The 2016 season is hitting the stretch run as third-ranked Clemson looks to make it back to the National Championship Game in Tampa.
In this edition of our Up Downs feature we take a look at which players made a move in the last week, which players are elevating their game and their position on the depth chart.
Sean Pollard – The freshman had his best game as a Tiger Saturday night helping lead Clemson over Wake Forest. Pollard continues to improve and helped Clemson get the running game going against a touch Wake Forest defense. The Tigers can now win with Pollard at right tackle.
Mark Fields – It took a while but Mark got his first start for Clemson against the Deacs. Fields played well and did a good job in coverage and even had a sack. Fields has always been very talented but just needed to play at a high level consistently. His improvement is a nice plus down the stretch. Hopefully his confidence will continue to climb.
Austin Bryant – After returning from his injury Bryant has continued to improve each week. His play against the run Saturday night was strong. By the time the bowl game hits Bryant will likely be playing at his best. That is great news for the Clemson defense.
Tavien Feaster – For the second time Tavien was the third back to enter the game, behind Gallman and Fuller. Feaster saw snaps in the first half against the Deacs. There wasn’t much playing time for Feaster but the fact that he is now No. 3 off the bench shows he is doing the work to impress the coaches during the week.
Wayne Gallman – There is nothing new seeing Gallman carry the load for the Tigers, but Saturday he returned to the form we saw down the stretch last year. It’s time to win a championship and Gallman runnng the ball well is a key to that opportunity. Expect to see more of Gallman and less of the other backs as they push into the ACC Championship and hopefully the College Football Playoff.
Ray Ray McCloud – Artavis Scott took over the punt return duties Saturday night after another McCloud fumble. Ray Ray is a great athlete but he continues to put the ball on the ground on punt returns. The Tigers can’t afford that this time of year. He will continue to be a weapon at receiver but may have to wait until next year to get another opportunity on punt returns.
Tyshon Dye – Tavien Feaster is now the No. 3 back in the game. That means even less opportunities for Tyshon Dye to make an impact. We will likely only see him when the games get out of hand this season.