Clemson offense, defense shows improvement in opening win

I know I am just a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Columbia, S.C., but there were a few meaningful takeaways from No. 14 Clemson’s win against Auburn in Atlanta on Saturday. Perhaps the one above all is the number Auburn put on the scoreboard — 19. Out of five scoring possessions, the SEC Tigers kicked four field goals. Auburn offenses of old would have considered that in need of athletic, of not  legal counseling. The number of scoring possessions show that improvement still needs to be made. That those scores were field goals and not touchdowns shows that improvement has been made from the running tire fire of last year’s unit. I know from criminal defense, and Clemson’s defense last season was definitely criminal. (can you say SEVENTY POINTS?!?)

“We responded to some adversity in a big-time way,” CU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said to Sports Illustrated. “We were holding them out of the end zone. To hold a team in the opener to one touchdown says a lot about our guys. We know we’ve got a lot of work to do to improve, but I just love the tough attitude we showed in the second half.”

But there were problems. Giving up a 54-yard touchdown pass in the first half was one of them, leading one Clemson blogger to say, “We looked absolutely confused at times and gave up big plays. Without those brain-craps last night in the secondary, Clemson wins big. This is unacceptable but correctable. Our defenders looked just as confused Saturday as they looked last season.” Is doesn’t take a DUI Attorney in Columbia, S.C. to see that this blogger is right: Our defenders looked — at times– like they were driving while under the influence!

Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney acknowledged the room for improvement after the game, saying, “But we’re far from satisfied. We’ve got a lot of work to do.”

On the offensive side of the ball, there appeared to be a lot of potential left on the field.Even with the biggest star sidelined for Simple Possession of Marijuana charges last year.  Running back Andre Ellington put up 231 yards on 21 carries, including a 68-yard burst.

“There’s no doubt in my mind who the best player underneath this roof was tonight — without a doubt it was Andre Ellington,” Clemson offensive coordinator Chad Morris said. “He was on a mission. He was relentless.” No criminal defense needed here.

Adding to that, DeAndre Hopkins caught a record 13 passes for 119 yards and the game-winning touchdown. Considering the yards tallied by the Clemson offense, the team no doubt would have liked converting some of those drives into touchdowns.

The biggest possible upside is that even without multipurpose threat Sammy Watkins (who needed a good South Carolina DUI attorney after getting stopped by university cops and the resulting marijuana possession charge), and even with its own self-inflicted mistakes, Clemson beat a quality opponent. With two weeks between now and a conference showdown with Florida State, there’s reason enough to be optimistic. Hope you join this South Carolina Lawyer and agree. Now, I need to get  back to living in the Midlands of Columbia, S.C. and all the Clemson jokes heading my way!



by J.L. Mann Cromer, Jr., who served as the only true independent member of the South Carolina General Assembly from 1990-1998. Currently, he is a general practice attorney in Columbia, S.C., concentrating in probate and estate planning, criminal defense and personal injury law.

With Wes Wolfe. He wrote for 11 newspapers in five states and is the marketing coordinator for ACEC Virginia.

Posted in Legal Advice

12 thoughts on “Clemson offense, defense shows improvement in opening win

  1. cromeradmin on said:

    I forgot to say ” Andre Ellington Is the new Raymond Priester!”

  2. Joseph Maxberry on said:

    A very solid performance by the Tigers. The team showed a maturity for a first game of this magnitude, then I have not seen in about 10 years. I hope this team continues to mature leading up to the conference schedule.

  3. jay evans on said:

    little shaky on the defensive side of the ball in first half. played much better in second half. d-backs are young got out of sync on two plays but we have two weeks to correct that. our offense is something to behold and if Ellington stays healthy all year he could get a invite to New York.

  4. Cindy Perry on said:

    Clemson played an awesome game against the Auburn Tigers in Atlanta at the Chic-fil-a kick off game. The Clemson Tigers proved themselves for the 3rd time in a row against Auburn. There were a lot of ups and downs in the game, but yet again Clemson was able to pull it all together and win again! They played a great game although Sammy wasn’t there, so just imagine what they will do once Sammy returns at the Furman game. LET’S GO TIGERS LETS GO! Clemson just keep up with the way you all are going and we can win the championship game at the end of the season again. Also we need to start beating Carolina again!

  5. luther cousins. on said:

    Anytime you can start the year off with a win over the mighty, sec. Is a positive. We just need to stay focused!!

  6. kevin fallaw on said:

    It ia always great to get off to a good start and Clemson did that Saturday with its second consecutive win over Auburn.Andre Ellington had a huge night and looked spectacular on a couple of long runs where he appeared to be down but maintained his balance and tore into the Auburn secondary.Nuk Hopkins had a big, big night with 13 receptions in the absence of Sammy Watkins.The defense however was less than impressive in my opinion.Sure, they managed to keep them out of the endzone more often than not but I’m not sure how much of this can be attributed to the Clemson defense. They continue to get beat on deep balls where at times the secondary appears non-existent. This is an area that must get fixed, like yesterday.I was expecting better play from our linebackers.I suppose that will come with time , especially if Steward is able to make a healthy return and be the impact player most expected him to be.The defensive line was supposed to be a weakness this year, but I thought they held their own. They are simply unknown, as of yet.The most impressive performance to me was the play of the offensive line. This was a huge question mark coming into the season and coupled with what was supposedly one of the best defensive fronts in the SEC, I thought their play was stellar. At times, especially late in the game they were blowing Auburn off the ball which clearly is the reason Elington had such a big night.Special teams play did not impress but that has a lot to do with the new rules and Sammy’s absence.In summary,If Sammy had played, this game probably wouldn’t have been competitive. Yes, he’s that good.

  7. Patti McAbee on said:

    Very proud of this football team. After spending a couple of days with them in Atlanta, I can attest to the fact that they are collectively genuine gentlemen and student-athletes. Their commitment and dedication to their achieve personal best is palpable. From the bench to the head coach, this team is just one more reason I am proud to be a Clemson Tiger!

  8. chad sosbee on said:

    Thanks for the invite Bubba. All I really want to say this week is that it is a crying shame that not 1, NOT 1 carolina so called fan will admit that that was a freaking pass interference in that so called “game” Thurs. Anyway great game guys and GO TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Amedar on said:

    I will immediately take hold of your rss feed as I can not find your email subscription hyperlink or e-newsletter service. Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognise so that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  10. Jimmy on said:

    The Tigers looked alittle shaky on defense but overall, great win for the Tigers!

  11. TODD L on said:

    Great post as always!

    We were in Atlanta for the game and were so happy to see the curse broken. I’ve left Atlanta GT and bowl games in a fowl mood too many times before, but not this year. I would have to say 3 things stood out:
    1) The O-line was impressive against a very strong D-line and were able to get a tough one out of the way and gain valuable experience.
    2) Andre Ellington – say no more
    3) Tajh Boyds quickness – many of the plays he made would never of happened last year.

    I would of said Nuk, but I knew that was coming – he is so underrated

    Can’t wait for FSU. We can win that game!

  12. cromeradmin on said:

    Now THAT’S what I am talkin Bout Willis!

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