By Keith McGonigle.
Each week TheClemsonInsider.com will look at the good and bad from the Tigers game. There was plenty of both as the Tigers defeated the Mean Green 35-10 Saturday afternoon in Death Valley.
The Good: Clemson came out on top 35-10 in their season opener against a North Texas team that was probably a lot more talented then most thought.
The Bad: Clemson offense was out of sync at times and their very talented defense let up 462 yards to a team that their were supposed to roll over. On the bright side Clemson did not pull an Ole Miss.
The Good: You have to be excited about RB Jamie Harper, RB Andre Ellington and Clemson’s offensive line, they looked really good. Before the game I was thinking that it would not be as fun to watch this year without Spiller, because you knew almost every game with Spiller in it, that you were going to see a big play. Harper and Ellington proved that they both can pull off a big run or catch.
The Bad: The home-run type plays were impressive, but in the first half the offense had no rhythm. Maybe they were trying to do too much and be a little too fancy. They actually looked really good when they ran the 2-minute offense at the end of the half, I think it was because they were just out there playing and not having to think too much. If I am Offensive coordinator Billy Napier, I would try and utilize the strengths of the offense: the running backs and big offensive line. Clemson should be a running team with some play-action passes to the tight ends or down the field throws to the tall receivers.
The Bad: It is clear that there still is no go to receiver. It is good to have a bunch of different options, but when the game is on the line it would be nice to have a guy they can rely on. Dwayne Allen is a guy that Kyle Parker should try to get the ball to more; he only had one ball thrown his way from my count.
The Good: The new faces at receiver look good. Bryce McNeal, DeAndre Hopkins, Jaron Brown, and Brandon Clear all made plays.
The Good: The Defensive line looked really good at times they had 13 tackles for loss and 5 sacks. It looked like Clemson used 8 different lineman on the first team defense, and they never really lost a step when they brought different guys in.
The Bad: The defensive line is a little too aggressive at times and is susceptible to big plays off of screens and draws. It seems like they still have problems with running quarterbacks and teams that run the ball out of shotgun frequently.
The Bad: The defense did not play like a number one rated defense. The spread seemed unstoppable at times. Clemson ran a lot of man coverage and were simply getting beat over the middle. It also didn’t help that the linebackers seemed non-existent in the game and there were a lot of missed tackles in the open field (DeAndre McDaniel had a few which was very surprising.)
The Good: I thought Byron Maxwell played really well, he helped out in the run had great coverage on his interception and I do not recall him getting beat that often. I think defensive coordinator Kevin Steele will make some adjustments and we won’t see this next week. One thing I think Clemson should do is have their corners bumping the receivers at the line. They have some big physical corners and the d-line does a good job getting after the quarterback so the corners won’t be in coverage too long. It would take away some of those shorter routes that killed Clemson, and prevent some missed tackles.
The Good: Marcus Gilchrist did a great job returning kicks and punts, he probably won’t be the next CJ Spiller back there but he looked solid. The punting game was very good.
The Bad: Clemson had some troubles on kick return defense but overall still pretty solid.