Spence Opens It Up

CLEMSON – During his short time at Clemson, offensive coordinator Rob Spence has been criticized for being too conservative with his playing calling. Conservatism was no where to be found against Florida State.

Spence called for more downfield passes than maybe in any other game with the Tigers. And it was no doubt successful. Clemson did anything it wanted to on offense against the Seminoles, short of the rushing game.

"I just thought we were going to have to produce some big plays during the game to win the game," he said. "It was going to require us to make some plays downfield."

The term "explosives" is used to describe pass plays of 16 yards or longer or a run of 12 yards or longer. Against the Seminoles, they came in bunches, be it on a scramble, deep pass, long runs or reverses.

"We need to take advantage of that great speed and that great athleticism we have," Spence said. "When we're hitting on all cylinders, I think we can be pretty good. But I still think we're still a ways away from being what we want to be on offense."

In only three games, Clemson has nine plays of 25 yards or longer. The offense is taking more chances as well as breaking off big plays that maybe were designed to do so.

"There's an interesting statistic in the game of football," Spence said. "If you can produce two more (explosives) than your opponent, you have about an 85 to 88 percent chance of winning the football game.

"That's kind of a measuring stick on whether you can win or will win."

Koenning: Adams good, not great
Senior defensive end Gaines Adams had his best game of the season against Florida State by compiling 2.5 sacks and seven tackles. There were also many more plays in which he caused havoc in the backfield, but got no credit for the play.

Nonetheless, defensive coordinator Vic Koenning agreed that it was his best game, but that he wasn't satisfied with the performance.

"There's still huge room for improvement," Koenning said. "I think his grade was 70 percent. There was a bunch of (missed assignments) and a bunch of things he's got to do better, and he knows it. I'm not being critical of Gaines. I think we all expect a lot out of him and I think he expects a lot out of himself."

Adams played with a partially separated left shoulder, as well as other ailments. He was so sore after the game that he couldn't even speak to the media.

"I wasn't tentative at all," he said. "When you do that, that's when things happen. I just tried to block (the pain) out of my mind."

Faster kicking
Kicking coach Billy Napier is confident placekicker Jad Dean's pace to the kicking the ball will increase, but he's not so sure how long it will take for everything to mesh perfectly.

"We won't know until we play again," Napier said. "I think this is something that won't take long for him to fix."

Quick hits
Linebackers coach David Blackwell said the play of middle linebacker Antonio Clay is improving with each passing day. Like Koenning was with Adams, Blackwell said he's happy with Clay, but not satisfied. … Blackwell also said the play of Nick Watkins has been very, very good. Everything he wants out of Watkins has been delivered. …

Even though cornerback C.J. Gaddis played 17 plays in the nickel package against Florida State, Koenning wouldn't say that Gaddis would be back in the starting lineup. Koenning was very pleased with the play of the young secondary against the Seminoles and it wouldn't be surprising if he kept things the way they were against Florida State. …

At one point Saturday, Gaddis ran out onto the field without Koenning's blessing, which caused him to immediately get substituted.

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