Midseason Report Card- Clemson Tigers


Oct 12, 2013; Clemson, SC, USA; Clemson Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd (10) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown during the second half against the Boston College Eagles at Clemson Memorial Stadium. Tigers won 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Tigers


Tajh Boyd has been just about what we expected coming in to the season. After deciding to return for his senior season to pursue a national championship, Boyd has led his team to an undefeated record so far, and he personally leads the entire ACC in passing yardage at 1,783. He’s already helped his Heisman credentials with a huge opening week win over Georgia, and can only help his cause even further by knocking off a fifth-ranked Florida State team at home in Death Valley this coming weekend.

Rest of offense: B+

Overall, the Clemson offense has been its usual, explosive self, but there have been some issues. First, and of no fault of their own, they lost their second option at receiver to Sammy Watkins, Charone Peake, for the rest of the year to an ACL injury. Adam Humphries has stepped up admirably, averaging 13.3 yards per catch. Also, the offensive line has been a concern at times. In a close game against NC State a few weeks ago, Boyd was having to run for his life numerous times, creating some situations that almost had them not on the list of the undefeateds.

Defense: B+

To Aaron Murray and Georgia, Clemson gave up 35 points. But, since then, this unit hasn’t allowed any more than 14 points to their last five opponents. The secondary could use a little work, as safety Travis Blanks hasn’t come along as quickly as some people had thought he would, but there are also some coverage issues. Issues that Boston College was able to exploit last weekend as they took the Tigers to the absolute limit.

Offensive spotlight: WR Sammy Watkins

After lighting the world on fire as a freshman in 2011, Watkins had a down year last season. With injuries not helping the matter much, he was the spotlight coming into the season, and he’s kept that spotlight so far halfway through the year by seemingly returning close to his freshman ways. He’s already more than halfway to a 1,000-yard season with 582 yards and four touchdowns, while averaging just a shade over 16 yards per catch.

Defensive spotlight: DE Vic Beasley

He may not have the frame to be considered a defensive end by scouts at the next level, but on the collegiate level, Beasley has been about as good as anyone in the game. He currently leads the nation in sacks with nine and is third in tackles for loss with 12. When Beasley gets into the backfield, the play is pretty much over.