Wake Forest Review


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Wake Forest Review

Wake Forest Review
Clemson improved to 6-0 with an impressive 28-14 win over a good Wake Forest team on Saturday. There were a ton of positives that came out of Saturday. The Tigers came out firing on all cylinders with two drives that netted151 yards of total offense and 14 points the first two times they had the football.

Clemson‘s offense looked great under Kelly Bryant who was 21 of 29 for 200 yards passing. He looked sharp and in control of the offense. Bryant added 39 yards rushing before leaving the game in the third quarter when he rolled his ankle.

Zerrick Cooper looked decent, but Hunter Johnson had perhaps his best game of his young career. The true freshman was 5-5 passing for 42 yards including his first touchdown pass of his career.

Clemson was balanced on offense against a good defensive front. The Tigers had 48 runs and 41 passes on the day. The running game produced 190 yards as the Tigers averaged 4.0 yards per carry. In the passing game, Clemson threw for 263 yards.

Eleven different receivers caught passes Saturday including a couple of career highs. Tee Higgins had his best game and showed some signs with three catches for 39 yards. Cornell Powell had a couple of receptions and made a terrific play on special teams. Deon Cain busted out with a score on the first drive of the game and had a key third down reception. Deondre Overton also played well once again, and Cannon Smith had his first career touchdown reception.

The defense was dominant until the final ten minutes of the game when Clemson had a 28-0 lead, and the reserves allowed a couple of scores.

Clemson’s defense allowed only two of Wake’s first 11 drives to go more than five plays.

Tre Lamar is really coming into his own at linebacker. Dorian O’Daniel was very impressive especially in coverage where several times he was matched up on Wake’s best receiver Greg Dortch. I thought the secondary played its best game. The defense had seven passes broken up.

The Tigers are deep and talented at all three levels on defense and Saturday provided another chance to show future opponents the issues they will be facing. Clemson’s defensive front controls the line of scrimmage, the linebackers run to the football and tackle extremely well, and the secondary continues to make huge strides. At this point, I am not sure what type of offense could have the most success against Clemson.

Special teams were once again a positive. Will Spiers average 41.5 yards on his four punts and even completed a pass to Powell. Ray Ray McCloud averaged 14.5 yards per punt return and almost broke a couple.

I would have loved to have seen the Tigers complete the shut out, but this one had a bunch of really positive results. Dabo said eight offensive linemen played at least 30 plays Saturday. This staff doesn’t covet blowouts. Instead, they play a bunch of players for two reasons. First, this is a long season, and they want players to be fresh coming down the stretch. Also, young players get valuable experience, and this cuts down on the chances of major rebuilding projects in the coming years.

The win also meant the impressive numbers continue to mount. Clemson won its 11th consecutive game, tied for the fifth-longest winning streak in school history. The record is 17 between November 22, 2014, and December 31, 2015. The Tigers won its 20th of its last 21 games overall and its 37th of its last 39 games. It was the 20th consecutive game over an ACC Atlantic Division team and the15th straight game in the month of October.Clemson ensured its third consecutive season with at least a 6-0 start. It is the first time that Clemson has started at least 6-0 for three straight years since doing so between 1928 and 1930.

Clemson has also won 49 of its last 50 games against unranked opponents. This weekend Michigan and Oklahoma were upset by unranked opponents. Oklahoma lost to a 30-point underdog, and it marked the seventh straight year the Sooners have lost as a double-digit favorite.

My point is that I take none of this for granted. I am enjoying this special time in Clemson football and hope no one wakes me up from this dream anytime soon.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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