Clemson Tigers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players

College Football Features

Clemson Tigers Preview 2022: Season Prediction, Breakdown, Key Games, Players


Clemson Tigers Preview 2022: Offense

It was one of the most bizarre things in 2021 – the Clemson offense was almost totally inept way too often.

The offense of Trevor, and Deshaun, and Etienne, and all the insanely amazing receivers, and … dead last in the ACC in passing efficiency, 100th in the nation in total offense, no downfield passing game, and a slightly spotty ground attack.

It’s hardly a talent problem. Tools-wise, DJ Uiagalelei has everything you’d ever want in an NFL quarterback, but he struggled last year completing 56% of his passes with nine touchdowns and ten picks. Star recruit Cade Klubnik is the future, and he’ll get every shot to win the gig in fall camp, but a revitalized Uiagalelei will still likely be the guy.

The receiving corps was way too good to have such a rough season. There might not be the sensational stars of past seasons, but this group – combining with a strong tight end in Davis Allen – is more than good enough.

Justyn Ross is off to the NFL, but just about everyone else is back including big play downfield threat Joseph Ngata and 6-3 Beaux Collins, who finished second on the team with 31 catches.

The rushing attack was fine, but it wasn’t good enough to carry the offense every week. It picked it up late in the year and averaged 4.5 yards per carry and 168 yards per game, and it gets back the parts with Will Shipley and Kobe Pace combining for close to 1,400 yards with 17 touchdowns. Uiagalelei can run, too.

The offensive line was much-maligned, but it was great in pass protection and wasn’t bad for the ground game. Will Putnam is a veteran all-star center, Jordan McFadden should be among the best left tackles in the ACC, and this is a strong veteran line all-around.

Clemson Tigers Preview 2022: Defense

The offense got all the headlines for all of its problems, but the defense was its national championship-level self.

First in the ACC, eighth in the nation overall, second in the nation in scoring D, great pass rush, never allowed more than 27 points, and that was all with injuries and a few other parts mixing in. It’s not all back full, but it’s loaded with future NFL stars.

If everyone stays healthy, the defensive line is the best in college football. That starts with Bryan Bresee staying in one piece. He has had almost no injury luck, but with his quickness and skills, he has No. 1 overall draft pick talent at defensive tackle.

Myles Murphy is a high-end pass rusher, Tyler Davis is an NFL run stopper, and Xavier Thomas is an All-ACC talent. There’s depth to rotate in, too.

Leading tackler James Skalski is done along with second-leading tackler Baylon Spector. The linebacking corps will be more than fine around Trenton Simpson on the outside and Jeremiah Trotter ready to take over in the middle.

The secondary is undergoing one of the team’s biggest overhauls, but the new starters ready to step in are experienced enough to handle the work. Andrew Mukuba is a strong tackler, and there are several nice safeties around him.

Mario Goodrich and Andrew Booth are gone at corner, veteran Sheridan Jones and former star recruit Nate Wiggins will get the first look.

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