After a dismal showing which produced just 188 yards of total offense, including zero yards rushing against Alabama, it seems obvious to say Clemson has some work to do up front.
Offensive line coach Brad Scott met with the media Monday to discuss his strategy going forward and here is part of that conversation:
What are some of the personnel changes you are considering, if any, at this point?
Scott: Well, I lost Barry Humphries so obviously I've got to make an adjustment there. [Mason] Cloy played respectable for his first time in the game. So I'll put him in at guard and see how he does. Probably don't have a lot of choices there. We are a little thin on the second team.
Did you anticipate your guys struggling as much as they did against Alabama?
Scott: Well if you go back and look at the tape it's one guy here and another guy over here. Missed assignments. Got beat on a pass protection. Five guys have to do it together. One guy would make a mistake and we'd get a zero gain. There were a few plays out there where we had them blocked pretty good and maybe just one guy would get in on a break down here or there. But that's to be expected when you don't have any game experience. Some of these guys were playing for the first time in that kind of arena. That was a tough draw for the first game. You'd like to break them in a little bit maybe with schools with hyphens in their names but we didn't get that.
Did anybody play decent for you?
Scott: Yeah, who really played well was Chris Hairston. His pass protection. Our tackles held up good. Our problems are inside a little bit. It got to be a one-dimensional game and that's not a good situation to be in. Hairston played well. Lambert played okay, he needs to be more solid on his sets maybe but he played pretty solid there. Chris played like a veteran player which really he's not a veteran player. He had just one start last year so I was pleased with him.
Do you need guys like Wilson Norris and David Smith to step up?
Scott: Sure do. It's early in the year and we've got 11 games and a bowl game left. It's a redshirt freshmen and it was their first game. I didn't think those guys were ready to play, Cloy was, and I got him in there early then Barry got hurt on the 19th play of the game and Cloy played the rest of the way. I thought he did well for a redshirt freshman against their two tackles, who were very good players. So I was pleased with Cloy, I think Austin can play better than he did, he didn't play terrible, but he had his hands full with big No. 62.
Who is your No. 3 guard with Cloy in the starting lineup?
Scott: David Smith. He's the next guy who's closest with the pass and the run. David played 10 snaps [Saturday]. He started off pretty good. He didn't do bad but he wasn't quite as consistent as Cloy was. I think he's got a chance but we'll see what he does this week during practice.
What about Antoine McClain?
Scott: I told Antoine McClain in the second of that game I didn't think he was ready yet. Not with us being one dimensional having it to throw it every time. That might be for his confidence and for our quarterback and all. I knew it was important he wanted to play in that game but I hope these next few games at home here he'll keep improving this week. He's certainly going to play this year but that was a game for veteran players and I had about three veteran players and a couple of guys who were starting for the first time and some did okay and some didn't.
What about Matt Sanders?
Scott: Matt has an extremely long way to go. This offense isn't one where you can insert a true freshman and you can get him ready to go in a three or four days. It just doesn't happen that way. Matt is going to be a good player, but fundamentally, understanding his techniques and assignments right now ... it's hard to do. If I get another injury, he's a guy I'd have to bring back in the lineup.
Bringing Hutchinson back, is that a sign Humphries may not be back?
Scott: Well it was like an ACL last night and then they did an MRI and they said it's a chance it's not a complete ACL tear. They are going to scope it and make a decision. You have to prepare for the worst.
What did you tell Barry?
Scott: He was playing hard. He was playing absolutely his best game he'd ever played at Clemson. Humphries was. I think he had 19 plays and five knockdowns. When he got hurt, he had already made one block and had got up and got leg whipped and got hurt. He understands there's nothing he can do about it. He'll work hard. If they give him a chance to work hard for a month and can come back. He's going to do everything he possibly can to come back. But if it's a tear, he'll hopefully come back for spring practice.
Scott Breaks Down Offensive Line
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