GRADES: Taking Care of Business

CLEMSON - It's not what you'd call a memorable win, but the Tigers dominated S.C. State Saturday to the tune of 54-0.

OFFENSE: B+
For the second consecutive week, Clemson rushed for over 150 yards and the offensive line showed improvement. James Davis looked like the future leading rusher in school history with three touchdowns and 95 yards on just 11 carries. That's all of the good news. The bad news is Cullen Harper looked shaky early on, throwing two interceptions before settling down to direct a handful of scoring drives to put Clemson ahead comfortably before halftime. It must be said Willy Korn entered the game in the second half and completed all seven of his passes for 76 yards and a touchdown while also rushing four times for 20 yards and another score. Not bad.

DEFENSE: A
While there was more pressure put on S.C. State QB Malcolm Long than N.C. State's Russell Wilson, he still had plenty of time to survey the field to find open receivers more times than Vic Koenning would like. In the end however, the secondary played very well, recording three interceptions. The run defense was also outstanding, holding the Bulldogs to -10 yards on the day. Next week won't be as easy but the defense did show improvement Saturday.

SPECIAL TEAMS: A
Make it four games in a row as once again Clemson's special teams played well. Mark Buchholz made his only field goal attempt from 27 yards out and all connected on all of his extra points. Jimmy Maners was solid on his two punts, averaging 40.5 yards per attempt and the return game provided Clemson with good field position more times than not.

COACHING: A
Truthfully not much could come out of a game like this but the Tigers took care of business, winning by 54 points. With three games in the books post-Alabama, we'll start to find out more about how much the Tigers have improved next weekend against Maryland. At 3-1 overall and 1-0 in the ACC, Clemson still has essentially has every preseason goal on the table, but the easy ones are over. The staff has to continue to develop its young offensive and defensive lines, while also getting its quarterback to play a little better as well.

OVERALL: A
The Tigers kept S.C. State off the scoreboard, holding the Bulldogs to -10 yards rushing, scoring 54 points on offense and coasting to an easy victory. Furthermore, Tommy Bowden was able to put in many of his young players on the offensive and defensive lines, and even at quarterback. Again, it won't be easy going forward but a dominating win over anybody right now looks pretty good. The Tigers get an "A" but even more improvement is needed across the board to win the next two games.

CUTigers.com Top Stories