It has been a long time since Clemson had an open date after just two games. In fact, it last happened in 2014 following a win over S.C. State.
However, that is what the top-ranked team in the country finds itself in this week. The Tigers did use the week to its advantages, as it feels it could get a few players back that were injured in the first two weeks, such as defensive tackle Tyler Davis (knee) and wide receiver Joseph Ngata (abdominal strain).
And even though it has been just two weeks, it is also an opportunity for the coaches to self-scout the team. With no opponent to get ready for, the coaching staff will usually take advantage of the week by reviewing film and picking up any tendencies. The offensive and defensive coaches will swap film and will break each other down.
“We are always going to make sure we study ourselves,” offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “We will not have as big of a sample size as we do with a later open date, but it is a great opportunity. We can get a peek at any tendencies we have.”
The coaching staff will also use the open week to get a look at its opponent, too. However, that is not the case with the early open date. Virginia, who will visit Death Valley a week from Saturday, has not played a game to this point.
The Cavaliers first game, they had two games moved due to the coronavirus, is scheduled for Saturday as they host Duke.
“Obviously, it is a tougher situation with Virginia not having as many games as us,” Elliott said. “We will not get our first look at them until (Saturday). So, we will focus on ourselves and we will get a head start on Virginia and still try to use this opportunity to grow our team because we are going to need everybody, especially in this environment where it is week-to-week.
“We will need everybody playing at the highest level they can in order for us to be successful down the stretch.”
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