Against the 117th-ranked scoring defense in the nation, Clemson should score 63 points, which it did. Scoring at least 60 against Temple isn't that odd. Louisville and Minnesota each have done it this season. But the point is, they were expected to score that much and the Tigers did. The only bad part was that Clemson actually lost two fumbles and had to punt. Of course, the deep backups did that. Nevertheless, that's why Clemson didn't get an A+.
The first-team defense gave up a field goal against a team that came in averaging just 6.83 points per game. Had that not happened, this would have been an A+. But these types of performances have become expected from the Clemson defense. Coordinator Vic Koenning has his unit playing extremely well, which will be needed next week against Georgia Tech.
SPECIAL TEAMS: D+
Had it not been for Jad Dean's return to his former self, this would have been an F for another week. To allow a Temple player to break the school's all-time return yardage record on just four kicks is inexcusable, especially after wholesale changes were made the kickoff team this week. It is safe to say that if Bowden and his staff don't get things figured out very quickly, it could cost the Tigers another win, much like it did at Boston College. Can you imagine the heat Bowden will take if all that stands between Clemson and a trip to Jacksonville is another kickoff return for a touchdown?
This was a tough one. One on hand, Bowden had his troupes ready to play on both sides of the ball. Dean appears to have his kicking woes behind him, at least for the time being. But on the other hand, Bowden dedicated extra time to the kickoff coverage team this week and even made some coaching changes with it, and it's still in shambles. With two high marks and a failing one, we'll put this grade just slightly higher than average.
The reason it's this grade and not a B or B+ is because Clemson got through the entire game without a single injury and played well, despite the lack of atmosphere. Escaping with no injures is nearly as important as the win itself. However, several in the press box did question Bowden's choice to leave in the starters with a 42-3 lead with only a couple of minutes before halftime. Even so, all the young players played and there were no injuries. So, the Tigers get a high mark here, in spite of the kickoff coverage team.
Grades: Tigers Pound Temple
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