To say it was an “easy” regular season for No. 2 Clemson would be inaccurate. From a quarterback shake up four games into the season to the unexpected death of former running back and teammate of many current players, C.J. Fuller, the Clemson offense battled through many distractions and finished the regular season undefeated for only the third time in school history.
Now, the Tigers are on their way to a fourth consecutive ACC Championship Game appearance and a win against Pittsburgh this Saturday may result in a fourth consecutive trip to the College Football Playoff.
In Saturday night’s fifth straight win over South Carolina, the Tigers’ offense put up 56 points and 744 total yards of offense with 351 rushing yards and passed for 393 yards.
Despite the challenges Clemson has faced this year, particularly the offense, the team has grown and responded to everything thrown its way, something co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott has taken note of and is extremely proud of.
“Now I think guys are more comfortable with the rotation, communication level, they know what to expect out of each other,” Elliott said on Monday. “So I think, just overall, I think the chemistry and cohesion is consistent.
“Whereas earlier in the season you’re playing a lot of guys, you’re still trying to develop that. But I think now everybody knows what it is going to look like for the most part game in and game out. They know how to prepare and they’re executing at a high level.”
Over the course of the years Elliott, along with co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Jeff Scott, have worked together to develop one of the best offenses in the country, while Clemson has earned the reputation of “Wide Receiver U.”
This year Scott is a semi-finalist for the Broyles Award, which is awarded annually to the best assistant coach in college football. Clemson is trying to go for the hat trick as Brent Venables was awarded it in 2016, while Elliott won it last year.
“That would be awesome (if Scott won),” Elliott said. “That would be so awesome for Brent to introduce me and then for me to have an opportunity to introduce Jeff. That would be so awesome. Then the relationship that Jeff and I have starting here as stretch partners and now just the run that we’ve been on together. I know what he stands for and learning what Coach Broyles stood for and what he embodied.
“To see him have an opportunity, hopefully he will be a finalist and I know I have to go back out there as part of the ceremony. They always bring back the previous year’s winner so I’m hoping he and Sarah are going to experience that. Hopefully, if it’s the Lord’s plan we’ll have a hat trick, but if he’s there that’s going to be an awesome experience for he and I to go through together to add to the other awesome experiences that we’ve had.”