The Clemson Tigers put together one of the worst offensive performances in the Dabo Swinney era as the Tigers fell like a mighty oak to the Florida State Seminoles 51-14. They totalled only 326 passing yards, with 203 passing yards and 123 rushing yards. With the loss, the Tigers have lost their hopes of a BCS national championship as well as potentially any hopes of a return to the ACC Championship.
That being said, here are the grades for the Tigers this week on offense:
Quarterback Tajh Boyd hadn’t really given Tiger fans too much to complain about, but his performance against the Seminole defense was not anywhere near average. Boyd completed 17-of-37 passes for 156 yards, throwing only one touchdown and two interceptions. Boyd also fumbled a ball that led to a Florida State fumble return for a touchdown. Boyd himself accounted for three of the Tigers’ four turnovers.
It’s difficult for any team to win when your quarterback turns the ball over three times. The Tigers still have plenty to keep playing for, but Boyd can’t afford to have games like these if the Tigers want to get a BCS Bowl bid.
Running Back: D
Due to the Tigers’ abandonment of the running game, the running backs were a complete non-factor in this game. Rod McDowell and Zac Brooks only touched the ball on running plays for a combined 18 times, with most of Brooks’ touches coming later in the game. McDowell did make a critical mistakes in which he ran backwards and took the Tigers out of field goal range when the game was still within reach at 17-7.
The running game has not made any kind of traction since the Georgia game in the season opener, and it should be steadily observed in the second half of the season.
Wide Receiver: F
The receivers simply got outplayed and failed to create separation from the man coverage that Florida State employed for most of the night. Sammy Watkins had eight receptions for 68 yards and a touchdown. Other players only caught three passes or less, and accumulated less than 50 receiving yards.
Tight end Stanton Seckinger, who had been a sure handed target for the Tigers, dropped several passes and had a costly fumble on the Tigers’ first offensive play of the game. Martavis Bryant and Adam Humphries did not even appear to be viable options in Boyd’s head as he continually forced passes and receivers continually dropped passes.
Even Watkins has a couple of easy drops that he should have made. Not a great day for a Clemson receiving corps that has been the saving grace of this offense thus far.
Offensive Line: D
The offensive line struggled to hold up against Florida State’s athleticism along their defensive line, especially on the right side where right tackle Gifford Timothy let a Florida State defender unblock. This led to the fumble that was returned by defensive linemen Mario Edwards.
The battle in the trenches was lost along the offensive line, who failed to step up to the plate as they allowed four sacks. While they could have had potential success in the running game, Chad Morris‘s abandonment of the running game put any kind of halt on getting into any kind of rhythm along the offensive line. The Tigers need to solidify their offensive line, especially at right tackle and left guard.