For Clemson’s offense or lack thereof, it’s the little things.
Things like fundamental mistakes, as both D.J. Uiagalelei and Davis Allen, pointed to execution as being the team’s main source for what’s not clicking offensively, during Monday’s media availability.
What also goes into that is miscommunication along the offensive line. Something Clemson has aimed to fix but is seemingly still a problem through four games.
Paul Tchio, who is now listed as the Tigers’ starting left guard on the team’s depth chart, was made available to reporters on Monday. Tchio was asked if it’s surprising that the same communication issues continue to plague Clemson upfront.
“It is a little shocking, just ‘cause I think we come out here at practice and it’s usually not like a big issue,” Tchio said, “And we practiced last week with loud music playing and everything. I think it was honestly louder in practice than it was during the game.”
Obviously, the Tigers were well prepared for last Saturday’s game at Carter-Finley Stadium. The 27-21 double-overtime loss at the hands of N.C. State wasn’t due to a lack of preparation, but what transpires in practice isn’t exactly being translated.
Tchio rotated in at left guard with Hunter Rayburn and Marcus Tate against N.C. State, as the Tigers try to find a permanent starter going forward. Tate has shown flashes but the true freshman really struggled in Clemson’s 14-8 win over Georgia Tech. The Tigers have indicated that they have the utmost confidence in Tate and his ability to be a great player for this program.
However, with the offensive line being a consistent liability through Clemson’s first three games, the Tigers decided to turn to their depth. Tchio’s insertion into the starting lineup didn’t create Clemson’s communication issues across the line, those have existed since the team’s first offensive possession against Georgia.
Coming out of fall camp, Clemson believed it had its best five starters. And even though there was youth, inexperience and veterans playing different positions, there was a belief that the group would be able to hold its own, protect Uiagalelei and open up running lanes for Kobe Pace and Will Shipley.
That hasn’t happened.
“I think it’s maybe a little disconnect from when we leave practice Thursday to the game,” Tchio said. That’s maybe where we need to grow up a little bit.”
Clemson’s offensive line will have a chance to fix those communication issues against Boston College at Memorial Stadium this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.