ESPN’s biggest spring question for Clemson is all about offense

The Clemson football program has underperformed compared to expectations over the past few seasons, with most of the issues revolving around the Tigers’ decline on offense.

Since college football legend Trevor Lawrence was the Tigers’ starting quarterback, the Tigers have had two starting quarterbacks. DJ Uiagalelei, who is now rival Florida State’s new starter under center, and Cade Klubnik, the Tigers’ current starter. The offenses haven’t been the same since Lawrence for a few reasons.

ESPN recently discussed the biggest questions for their college football top 25 teams, with Clemson’s being, “What’s going on with the offense?”

Is it painting with too broad a brush to just say, “the offense?” Cade Klubnik enters a make-or-break year. Garrett Riley’s scheme was often ineffective in 2023 but should be a better fit this year. The O-line struggled badly at times last year, but new position coach Matt Luke figures to have the unit improved. The receiving corps has been woefully thin in recent years, but Dabo Swinney likes his personnel. There’s upside everywhere on offense, but getting each group to take a step forward at the same time has been an issue. — Hale

There’s no denying that the Tigers’ offense is where improvements need to be made. It’s definitely possible, considering all of the pieces this offense has in place and the amount of talent they have returning in 2024.

While a lot of the expectation goes on Klubnik, I believe it all starts with Riley and how he handles his second season with the Tigers after a first-year letdown. Clemson’s offense wasn’t bad; it just wasn’t explosive and ran toward the middle of the pack in 2023.

For Klubnik, I feel a lot of his development needs to come in the weight room and in his decision-making. Klubnik needs to bulk up a bit more, which shouldn’t be a huge problem as he’ll naturally get bigger throughout an offseason at a top-tier college football program.

In 2023, Klubnik completed 64 percent of his passes for 2,844 passing yards, 19 passing touchdowns, and nine interceptions. He flashed the potential of a great quarterback but didn’t prove to be one. It truly is a make-or-break year for him in 2024.

Story originally appeared on Clemson Wire