By Will Vandervort.
By Will Vandervort
CLEMSON — Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said the issues along the offensive line that led to five sacks and one holding call in Saturday’s 38-17 win over Virginia Tech was simple.
“We just got beat,” he said.
Swinney said during his weekly Sunday teleconference with the media that the offensive line had poor technique at times and it was poor fundamentals.
“It was really nothing more than that,” he said. “One particular time, I think Tajh (Boyd), was a little too deep with his drop and really needed to step up, but still we did not do a good job of protecting. It wasn’t anything schematic or anything like that.
“Just fundamentally and technically, we did not get it done. We played probably our worst game on the offensive line all year so we will really challenge those guys to get back on track this week.”
The Tigers (6-1, 3-1 ACC), who stayed at No. 13 and No. 14 respectively in the latest Coaches and Associated Press Poll, will have a short week to fix those issues as they have already started preparing for Wake Forest on Thursday night in Winston-Salem, N.C.
The Demon Deacons (4-3, 2-3 ACC) are coming off a 16-10 victory over Virginia on Saturday. Swinney says Wake Forest’s defensive line does a lot of stunting and twisting up front so they will cause a lot of problems for the offensive line if they are not prepared.
“They have always been a movement defense. There are a lot of movements that you have to catch,” Swinney said. “Very seldom to they sit still. They always present challenges. You have to be able to block them, but hopefully, we will match up well with them.”
Robinson out. Cornerback Darius Robinson will likely be out at least until the bowl game after suffering a minor fracture in his foot during the first quarter of Saturday’s game. Swinney said he learned Sunday after Robinson had more test on his ankle done that there was a small fracture in his foot and he will undergo surgery on Tuesday to fix it.
With Robinson out, the Tigers will now have to count on redshirt freshman Cortez Davis to step up and fill in for the missing Robinson. Clemson was already thin at corner after losing Martin Jenkins for the season during fall camp with a hip injury.
The Tigers will go with Xavier Brewer, Garry Peters and Bashaud Breeland as a three-man rotation with Davis coming in and providing relief. Swinney says Davis (6-3, 200) has been coming along and has been playing well on special teams, but now they will need him to step up a little bit more at corner and help the team.
Wide receiver Adam Humphries could be used as an emergency corner in case someone else goes down in the secondary. Humphries had six interceptions as a cornerback/wide receiver at nearby Dorman High School in Spartanburg, SC.
This week’ plan. With the five-day turn around, Clemson has to forget about the Virginia Tech game a day or two earlier and turn the page to Wake Forest which isn’t an easy thing to do, especially as the team that is traveling.
Clemson had a 4:15 p.m. team meeting today which they normally do on Monday. They broke for dinner at 5 p.m. and then they had segment meetings until 7:10 and then began practice at 7:30. The Tigers had a light practice tonight, like they do on Mondays, and then they will be in shells on Monday and then will put the pads on Tuesday.
“We will not practice as long as we normally would tomorrow and Tuesday because it is a short week and you have to keep them fresh and ready to go again,” Swinney said.
Clemson will travel to Winston-Salem on Wednesday and will have a normal game prep routine that night and then the normal game routine on Thursday.