I get why Clemson fans are disappointed by last Saturday’s results. It is not so much that the Tigers lost to Georgia, but how they lost.
Clemson’s offense looked bad. The play calling was not creative and was too predictable at times.
I get it. But my question is why?
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney gave us reasons why during his Tuesday press conference. There were missed assignments everywhere. The offensive line had some MAs, the running backs struggled with their assignments, receivers were running wrong routes and quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was not decisive enough in his decision making at times.
Then there was the play calling. Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott admitted he gave up on the running game too soon and should have given his running backs more opportunities to make plays.
Also, let’s give Georgia credit, too.
The Bulldogs played great on the defensive side of the football and made it tough for Clemson to succeed with no mistakes, much less the many the Tigers made throughout the night.
It was the perfect storm. It was a sea of disaster for the Clemson offense on the turf at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte.
The last time we saw a Clemson offense perform that bad came in the 2018 Sugar Bowl. Alabama held the Tigers to 188 total yards, as it beat up the Tigers 24-6 in New Orleans.
But unlike Clemson’s trip to the Sugar Bowl, the Tigers do not have to wait eight months to redeem themselves. This time around, they have a whole season left to get better, and who knows, maybe also give themselves a second opportunity against Georgia should they make it into the College Football Playoff.
Scoring three points and totaling 180 yards was tough to watch last Saturday. It was, but remember, no team is the same team at the end of the year.
Clemson will find its way offensively. Uiagalelei is still the same quarterback who threw for 439 yards against Notre Dame last year. Justyn Ross is the still the same wide receiver who embarrassed Alabama in the National Championship Game in 2019.
Tony Elliott is still the same offensive coordinator who has led the Tigers to an 80-8 record in the 88 games he has called a game.
Clemson has the playmakers on offense. It has the talent on the offensive line. The offense will get better.
The good news, it can get better without having to play Georgia’s defense each week.
It is okay to be upset. But the season is far from over.
Football season has finally arrived. Time to represent your Tigers and show your stripes!