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Halftime Analysis: Clemson-Pitt

Looking back at the first half of the Clemson Tigers road matchup with the Pitt Panthers.

Through one half of play, Brent Venables' defense is giving the Tigers a chance at pulling off the upset win at Pitt.

Clemson heads into the locker room trailing Pitt 14-7, as the team looks for its fifth win of the season.

Halftime Analysis:

  • Devastating fourth-down conversion for Pitt just before the end of the half, as freshman Barrett Carter got burned by Taysir Mack for a 39-yard touchdown.
  • This offense continues to shoot itself in the foot. Missed blocks, dropped passes, and accuracy issues from D.J. Uiagalelei continue to plague this team. Not to mention a false start on a 3rd and 1. However, the Tigers do have 189 yards of offense in the half, they just have to find some consistency.
  • Drops continue to be a major issue. Braden Galloway, Beaux Collins, Will Shipley and Ajou Ajou all had critical drops.
  • The offense had a chance to get some momentum back after Pitt's first score late in the second quarter, but the drops by Collins and Ajou put the Tigers in a third and long situation and they could not convert. A common theme throughout the season. 
  • The offense has to be better on third downs. Clemson was just 1-6 in that first half. For comparison's sake, Pitt is 6-11.
  • The injuries continue to mount, as Clemson lost another key piece when offensive lineman Matt Bockhorst left with what looked like a possible knee injury. Bockhorst has been one of the mainstays on an offensive line that has had issues with continuity.
  • Tyler Davis is back for Venables' defense and not a moment too soon. Davis has been a force on the interior throughout the first half, consistently pushing the pocket back and not allowing Pitt quarterback Kenny Pickett to get too comfortable and stay in a rhythm.
  • Clemson has already forced one turnover, and if they are going to pull out a win against the Panthers, they just might need one or two more.
  • Shipley is also back from a knee injury and on two occasions was inches away from breaking off a big play. Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah have filled in admirably in his absence but neither have the explosiveness that Shipley possesses. However, he had one crucial drop that would have no doubt been a touchdown. Again, something this offense has seen far too often in 2021.
  • Pickett was able to start getting into a rhythm late in the half, as Pitt went on a 13-play scoring drive late in the that culminated in a 23-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Addison. The quarterback was 17-29 for 218 yards with the one touchdown throw. Venables' group will have to find a way to slow him down because this Clemson offense is not capable of surviving a shootout-type game.

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