5 Offensive keys for the Clemson Tigers against Georgia Tech

·4 min read

Week one in college football is upon us with Clemson’s Labor Day night matchup at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta against Georgia Tech fast approaching.

There are some powerhouse matchups early, with No. 2 Ohio State playing a national contender in No. 5 Notre Dame to kick off their season in a possible season-defining game while the Tigers, on the other hand, stack up as heavy favorites against the Yellow Jackets. While it may not be the toughest week one matchup, we all know crazy things can happen any given Saturday… or, in this case, Monday.

Expectations for the Clemson defense are incredibly high and for a good reason. Most of the questions surrounding this team heading into their first game of the season is whether the offense can take that next step and bounce back to the form Tigers fans have grown accustomed to over the last decade.

Clemson’s defense is the team’s evident strength, though the team will only go as far as the offense allows them to. They’ve got the tools to put it together, but having the ability to do it and actually doing it are two very different things. It is time for the Clemson offense to prove that they can get things done.

Here are five keys for the Clemson offense against Georgia Tech.

Air it out

Syndication: The Des Moines Register

Something I’ve found nearly every Clemson fan has been frustrated with and honestly tired of is the constant wide receiver screens that repeatedly fail. Starting quarterback DJ Uiagalelei needs to be put in a position to not only succeed but also gain some confidence. Clemson needs to take more shots downfield to maximize Uiagalelei’s strength and potential.

Utilize the entire Clemson "three-headed monster"

Syndication: The Greenville News

Will Shipley is the guy for the Tigers, but splitting carries early in the season between the Tigers’ “three-headed monster” should be critical. A significant piece of Clemson’s issues last season was just the amount of injuries the team had to deal with. Both starting running back Will Shipley and backup but more of a 1B Kobe Pace missed time last season, occasionally at the same time. Shipley, Pace, and third-string running back Phil Mafah should all get touches against the Yellow Jackets.

The offensive line has to perform

Syndication: The Greenville News

The success of the Clemson offense will start at the offensive line. Injuries were a big key of last years team as injuries caused the Tigers to work in multiple different offensive line units throughout the season. This led to an inconsistent group that struggled more often than a team would like. The offensive line this season is a more experienced group though depth is still a concern for the unit. This group needs to prove that they can not only take the next step, but remain healthy along the way.

Get Cade Klubnik reps

Syndication: The Greenville News

DJ Uiagalelei is the week one starter for the Tigers, but Cade Klubnik needs to see some reps Monday. Personally, I’ve never been a believer in the “two starting quarterbacks” route multiple coaches have attempted in college football, and I never will be. It just doesn’t work. On the other hand, with how mightily DJ struggled last season and with the No.1 quarterback of the 2022 class impressing in camp, the guy needs to see solid reps on the field. DJ has the tools to succeed and be a great quarterback for the Tigers, but Swinney and the coaching staff also know what they have in Klubnik. Give him some reps, and let’s see what he can do.

Show up

Syndication: Greenville

Very simple; the Clemson offense just needs to show up and perform. Time and time again last season, an offense that had the tools to succeed didn’t. At times, it looked like the offense was getting worse rather than better, which cannot happen this season if Swinney and the Tigers have college football playoff aspirations. If the Clemson offense can show up and perform against Georgia Tech, that will be a major success for the team’s outlook. Too often did the offense play down to their opponent’s level; it’s time to show up and hopefully show out.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire