3 keys for Saturday

CLEMSON - CUTigers publisher Roy Philpott looks at three keys for Clemson's game against S.C. State.

1) FIND PLAYMAKERS
It was painfully obvious in the second half against Georgia last weekend the Clemson offense has some growing up to do. Part of the problem were dropped passes. Part of the problem was inexperience. Part of the problem was on the offensive line. Simply put, all of this needs to get better in a hurry. There's enough talent there to make it happen but Clemson also has to take more chances with its play-calling as well. We need to see more zone-read, less missed assignments and more inspired play on the offensive side of the ball. TE Jordan Leggett also needs to be targeted down the field and more plays need to be designed to go to freshman wide receivers Demarre Kitt and Artavis Scott. And what about at running back? Wayne Gallman needs at least 15 touches and Adam Choice needs to the see the field. The Tigers have to identify playmakers Saturday to build confidence for the rest of the September schedule.

2) NO SPECIAL TEAMS MISCUES
Last weekend's setback at Georgia was one of the more disappointing special teams efforts of the Dabo Swinney era. The Tigers gave up a back-breaking 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and missed a chip-shot field goal too. Clemson can't do that against Florida State, Louisville and South Carolina and expect to win. This is a great week to begin to get this crew in order. Ammon Lakip needs to connect on all his field goal attempts and the kick coverage teams need to be lights out. Period.

3) DOMINATING D
All of the preseason hype surrounding this unit was quickly erased in the fourth quarter of a 24-point loss at UGA. Where were the turnovers? Where were the big plays produced by Stephone Anthony and Vic Beasley? These two guys need to step up against an opponent that Clemson should be able to overwhelm. The addition of Corey Crawford should also help set the edge better if S.C. State dials up the toss sweep the way that Georgia did. We all understand the Tigers are heavy favorites this weekend, but it's important this team establishes confidence by winning in a convincing fashion. Beasley, Grady Jarrett and company need to register multiple sacks and tackles for loss and become more dominant at the point of attack - for four quarters. Let's hope it happens.

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