The Clemson Tigers have struggled to find the explosiveness on offense through the first three games of 2021 that they have had in the past.
The offense, that is used to scoring points at will in previous years, is currently averaging 8.5 points per game against FBS opponents, ranks 114 nationally in total yards, 105 nationally in scoring and 101st in passing offense. However head coach Dabo Swinney believes, even though their numbers stink, the Tigers do not.
"Well we have played Georgia," Swinney said. "Don't think you're going to see many people have a bunch of explosives against Georgia. South Carolina State played everyone deep and so we ran the ball and called it a day. We played a team last week that dropped eight and said run the ball. That's our three games. I can assure you we don't stink, we're going to be alright.
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Gone from the 2021 team are veterans Trevor Lawrence, the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft, first-round draft pick Travis Etienne, while those losses certainly are a factor for the Tigers' lack of success offensively, Swinney believes there is a simpler reason.
"Got to stop turning the ball over, I can tell you that...We've put the ball on the ground seven times in the past two games and it's a miracle we only lost two of them," Swinney said. "That kills drives, bad field position, it's just a mess. That's nothing to do with simplifying the scheme. That's fundamentals. You just rep it, rep it, rep it."
When you have poor execution in the little areas, it affects what the coaches can call offensively, as the players have not earned the trust required to open the playbook up.
"Oh yeah, you definitely don't want to add if you're not executing well," Swinney said. "When you have young guys up front, you have to make sure everyone is on the same page. If you aren't targeting guys properly, it's hard to be successful."
The Tigers will attempt to correct their mistakes and begin the process of moving forward offensively Saturday when they travel to Raleigh to take on N.C. State (3:30 pm, ESPN).