I think this was the best game we have seen from the Clemson offense against an FBS opponent.  There were still mistakes, but we didn’t see the ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ ridiculous mistakes – the drops, the complete whiffs on blocks, the penalties, etc.

DJ had a decent day.  Not perfect by any means, but there was no point in the game that I thought he should be subbed out.  His touchdown pass to Davis Allen was his best pass of the season.  He really couldn’t have thrown it better, and his receiver did the work for him and made the play.  The scoop ‘n’ score touchdown by FSU was bad, but in my opinion, that was more on the blocker than DJ.  We all want DJ to feel that pressure and react, but I think the person who really wants that play back is Walker Parks.  My only other criticism is that DJ still locks in on his first option too much, sometimes even when he can clearly see the play has been blown up.  I stress again: I think DJ had his best day of the year this Saturday.

Will Shipley and Phil Mafah had a great day.  Sometimes they still have trouble finding running room if the line doesn’t get the best of the defensive rush, but there was more good than bad.  When you add Kobe Pace to the discussion, the Clemson running back room is becoming one of the best and deepest in college football.  CJ Spiller deserves credit for the work he has done to get these young men ready to play.

I also liked what I saw from the receivers, especially Justyn Ross.  I can’t say I saw every single pass play, but I didn’t see the litany of drops that we have seen in every other game this season.  Ngata played well too, and while EJ only had one catch, it was good to see.  As mentioned, Davis Allen’s touchdown catch was strong, and we also got to see a little of Jake Briningstool.  The pass DJ threw to Jake was not on target, but he made a great effort to bring the ball in.

The defense arguably had their worst performance of the year, at least from the perspective of ‘shoot yourself in the foot’ ridiculous mistakes.  Offsides happens. Twice in a row is pretty silly. Three in a quarter is very silly.  Four in a half? There were boos, and I don’t blame the crowd one bit.  Then there was the assist the defense gave Florida State on their way to the endzone.  Sheridan Jones: you don’t have to release the opponent when you tackle them. You can hold onto them until they are down or a teammate can assist you.  You should know that by now. 

In the ‘this is all my fault’ category, I tweeted that BT Potter should be called BT Money after he made his first attempt of the day, and I am pretty sure I jinxed him. My bad.

Overall, while the game was a victory and enjoyable, I think what stands out to me the most is that this team does has a bright future, regardless of how disappointing the 2021 season has been.  While there are some key players, like Skalski and Turner, who are exhausting their eligibility, and some others, like Ross and Booth, who are likely to enter the NFL draft, there are several players contributing right now that will be back next year, and in some cases the next two years at least.  The offensive line has two guys in Tristan Leigh and Ryan Linthicum who were highly rated recruits but needed to redshirt to be physically ready to compete next year.  I fully acknowledge that Clemson needs to find a way to improve the quarterback play. Either DJU needs to make significant improvements, or we hope that Cade Klubnik can make enough progress in spring practice and fall camp that he can contribute quickly.  If we do see improvement at quarterback, there is a lot to be hopeful about in 2022

It was good to see Coach Tommy Bowden back in Death Valley on Saturday.  I have always like him.  Let’s not forget: Dabo Swinney is a Tommy Bowden guy.

I’ve seen both positive and negative comments about Robert Griffin III’s color commentary for the game. Personally, I loved it.  He has personality & he makes it fun to watch.  Thanks to RG3, we now have Phil ‘Bad’ Mafah (shut your mouth). I am adding the Shaft theme song to my gameday playlist.  If he ever misses a detail here or there, that kind of thing will improve as he gets more experience.  I love that he is calling college football, but I think he is on an upward trajectory, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a call to the Monday Night Football booth. That production could use a personality guy on the call.

I think the only thing that stands out to me that was negative this past weekend was the lunatic fringe.  Multiple rants on social media about bias by the announce team – spoiler alert: they weren’t biased, you were just hearing what you want to hear so you can think of yourself as the oppressed victim.  Multiple people who refuse to realize this team played an improved game on Saturday, who want to focus on the mistakes and won’t think of this team as good until they are racking up 600 yards of offense and the defense is pitching a shutout.  I tuned into Clemson radio this morning expecting some good vibes for the first time in a long time, and instead heard crabapples just complaining. One guy whined about the Georgia Tech performance.  A game that happened over a month ago.  Face palm.  Fortunately for all of us, the lunatic fringe truly is a small percentage of this fanbase.  They are just loud & obnoxious, and just sound bigger than they are.  There isn’t much we can do but try to ignore them.

I’d have loved to have the ‘scorched earth’ victory we assumed we were going to get after Florida State flaked on the 2020 game, but under the circumstances, I am quite pleased with the results from Saturday.

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