of his passes for 3,665 yards and 36 touchdowns with eight picks, and adding 563 rushing yards – hitting Ohio State for 107 yards – with nine touchdowns.
Lawrence is obviously a special talent, but so is the next elite superstar DJ Uiagalelei, a jaw-dropping pro prospect from California who blew off Oregon and the rest of the Pac-12 to take over whenever Mr. Lawrence is done. However, with Chase Brice transferring to Duke, and with a year in the system, 2019 great recruit Taisun Phommachanh might be the No. 2 guy early on.
CFN in 60 Video: Clemson Tigers Preview
– Of all years to have left early for the NFL to get paid, this would’ve been it. But Travis Etienne is back after three years of somehow being among the most underappreciated stars in college football.
Trevor Lawrence is the star, Dabo Swinney is the superstar, and the program has taken on a life of its own among the elite of the elite, and all Etienne has done is run for 4,038 yards and 56 touchdowns, catch 54 passes for 567 yards and six scores, and average 7.8 yards per carry. He’s 4.3 fast, tough, ultra-productive, and the type of back who could carry the offense, even though he doesn’t have to.
No. 2 back Lyn-J Dixon is back after running for 635 yards and six scores, and Chez Mellusi and Michael Dukes are back again to work into the mix. As if this group wasn’t deep enough, in comes five-star talent Demarkcus Bowman. Now they all need guys to block for them.
The offensive line has become a bit of a factory at Clemson. It doesn’t crank out a slew of next-level talents, but it has been a dominant force throughout the run in the CFP era. Now it has to replace four starters with only Carman Jackson back, likely at left tackle.
All of the backups from the end of last year return, and they’ll move up in the rotation. The most talented reserve of the bunch might be new-recruit Walker Parks, but he needs time to bulk up.
– The receiving corps took a massive hit with the loss of Tee Higgins to the Cincinnati Bengals, and with Justyn Ross out for the season after needing surgery to fix an issue with his spine. There’s no reason to worry – most college teams can only dream of having a trio of Amari Rodgers, Joseph Ngata, and Frank Ladson to work a passing game around. Four-star recruit EJ Williams would be an instant No. 1 target at most places.