Clemson offense striving to be best ever

Clemson v North Carolina State at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, NC on Saturday, October 31, 2015.

Clemson’s offense this season has the chance to be the best in Clemson history.

But according to senior center Jay Guillermo, Clemson’s offense is striving to be more than that — the unit wants to be the best ever in college football history.

“That’s one thing we said, even last year, that we want to be the best ever, and the goal hasn’t changed,” Guillermo said on Tuesday. “We didn’t get it done last year, and we want to get it done this year.”

Last year, Clemson’s offense set a slew of school records and posted eye-popping numbers under first-year co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott.

The Tigers were the only team in college football with at least 4,000 yards passing and 3,000 yards rushing, and the only team in the history of the ACC to reach those marks.

Clemson averaged at least 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing for just the second time in school history, while the offense became the program’s first to surpass both 30 passing touchdowns and 30 rushing touchdowns in the same season.

Clemson also finished the season with 11 straight 500-yard games, the longest such streak for a Clemson offense.

This year, Clemson returns Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson and first team all-ACC running back Wayne Gallman. Both rushed for over 1,000 yards in 2015 to become the second duo in Clemson history to do so in the same season.

Clemson returns three all-ACC offensive linemen in Guillermo, left tackle Mitch Hyatt and right guard Tyrone Crowder. With the exception of Charone Peake, Clemson returns all of its top receivers from 2015, including projected first-round NFL Draft pick Mike Williams.

So, Clemson certainly can be better offensively than a year ago, and the offense has the potential to be the best the school has ever seen. But can it be the best college football has ever seen?

“We honestly think that we have the potential to do so,” Guillermo said. “I think we set a standard last year of what we can do. We’ve got guys coming back that are older and a little more mature, so we do have the potential, once again, to be better and be the best ever.”

In 2015, Clemson ranked second in total offense (7,718 yards), 11th in yards per game (515), 10th in total passing yards (4,373), seventh in total rushing yards (3,345) and fifth in total points (577).

While those statistics are outstanding, Clemson isn’t satisfied. It’s dreaming not only to do better, but be the best ever.

Guillermo knows it’s one thing to dream, and another to make those dreams a reality on the field.

He feels good about the work his group has put in over the offseason, and he’s excited to begin trying to reach new heights this season, starting with Auburn on Saturday night.

“That’s what we want to do is we want to be the best ever,” Guillermo said. “But potential is potential, and it doesn’t matter at all until you go and put it on the field and put it on film.

“I think we’ve set ourselves up really well with how hard we’ve worked in the offseason, how we practiced and how we prepared to have a successful season. It’s just really all about going out, executing our plan and doing what we have to do in order to be successful.”

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