Breaking Down the O-Line

CLEMSON - Here's the latest on Clemson's offensive play from assistant coach Brad Scott.

(4:48)

What's the latest you are hearing about Chris Hairston?
Scott: I don't know. I would hope he can play this week but the trainer thought that may be a stretch. I'm going to try and get him out there and practice. He might have a little con in him. I don't know. We'll find out.

Overall, Coach Bowden didn't seem to be real pleased with anybody's performance Saturday, but Thomas Austin. Your thoughts?
Scott: It was an improvement. Each week we are getting better. Cloy continues to do good for me. Thomas is playing good football right now. We did play faster. There was a little surge off the ball. I thought the backs ran extremely well. For his first start, Walker started slow and had a few mistakes here and there but he ended the game playing better than the first quarter. He was wired up there in the beginning. His pass protection was pretty solid. We'll see how we do. We just have to keep getting better and better until I get those other guys.

What is this unit doing better in your estimation?
Scott: We are playing faster. I think they just have a little determination about them. I think they played better [as the game went on] and N.C. State got a little bit fatigued, kind of like what it was last year. We ended the game last year on a big long drive. A little of it was C.J. He was running on a mission. He really ran hard. The guys were having some fun, coming off the ball. It was no different than the first part of the game. First part of the game we were calling a lot of plays. The last drive we went to the old inside zone play. Most of those plays and that's kind of what we do best.

Was it about what you expected for starting three freshmen?
Scott: Well we made it through the game. We didn't give up a sack, there was a pressure here or there, and that team had some good pass rushers. That was pretty good. I don't like making a living off of three freshmen but you have to do it and you develop depth and it will only make us a better team. Certainly they competed. Not a single guy turned it down or didn't try or didn't play hard or play fast. That's an improvement right there. I was happy with that.

Thomas Austin said this morning the true test of the offensive line will be if you guys could come back from a deficit with the game on the line. Is that the case?
Scott: We couldn't have gotten off to a tougher start. Right off the bat we were behind and then right after that we took it all the way down the field and scored and for a young group I thought that was good. Of course we have a lot of good skill talent around us and they cover up for some of our mistakes too. But if guys are competing and playing hard that's all I can ask. There is a little thing called experience and this is where you get it. If they didn't know what to do or they weren't playing physical or tough then I'd be concerned. Our mistakes our little parts of the game where they need to see the field better. The short-yardage run through- the only short yardage we didn't get we let a MIKE linebacker run through the A-gap on us. And we are double-teaming on those plays but somebody off the double team is responsible for that guy and that's the kind of stuff I'm talking about. Veteran players see the game faster than some of our young guys. But I don't have any complaints about us playing hard. They've practiced good the last two weeks and they have improved in practiced and improved in the game.

Is Jamarcus Grant at tackle a temporary fix?
Scott: That's the depth problem until I get Hairston back in there. He played 15 to 16 snaps for me. He's athletic enough to kick out there and pass block a little bit and he knows more about the offense than the other guys. I didn't have really any other tackle other Antoine McClain. He filled a void for me right there.

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