Clemson football is currently battling Wake Forest in Winston Salem. Tigers lead 27-0 at the half.
There were a few things that stood out in the first half for Clemson football. With no spring practice, no summer practice, and no traditional fall camp practices, no one knew what to expect tonight from the good guys in the orange helmets.
As expected, there was some good and bad for the Tigers in the first half.
Travis Etienne – Good
There was clearly a concerted effort to get the senior running back more involved in the offense.
At the end of the first quarter, Travis Etienne had 10 carries for 82 yards and was making a lot of that happen on his own – more on that later. For his career, Etienne has averaged more than eight yards per carry against Wake Forest and he has been able to gash them in the first half.
He ended the first half with 15 carries for 94 yards.
Offensive line – Bad
The middle of the Clemson football offensive line is being manhandled by the Wake Forest defensive line – many times getting pressure by just rushing three.
Cade Stewart has been two yards in the backfield after nearly every snap. There was a lot of concern with the offensive line as they are replacing four starters. Don’t let the points or the yards fool you, this is happening because Tony Elliott is doing a great job of calling plays that allow the ball to get out quickly and on the edge.
Many will point to Travis Etienne’s numbers to argue this point but he is a very physical runner and is picking up most of his yards after contact.
They have done a good job of communicating on blitzes, which is something that they can build off of. No one should be too worried about this as this is one of the toughest groups when it comes to building chemistry.
Freshman Defensive Lineman – Good
Bryan Bresee and Myles Murphy look like grown men among grown men.
They are making their impact felt immediately. You almost feel sorry for the older players at those spots because those two are going to demand more and more playing time and Todd Bowles, Brent Venables, and Dabo Swinney are going to be unable to stop that from happening.
They are that good.
The second half will be a lot of fun as we see senior linebacker James Skalski for the first time as well as the younger guys like D.J. Uiagalelei log their first snaps of the season.