Statistically, Clemson had a very good day in the secondary. Wofford passed for only 16 yards. However, Wofford usually throws the ball about as often as a lunar eclipse. In addition, Wofford was able to pass for a touchdown as Isaac Goodpaster beat Briane Mance in the corner of the end zone.
But building confidence is not based on statistics alone. Confidence is bred from success, and the Tigers did have success defending the pass versus Wofford last Saturday. All of problems of the secondary were not solved, but confidence was built.
Woody Being Woody
As I said last week, it sure would be nice to see Woody have a 200-yard passing and 100 yard rushing game against the Terriers. Woody did top the passing mark by throwing for 207 yards with 21 completions in 30 attempts. But, for the second straight week, the running ability of Woody was greatly neutralized as Danztler ran for 53 yards.
Combining both the running and passing of Woody accounted for 260 total yards, certainly nothing to be ashamed of. In addition, Willie Simmons came in the final quarter to get a couple of drives under his belt. While the numbers are pretty solid, there still seems to be something missing with Woody. I've yet to put my finger on it, so we will just have to keep watching closely.
Will They Come?
While the Central Florida crowd was every bit of 79,000, the Wofford crowd was far less. Clemson announced the crowd at 78,000, but there is no way much more than 70,000 fannies were actually in the seats.
And, who can blame them? With all due respect, Wofford is not the kind of team that fickle fans are going to come and see. Add to the fact that it felt like a sauna in Death Valley because of the 1:00 start time, and you get a lot of empty seats. Attendance at Clemson continues to be a frustrating topic, and next week probably won't be any better.
Receivers Step Up
As Roscoe Crosby limped off the field, you could hear the gasp of Tiger fans in the stands. An already depleted area with the loss of Kevin Youngblood, Crosby's loss was, to say the least, a very worrisome occurrence.
But one mans loss is another mans opportunity. Give a ton of credit to J.J. McKelvey and Derrick Hamilton, both of whom stepped up nicely Saturday. McKelvey caught 8 passes for 73 yards and two touchdowns. Hamilton caught 4 passes for 55 yards, showing nice hands and the ability to get yards after the catch.
As the competition steps up, McKelvey and Hamilton will again be challenged to step their games up. But for one Saturday afternoon, both gave a glimpse into the potential that these two young stars exhibit.
For most of the afternoon, it appeared as if Willie Simmons would not be getting too many reps as the backup quarterback. But, as the 4th quarter started, the Tigers' lead was marginal enough to get Willie his first snaps of the 2001 season. Willie showed his good, and his bad. The touchdown drive he directed showed Willie's strong arm and daft for staying in the pocket and finding the open receivers. The interception showed his poor judgment as he threw into coverage.
In any case it was valuable playing time for Simmons, something that is needed in the coming week as well.
Next week, the Tigers play host to the Duke Blue Devils in Death Valley. Here is a quick look at my "5 Things To Watch" for next week.
For once it would be nice to see the team look like they are fired up to play. Thank the athletic department for questionable scheduling and the ACC for scheduling four home games in a row against inferior teams for the problem. But, college football players should be having more fun than this team is right now.
#2-Block, For Goodness Sakes
The Tiger offensive line has yet to dominate a defensive line this year. Pass protection has not been great at times, and that needs to change in a hurry. It might not matter versus Duke, but it will the next week versus Virginia.
#3-Will They Come?
This one may be a weekly entry until Clemson fans come out to the games on a consistent basis.
#4-How About A Laugher
We keep expecting to see Clemson just pulverize somebody, and we have yet to even come close. Going out of the stadium for my snack at halftime with a 35 point lead next week sure would be more enjoyable than what has happened the last two weeks.
#5-Make The Tackles
Missed tackles were an embarrassment last week, and I would guess Reggie Herring will have the defense going through physical practices this week. Whatever they do, the tackling must improve drastically before the Tigers face opponents of higher quality.
It has been a funky start to the season…but last time I checked Clemson has won all the games it has played.
Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott is the host of "The College Football Weekend Preview" on Thursday nights from 8-10 p.m. immediately falling Tiger Calls on WCCP 104.9 FM. The show can also be heard via the Internet at www.wccpfm.com.
Grading Wofford…Looking To Duke
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