In the chaos of Saturday college football and Sunday NFL football, a firestorm of plays and tweets consumes social media. This is why Monday morning is a great time to take one last look at lessons learned from the previous game before turning the page to Georgia Southern.
- The secondary struggled late in the game, but how worried should fans be? It is week two and the game was akin to another opener, so mistakes and rust are still present. On the other hand, the main concern entering the season was depth at secondary and Saturday night showed why defensive backs are a major recruiting focus for 2019. Clemson has talent in the secondary, but only having five safeties and seven scholarship cornerbacks means that everyone has to perform well and any injuries would be a major blow to the team. When coverage busts occur like they did in the second half Saturday night, a solid performance can turn sour fast.
- The defensive line is among the best in the nation for a reason, and it is certainly the deepest defensive line in the nation without question. This was shown when the starters rotated out and backups made big plays (such as Foster recovering Starkel’s fumble). Despite playing well, the pressure is on for them to play elite on every snap due to the coverage busts in the secondary.
- Many fans thought that this would be the game where Trevor Lawrence would take the job, but this turned out to be a game where Tiger fans were reminded of why Kelly Bryant is QB1. Trevor played well in his action and he will likely start in 2019, but there is a reason Bryant is the current starter in 2018. The game changed when he came in late in the third quarter as his experience and talent shined in crunch time.
- Tee Higgins and Amari Rodgers are an excellent duo for 2018 and beyond. They are similar to Mike Williams and Artavis Scott because they play the same roles in the offense (Mike and Tee, Artavis and Amari) and compliment each other well.
- Texas A&M has tons of talent and a plethora of athletes – a fact that I and others overlooked last week. Although I knew that Texas A&M had highly recruited athletes, I figured that their struggles in previous years was due to missing on players in recruitment. While the verdict is far from in, it looks as if the players were there but needed a coach the level of Jimbo Fisher to unlock their potential.
- Speaking of Jimbo Fisher, I overestimated the difficulty that he would have in preparing his Aggies for the Tigers. Despite the advantage in game planning due to the Tigers continuity, I made the mistaken assumption that they would need several years to succeed with Fisher’s schemes. Although recruiting classes will surely help, the ability to get players to buy in and utilize their talents by being adaptable is important to having success early – something that Fisher has reminded fans of in the wake of his later struggles at FSU.