Yes, there were a lot of points scored, but seven came from the defense and another seven came via a punt return. The offense committed four turnovers and against a good team, it likely would have cost them the game. In addition, the unit only compiled 372 yards despite the fact that the line and backs looked good.
Really, the only negative that can be said about the defense is its lack of a pass rush. Outside of that, the Tigers took care of business. They returned a fumble for a touchdown and nearly had an interception returned for another score. The Owls were inside the 17 of Clemson four times and managed just two field goals.
Special teams: C-
This, too, would have been a lot higher, but the Tigers missed a field goal and an extra point. Making up for the two missed kicks was the 92-yard punt return for a touchdown by Jacoby Ford. That, too, was nearly bad as he fumbled the ball as he initially caught it. C.J. Spiller also fumbled, but this came on a kickoff and the Owls recovered it.
Clemson looked like a team that was well prepared. There were very few penalties or missed assignments. Head coach Tommy Bowden and company got tons of substitutes into the game, while at the same time getting plenty of playing time for the starters. They also were able to keep things close to the vest in preparation of next week's big game at Boston College.
There were a lot of things to be happy about, and a few things not to. Clemson didn't let Florida Atlantic hang around. The Tigers were dominant from the outset. However, there were flaws and, of course, the big injury to starting middle linebacker Anthony Waters. The four turnovers were a major downer and quarterback Will Proctor looked shaky times, but the Tigers will take the win and move on.
Grading Clemson's Win over Florida Atlantic
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