OFFENSE: A There are two reasons why this isn't an A+. First, one of the two Cullen Harper incompletions was an interception. The other reason is because all these numbers came against one of the worst defenses in the country. Nonetheless, it was still a masterful performance for the surgeon Harper, who continues to carve up defenses with pinpoint accuracy. This was a nearly perfect performance … nearly.
DEFENSE: A This is an area that is going to get overlooked by many, but the Clemson defense played exceptional. The secondary had two interceptions and held the Chippewas to just 76 rushing yards. Central Michigan's quarterback Dan LeFevour entered the game as the USA Today National Player of the Week, but managed just 216 yards passing. The first string unit did give up a touchdown on the game's opening drive, otherwise, this would have been an A+.
SPECIAL TEAMS: B+ This was a much improved area this week and is the first time all year it hasn't earned a failing grade, or worse. Clemson forced two fumbles, one on the punt team and one on the kickoff team. Jacoby Ford had an 82-yard kickoff return and placekicker Mark Buchholz was 10-for-10 on extra-point attempts. However, he missed a 48-yard field goal that wasn't even close. Nonetheless, overall it was very much improved.
COACHING: A+ You have to give credit where credit is due. Every aspect of the Clemson football team played well and up to its potential. There were no letdowns after Central Michigan scored on the game's opening drive and Harper followed by throwing an interception on Clemson's first possession. The Tigers were in total sync and the coaching staff gets the credit for that.
OVERALL: A This was very close to a perfect game. An interception here, a missed field goal there is pretty much all that stood from Clemson getting an A+. Granted, the competition wasn't very good, but the Tigers still performed better than expected, especially having lost two straight and not having played it two weeks.
GRADES: Tigers Pound Central Michigan
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