Though Clemson fans might be a little anxious when it comes to seeing all the new starters this Saturday in Death Valley, Jeff Scott isn’t.
The Tigers’ co-offensive coordinator is instead excited rather than nervous or concerned despite his team losing 78 percent of its offensive production from 2016. Gone is record-setting quarterback Deshaun Watson, wide receiver Mike Williams, running back Wayne Gallman, wide receiver Artavis Scott and tight end Jordan Leggett. Enter first-time starter Kelly Bryant at quarterback, Milan Richard at tight end, Deon Cain and Ray-Ray McCloud at wide receiver and C.J. Fuller at running back.
“It is kind of exciting to get back out there,” Scott said. “We have been going against our defense for a long time so we are ready to go against someone else’s defense for a change.”
Keep in mind, the last time the offense went against that defense in a scrimmage, the offense ran up and down the field. In the last two scrimmages, Bryant combined to complete 24-of-37 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns, reassuring the coaches’ decision to name him as Watson’s successor.
“I think as coaches, we are excited,” Scott said. “I think the reason is we have seen these guys prepare. We know these guys are ready. That does not mean they are not going to go out there and make mistakes because they are. That is part of it, especially in your early games.”
However, the coaches are confident they will all be ready when the fifth-ranked Tigers run down the Hill at noon on Saturday to face Kent State.
“They put in the work,” Scott said. “They had a great off-season that really started in January. These guys have been waiting for their time. That is one thing that is special and unique about college football as opposed to the NFL. Every year, you are going to have guys leave. That is just part of the business. So having those guys prepared and really working hard for when their opportunity comes is something we talk about all the time.
“I have no doubt these guys have been working for this opportunity so it is going to be fun to be able to see them go out, make plays and see this new offense for 2017 and really see how it comes together.”