The Clemson Tigers once again took care of business as they should have, defeating the Syracuse Orange in style with a 49-14 victory. The Tigers’ offense looked to capitalize off of the success it had in the previous week against Wake Forest, and it’s safe to say they did that, amassing 628 total yards of offense against a blitzing Syracuse defense.
That being said, it’s time for the Tigers’ Week 6 offensive grades against the Orange:
1. Quarterback: A
Tajh Boyd threw for a career-high 455 yards and tied a career high with five touchdown passes en route to leading the Clemson offense to 628 total yards on offense. Boyd did throw his first two interceptions of the season against Syracuse, although both were tipped off of his intended targets as opposed to being ill-advised throws. Boyd continued his solid performance from the previous week against Wake Forest while keeping the Tigers’ offense on track.
2. Running Back: B
Zac Brooks appears to have gotten most of the snaps among Clemson’s running backs and certainly did not disappoint. While he was only given the ball nine times, he carried the rock for 46 yards, an average of 5.1 yards per carry. He scored the first of Clemson’s two rushing touchdowns and also had a lone reception for 24 yards on a trick play. Brooks is certainly making a strong case for himself with his playing time. Rod McDowell saw the most carries at 13, but he gained only 41 yards. CJ Davidson saw time in mop up duty and carried the rock eight times for 41 yards and a touchdown. This group ended the day with 158 rushing yards.
3. Receivers: A
The receiving corps torched the Syracuse secondary, and none more so than the Tigers’ triple threat of Sammy Watkins, Adam Humphries and Martavis Bryant. Humphries had the best game of his career with 118 yards and two touchdown catches, while Bryant continues to haul in the deep ball with 79 receiving yards and a touchdown. But perhaps the biggest touchdown of the day belonged to Watkins, who hauled in a 91-yard bomb with the Tigers backed up in their own end zone and Syracuse feeling the possibility of a comeback. Tight end Stanton Seckinger also added three more receptions for 48 yards and a touchdown. Clemson once again proved that you can’t simply lock in on Watkins, while Humphries also showed that he can get involved in the deep passing game.
4. Offensive Line: B
Clemson’s offensive line had its ups and downs at times, especially when Syracuse blitzed its linebackers, but overall they kept Boyd clean. Kalon Davis started at left guard while Shaq Anthony started at right tackle for the second consecutive week. Both performed well in pass protection as the game went on and have done enough to warrant a longer look. In the running game, the line was not as effective as it could be, especially on third and short situations. They did block well downfield on their trick play with Zac Brooks that resulted in a 24 yard gain. The key for this group moving forward will definitely be improving at the point of attack in the running game.