Last year, Clemson’s offense established a new single season Clemson and ACC record with 7,931 total yards. The Tigers 528.7 yards per game was also a new mark at Clemson, as was their 7.4 yards per play.
Clemson rushed for 3,606 yards in 2019 to pass the 1978 team (3,469) for the second-most in a season in program history. Only the 2018 Tigers had more rushing yards in a season with 3,723.
How good can Clemson’s 2020 offense be? Potentially, it has an opportunity to be the best.
No Clemson offense in history has been as dynamic as the 2020 offense has a chance to be. The Tigers are loaded at the skill positions, more so than at any point during its current 10-year run of dominance in college football.
Back is quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who is beginning his third year as a starter. Lawrence is 25-1 as a starter and has thrown for 6,945 yards and 66 touchdowns already in his career.
Also back is record breaking running back Travis Etienne. All he has done is rushed for a school record 4,038 yards in his career to go along with an ACC record 56 rushing touchdowns. His six receiving touchdowns give him 62 total touchdowns in his career, which is also an ACC record.
At wide receiver, Clemson returns experience starters in Justyn Ross and Amari Rodgers to go along with up-and-comers like Joseph Ngata and Frank Landson. Four-year player, Cornell Powell also adds experience and depth to the unit.
Then there is the final piece of the offense that can make the 2020 unit better than any other … tight end Braden Galloway. The 6-foot-4, 240-pound target gives Clemson a pass catcher it has not had at that position since Jordan Leggett in 2015 and 2016.
Add Etienne’s improved skills in the passing game to it, and Clemson has more pass-catching weapons than it has ever had. Last year, Etienne quietly caught 37 passes for 432 yards and four touchdowns. Both his yards and catches ranked third on the team.
The Tigers have not had a tight end and a running back each catch 35 or more passes in the same season since Michael Palmer caught 43 for 507 yards and four scores and C.J. Spiller hauled in 36 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns in 2009.
The only area that could hold Clemson back is up front, where the offensive line will have four new starters. The good news is the Tigers’ four replacements have gained plenty of experience the last couple of years. The bad news is the second-team unit is young and inexperienced, so there is not much depth behind them.
However, if the offensive line can stay healthy, Clemson’s offense can hit marks that have never before been seen at Clemson.
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