The Clemson Tigers easily avoided upset catastrophe as they head into their first bye week with a 52-13 victory over the South Carolina State Bulldogs. The Tigers beat out both Bulldog opponents in consecutive weeks, and got away from SC State healthy and with no new major injury concerns.
Clemson also continued its solid roll on offense, and the Tigers should feel more confident about their status during their 12-day preparation period for NC State. Here is how the Tigers graded coming out of Week 2:
Quarterbacks — A: The Tigers got solid production from both starter Tajh Boyd and backup Cole Stoudt. While Boyd had a rushing touchdown and no passing touchdowns, the bigger story was Stoudt, who completed 19 of his 20 passes for 143 yards and two touchdowns.
The junior proved his value as a capable backup and certainly comforted both fans and the coaching staff about the depth at quarterback. Stoudt has been Boyd’s backup for three seasons now, having beat off former competitors every year and showing great progress.
While the Tigers hope Stoudt’s number isn’t called back too soon, he can at least run Chad Morris‘s uptempo game to keep the offense on track should his number be called. The quarterbacks also completed passes to 14 different receivers on the day.
Running Backs — A: While Rod McDowell didn’t rush for over 100 yards the way he did in Week 1, he frankly didn’t have to. The Tigers split the carries between all four of their active ball carriers in Week 2, as reserve back C.J. Davidson lead the group with 63 rushing yards.
The Tigers finished the day with 183 yards overall, and none of them committed any turnovers or made any major mistakes. D.J. Howard scored the lone rushing touchdown of the group in a day where the Tigers split the carries among their four main guys on the roster.
Receivers — A: The receivers bounced back from their somewhat shaky Week 1 debut and showcased their ability. While Sammy Watkins had a quiet afternoon with three catches for 19 yards, the real story was the depth at receiver. Martavis Bryant showcased his great speed and height to lead the Tigers with 87 reception yards, and Charone Peake came through with a touchdown catch.
Redshirt freshman Germone Hopper was the start of the receiving corps and took advantage of his opportunity by catching two touchdown passes on six of his receptions. 14 different receivers caught passes, solidifying what is already a deep group on a potent Clemson offense.
Offensive Line — A: The Tigers’ offensive line had little to no trouble protecting its signal caller or creating running lanes against the Bulldogs. Morris frequently went back and forth between his first and second-team lines, and both units performed well under the circumstances.
The quarterbacks were kept clean all game long, and the Tigers have to like where their offensive line situation stands. The Tigers have a stable first-team line and quality depth at the position where anybody can step in at any given moment should they be needed.
The Tigers face a 12-day preparation period before beginning ACC play on Thursday night in Raleigh, North Carolina to face the NC State Wolfpack. As it stands, the Tigers couldn’t ask to be in any better position than they are now.