The Tigers didn’t come out on top against Florida State, but we don’t have to wonder who this team is anymore.
Last week I spoke about how this game will determine who each of these teams are for the remainder of the 2023 season. Factoring in the level of competition they played, this was Clemson’s best game all season.
On the field, they resembled a top-ten team. Cade Klubnik made plays with his arms and feet. The backfield combo of Shipley and Mafah helps keep the offense moving down the field. The defense didn’t allow Jordan Travis to get comfortable and completely negated FSU running game.
So how did they lose this game?
Let’s check out the report card.
Cade Klubnik didn’t have an eye-popping game on the stat sheet, but he did make the plays when the Tigers needed them. A very solid performance from the sophomore.
Running Backs: B
Wide Receivers: B+
Klubnik spread the ball around with seven players catching a pass. Jake Briningstool led the group, but none of the wide receivers dominated the coverage.
Offensive Line: C+
The offensive line gave up three sacks and but six tackles behind the line of the scrimmage. An average day for the Big Uglies up front.
Offensive Coordinator: C-
This grade is solely for the final two drives of the games. Garrett Riley’s playcalling was the reason why FSU had enough time to tie the ball game. When the ball should have been on the ground, Riley overcoached.
Defensive Line: A-
The defensive line was disruptive, and they made life very uncomfortable for Jordan Travis. Xavier Thomas had a great game with four tackles, two tackles for loss, and a sack.
FSU ground game was a non-factor, and the linebacker group played a big role in that. Jermiah Trotter Jr. had a solid day with six tackles, and a sack, and assisted on a tackle behind the scrimmage.
The secondary did a good job not allowing the FSU receivers to make a lot of big plays down the field. The group defended five passes, but they couldn’t make the final plays in the crucial parts of the game.
Defensive Coordinator: A-
Clemson’s defense shut down FSU’s run game and disrupted the passing game. Wes Goodwin put together a great game plan, but the offense kept putting his defense in challenging situations.