GRADES: Tigers win 10, again

CLEMSON - CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott asseses No. 7 Clemson's 52-6 win over The Citadel.

OFFENSE: A
As expected, Clemson owned the line of scrimmage and pretty much did whatever it wanted to for most of the game. Playing in his last home game, an emotional Tajh Boyd completed 21-of-28 passes for 288 yards and five touchdowns in the rout. Martavis Bryant and Mike Williams made several eye-popping grabs and Sammy Watkins also scored in what is likely his last home game as well. The offensive line opened holes for senior Roderick McDowell, to the tune of 21 carries for 108 yards and a touchdown reception. Last but not least, Purple Heart recipient Daniel Rodriguez reached the end zone for the first time in his Clemson career, too- on Military Appreciation Day. You truly can't script it much better than this. Good play calls. Good execution, and memories to last a lifetime for all involved.

DEFENSE: A
This was Clemson's second-straight week defending the triple option and showed. More times than not the Tigers' defense swarmed The Citadel at the line of scrimmage, leaving QB Ben Dupree with little room to maneuver. Senior LB Quandon Christian had a scoop-and-score in the second quarter as Clemson limited the Bulldogs to just 172 yards of total offense, including minus-4 passing. It was a solid outing that allowed for multiple second- and third-teamers to gain much-needed playing time.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B
The only issue Saturday was when Rodriguez fumbled a punt, only to get it back seconds later. Chandler Catanzaro concluded his home career as one of the top kickers in school history, connecting from 32 yards out. Otherwise it was business as usual.

COACHING: A
The last thing you wanted to see Saturday was the potential for a letdown, and the Tigers quickly erased any such thoughts by grabbing an early 14-0 lead. With the win, the Tigers have won 10 games or more three straight seasons for only the second time in school history. In the process, some of the best players to ever wear the orange and white have dominated on the field- including Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and many others. Saturday's win was a mere microcosm of just how far this program has come under Dabo Swinney's direction. The notion of this team struggling to pound inferior teams is a thing of the past and while some Clemson fans may take it for granted, the staff and the team itself certainly do not. 10-1 is no easy accomplishment, yet the Tigers have reached that mark for the third straight year. Bravo!

OVERALL: A
With the win over the Bulldogs in the rear view mirror, the entire state now looks towards the next Saturday night. Will the four-game losing streak to South Carolina end? Can the Tigers find a way to end the nation's longest home-winning streak? Will Tajh Boyd secure that elusive victory against Clemson's arch rival, answering every possible critic in the process? The plot thickens as this annual grudge match approaches, but rest assured, beating the Gamecocks is of the utmost importance. And now the waiting game begins as just seven days remain to see which team can claim bragging rites in his ever-emerging rivalry.

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