Clemson played close to 100 hundred players in win over The Citadel
Clemson opened the season by playing 78 of the 80 players that traveled to Winston-Salem, N.C., in its rout of Wake Forest. This past Saturday, the Tigers played 96 players in their 49-0 shutout of The Citadel at Death Valley.
“It is a lot of fun to see so many guys get a taste of it and get an opportunity to go play,” head coach Dabo Swinney said.
The best thing for No. 1 Clemson on Saturday was a lot of those second and third team players got a lot of snaps, guys who really need the experience and need to improve.
“We are very fortunate we have been able to get some guys some work in these first two games,” Swinney said. “I see a lot of guys getting better, but still have a lot of room for improvement in a lot of areas.”
A good part of that improvement is on the offensive side, where the young players have been a little more inconsistent than on the defensive side. Clemson’s first team offense totaled 293 yards and scored all 49 points in the first half against The Citadel, while the backups managed just 112 yards and turned the ball over once.
“We did not finish drives and that is where we have to get better,” Swinney said. “There was kind of like two or three guys about every play on something, but I do see a lot of individuals getting better. That is very encouraging. So, I am excited about that and we have a lot of guys on tape that we have a chance to really coach.
“There is just nothing like game experience and game tape. There was a lot of good things.”
Swinney says the biggest disappointment was the fact the Tigers put the ball on the ground four times with two bad snaps and two fumbles.
“We were fortunate to only lose one of those,” Swinney said.
However, the Clemson coaches are overall pleased with the develop of their second and third team players, especially those individuals that they know are getting better and will be able to help the team in the long run.
On the defensive side, the Tigers played 13 linebackers and played just about every defensive lineman they had on the roster. Swinney said starting linebacker James Skalski played just 13 snaps against The Citadel.
“It was just really good to see those guys continue to play well,” Swinney said. “Effort is something we talk about a lot of the time. Effort will cover up a lot of mistakes and we had some guys flying to the football… We had some mistakes we were able to overcome with effort.”
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