For several weeks now, Clemson has been looking for that complete game, and they found it as they racked up a season-high 610 total yards on offense and cruised to a 59-10 victory over the abysmal Virginia Cavaliers. Thanks to that, the Tigers will get a much needed bye week to prepare for Georgia Tech‘s option attack.
With that being said, here are the final thoughts and grades for the Tigers’ offense against the Cavaliers:
After a slow start in the first quarter, Tajh Boyd went 24-of-29 for 377 yards and three touchdowns and an interception, while also adding a rushing touchdown. Despite the interception, Boyd and the offense took good care of the football after their turnover troubles the past two weeks against Florida State and Maryland. Both Cole Stoudt and Chad Kelly also saw time in the win, with Kelly scoring the first touchdown of his Clemson career on a 39-yard scamper. Both of them should certainly make an interesting case for Clemson’s quarterback situation next year in addition to the highly touted Deshawn Watson.
Running Back: B
While no Tigers eclipsed the century mark, three of the Tigers’ healthy running backs each scored a touchdown, with Rod McDowell paving the way with 70 rushing yards, scoring both a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown, while DJ Howard and CJ Davidson respectively added 32 yards and 23 yards to the mix. With the Tigers being really by committee and not really having that one back on the roster who can get those consistent 20-carry plus games, the rushing stats continue to be very divided, especially with Boyd often used as a running threat.
Wide Receiver: A
Sammy Watkins‘ draft stock continues to rise every week with his dynamic threat in the passing game. Last week, he grabbed 14 balls for 163 yards with no touchdowns. This time, he burned the Cavs’ secondary with eight receptions for 169 yards and two touchdowns, including a 96-yard bomb in the third quarter from Boyd. Martavis Bryant quietly becomes a more consistent threat, finishing with five catches for 72 yards. Mike Williams should be making the Tigers’ future at receiver look brighter each week, with his few yet crucial catches in every game.
Offensive line: C
Clemson’s offensive line play has not been the most consistent aspect about the Tigers’ offense in recent weeks, especially in the run game. The revolving door at left guard between David Beasley and Kalon Davis, as well as right tackle between Gifford Timothy and Shaq Anthony, and the difficulty in picking up blitzes remains a problem that needs solving. In addition, there may be a change at center, as Jay Guillermo replaced Ryan Norton and the line played better from then on. This is a group that must find some kind of continuity at some point, and it may start with the possible addition of the potential laden Isaiah Battle at left tackle, which would allow Brandon Thomas to move to either left guard or right tackle.