Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney and co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott both credited tight end Cannon Smith for making a play more than anything else in the second-ranked Tigers’ final scoring drive on Saturday.
With the football resting at the Wake 13-yard line, backup quarterback Hunter Johnson executed the play action well with running back C.J. Fuller and Smith did a great job selling he was going up inside the B-gap to block before popping outside and running past the linebackers.
Johnson wasted no time getting the ball to him as Smith easily scored for his first career touchdown.
“It was just a little play action, a little old dump pass.,” Swinney said after Clemson’s 28-14 win over Wake Forest. “It actually was a great catch. It was a better catch than it was a throw.
“Those are the types of plays that if it is well executed and the guy is wide open, you would like for it to be right there on him. But he threw it a little flat so he had to kind of get out there and go get it so I thought it was a heck of a catch. It was well executed and he kind of got through the traffic. It was a good play at the time.”
It was a play that Smith had been waiting on for a long time.
“I was (excited) a little bit once I went passed the mike linebacker and saw that green grass,” the redshirt junior said. “I was pretty excited when I saw Hunter looking that way. It was just a well executed play.
“Everyone did their job up front, everyone blocked, the receivers did their jobs and Hunter made a great read.”
Swinney was glad to see Smith do his job too, and catch it.
“It was wide open, but a good job by Cannon just securing it,” Swinney said. “I’m happy for him. He is just a steady guy. He has played pretty good for us the last couple of weeks without the ball so it is good to see him get rewarded here with a big touchdown.”
A little trickery. With the Tigers (6-0, 4-0 ACC) up 14-0 in the second quarter, Swinney gave future opponents something to think about after punter Will Spiers executed a perfect fake punt to wide receiver Cornell Powell.
With the ball at the Clemson 46 on fourth-and-four, Spiers took the snap, acted like he was going to punt the ball and then all of sudden threw a perfect spiral for five yards to Powell, who had made a nice catch on the sideline to get his feet inbounds, extending the drive.
After the game, Spiers said Swinney called the fake punt. Spiers also indicated he was a quarterback in high school and started all four years.
Big day for Powell. Powell not only made a great catch on the fake punt, but he also made a great play to keep the ball from going in the end zone on a Spiers punt prior to the fake.
On the previous possession, the sophomore dove at a ball that was bouncing into the end zone and knocked it back to the 4-yard line where it was downed by his teammates. The play resulted in a 49-yard net punt for Spiers as Wake took over at its own four.
Powell later caught a pass for 10 yards as well.
Nation’s longest winning streak. Clemson once again owns the nation’s longest winning streak thanks to its win over Wake Forest and Oklahoma’s loss to Iowa State on Saturday.
Clemson won its 11th consecutive game on Saturday, tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in school history. The record is 17 between November 22, 2014 and December 31, 2015.
McCloud joins the 100-1,000 club. Wide receiver Ray-Ray McCloud hauled in the 100th reception of his career on a nine-yard reception in the first quarter. Later in the contest, he reached the 1,000-yard mark for career receiving yards.
On special teams, McCloud amassed a season-high 58 punt return yards.