Clemson Football

Tiger Tracker: How Did Clemson Perform Against Wake Forest?

October 12, 2017

Offense: B

The Clemson offense came out on fire, scoring two touchdowns on their first two possessions of the game to jump up 14-0 on Wake Forest. The Tigers hit cruise control after that, allowing the suffocating defense to take over. It was another ho-hum effort at home, similar to the Boston College game, but even a ho-hum effort allowed the Tigers to put up 453 yards of offense. Unlike the Boston College game, though, the Tigers put this one to bed early on and didn't let it get interesting in the fourth quarter. 

The running game was all-around solid yet again, with 48 attempts split among five different ball carriers for 190 yards and two scores. The passing game was solid, with Kelly Bryant connecting on 21 of 29 attempts for 200 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

When Bryant hurt his ankle in the third quarter, Zerrick Cooper came in and struggled a bit, hitting on just two of six attempts and underthrowing a wide open Deon Cain for what would have been a walk-in touchdown. Freshman Hunter Johnson fared well, coming in after Cooper and completing all five of his attempts for 42 yards and a pretty touchdown toss to backup tight end Cannon Smith. If nothing else, the Tigers may have found their true number two quarterback. That has to count for something. 

Defense: A-

The Tigers defense did what it does. The Tigers front four continue to choke the life out of every opponent making it difficult to move the ball. Wake Forest could get nothing going through three quarters as the Tigers racked up eight tackles for loss, three sacks and five quarterback pressures on the Deacons, who were without starting quarterback John Wolford.

Tanner Muse led the way, posting eight tackles, one tackle for loss, a quarterback hurry and a pass deflection in another good outing for the first time starter at safety. Wake Forest finally found some room to breathe in the fourth quarter, putting up two scores late. By that time, it was too late as they found themselves in a 28-0 hole. 

Special Teams: B+ 

It was another good day for Will Spiers, as he averaged 41.5 yards per punt on four tries, including one punt that went for 51 yards. Spiers also completed a pass on a fake punt to help the Tigers pick up a first down, showing off a little juice in his arm left over from his days as a high school quarterback.

Ray-Ray McCloud continued to shine in the punt return game, taking four punts and returning them for a total of 58 yards. McCloud looks like he might be a step or two away from taking one to the house.

The kicking game is still a question right now, as Alex Spence missed a 43 yarder. Those misses haven't bitten the Tigers yet, but this is something you should keep an eye on moving forward. 

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Tiger Tracker: How Did Clemson Perform Against Wake Forest?

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