CLEMSON —The national media may have to find something else to criticize the Clemson Tigers for this week, as their offense has hit their stride since they had their bye week. In fact, Tigers have outscored their last three opponents by a combined score of 149-31.
Which has head coach Dabo Swinney singing the praises of his Tigers.
"That's what we're capable of when we are in rhythm and efficient and not having penalties and turnovers and missed opportunities and we made the layups," Swinney said. "We just really were a focused group today. It was just rare that we had a hiccup. They know what they can do. Great to see Trevor Lawrence have a great game. Now we're moving forward."
"Felt like we were really close to a game like this over the past few weeks... great to see it all come together. Just awesome on offense. At the end of the day, I thought this was our most complete game. Next week starts the fourth quarter of our season and I think we're in a good spot."
Venables still wants more: Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables is ever the perfectionist.
But what is his message to the defense after three straight weeks of allowing 14, 10 and seven points? Be consistent.
"I just want guys to be consistent. I think that's what you've got to prove, are you a some-timer or an all-the-timer? Who are we? The consistency, preparation, intensity, respect for the game," Venables said. "I wouldn't necessarily want to see it improved, but I want to see it sustained. And that'll be the challenge, because everyone tries to anoint you or you don't have to worry about this week... and that couldn't be further from the truth.
"There's a process. You got all these teams that are winning at a high level and undefeated and all of a sudden one by one, you start to see them dropping off and I think that's a big part of it. And it's a hard thing when you're dealing with young people to keep them grounded, humble, hungry, focused, appreciative, and tough-minded."
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While the national media spent the majority of the last month talking about the Tigers offensive struggles, particularly those of quarterback Trevor Lawrence, they may find themselves at a loss for what to criticize the sophomore about this week.
Against Boston College, Lawrence was nearly perfect, as he completed 16 of 19 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns. According to co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, he is finally getting back into the zone that he was in last season en route to leading the Tigers to their second national title in three years.
"He's a young guy, he's probably got the weight of the world on his shoulders and he's just got to compartmentalize and not do too much," Elliott said. "I think he's really starting to get back into his zone where he's not trying to do too much and he's playing within the system.
"And again I've said it before about Deshaun (Watson) too, what makes them special is they have the confidence to make those throws and if you take that away from them, you give them kryptonite."
Boston College head coach Steve Addazio has high praise for the Tigers:
After his Boston College team's 59-7 drubbing at the hands of the Tigers, their head coach wasted little time re-emphasizing what he spent the better part of last week trying to tell people—Clemson is a real good team.
“I said it all week long, I think people maybe think I’m trying to hype the game or something," Addazio said. "This Clemson team is an elite team. You’re talking about a first-round draft pick quarterback. You’re talking about a first-round draft pick tailback. You’re talking about two first-round draft pick wide receivers. I think [they have] an outstanding offensive line. On defense, they have elite personnel everywhere… That’s one of the top, elite teams in America, so whatever anybody else was saying, I don’t know what they’re talking about. That’s my opinion.”
Tigers in the polls: The Tigers fell to No. 3 in the coaches poll, as LSU took over the No. 2 spot.
The biggest shakeup came in the AP Poll, which saw LSU take over as the No. 1 team, followed by Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson rounding out the top four.
Injury Update: "(No update today. It is just too early. We will access them again tomorrow. Obviously we didn't have Xavier there with us. He is going through the (concussion) protocol. Just some little things here and there. I think for the most part we are in pretty good shape."