Clemson knows if it wants to come back to Clemson with a win from Louisville, Ky., then it has to play a whole lot better on the offensive side of the football.
Against Auburn, Clemson ran for just 2.8 yards per carry. Quarterback Kelly Bryant was sacked three times. Ray-Ray McCloud and C.J. Fuller lost fumbles and the second-ranked Tigers committed eight penalties for 60 yards.
Usually with numbers like that, and playing against an opponent like Auburn, it spells one thing – a loss. However, despite all those issues and a top 5 defensive performance by Auburn, Clemson came out on top.
“There are really some things where we are rolling guys up front and one guy hears it a little bit different than the other guy heard it,” co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said.
That was obvious in the second quarter when guard Taylor Hearn pulled on a quarterback counter to fill the hole and take out a linebacker. The played seemed as if it was going to work, which would have left a perfect running lane for Bryant to run through.
However, right tackle Sean Pollard must have read the wrong signal because he dropped back as if he was in pass protection and backed right into Hearn, allowing the linebacker to throw Bryant for a three-yard loss.
“Those are things we can control,” Scott said. “For the most part, we have done a good job with that. We were really pleased in our opener that we did not have any of those issues. That is usually what you see a little bit in your first game. But it was at the wrong time Saturday night in a couple of key situations.”
It will be very important that the second-ranked Tigers (2-0) get them fixed before Saturday when they visit No. 14 Louisville in Clemson’s ACC opener. This will mark the third game to open the season where the Tigers come into the game with something to prove.
“That is definitely something we have to get cleaned up because, and every week is like a new challenge for this offense, and now this week we are on the road and it is going to be a loud environment,” Scott said. “We definitely have to get some of that communication stuff cleaned up and I’m confident we will.
“The biggest thing for our guys is making sure we are on the same page. Getting the signals in and being able to line up and those types of things, so it does not cost us a timeout or a delay of game or those types of things.”
–Photo Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports