There were a lot of things Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott liked about Saturday’s win over Auburn.
He liked the way the offense bounced back after such a sluggish start. He liked the way Kelly Bryant handled his first adversity when he was knocked out of the game briefly after suffering such a hard hit. He like the way the offense finished the game off when Bryant hit wide receiver Hunter Renfrow along the sideline to convert a third-and-seven, cementing the win.
“We were in a very similar situation at their place last year, and we really messed it up offensively running out of bounds,” Scott said. “We gave them a possession and an opportunity to throw two deep balls in the end zone to win the game last year so really being able to be in that same position and finish it. Two key third down plays and it feels great to have the ball in your hands, especially in a game like that.”
But Scott said there is still plenty to coach. The biggest negative he said were the two turnovers.
“If you turn over the ball against a team like that in those kinds of games, you can get beat,” he said. “That is something we harp on and hopefully our guys will learn from that.”
Scott was also not pleased with the way Bryant got hit more than they like. The junior was sacked three times and pressured several more so it was not a good performance by the offensive line as a whole. Mitch Hyatt was also charged with a holding call and right tackles Tremayne Anchrum and Sean Pollard both struggled.
“We have to give them credit because they are a very talented defensive front,” he said. “Those ends are very active and they will make a bunch of plays this year, but our guys go against talented ends every day in practice.
“We have done better and I know we can do better so we will get some of that cleaned up. We just did not have quite the rhythm that we wanted and some of it was their doing and some of it was a lack of communication. We had a few things where we were not on the same page early on third down.”
However, the best thing about Saturday’s game was the experience. Scott said being in the atmosphere, the momentum shifts and the adversity that came from the Auburn game is something they can never truly coach.
“We will be able to learn from this one, but overall, it was the first time a lot of those guys were in that situation in a big game,” he said. “You can practice it, but there is no substitute for experiencing it. That is something we will be able to grow from and also use the way we finished there as some confidence on down the road when we are put in a similar situation.”