CLEMSON, S.C. — Tony Elliott hosted his first spring game as the Virginia Cavaliers’ head coach this past Saturday.
Back at his alma mater, where Elliott coached the last 11 years and was the offensive coordinator the previous seven, Clemson has been moving on without him. Brandon Streeter is now calling the plays for the Tigers, while Kyle Richardson moved up from an analyst role to take over as the new tight ends coach.
“I love Coach E and I am happy for him, but I think Coach Streeter is doing a really good job with the offense,” tight end Jake Briningstool said after the spring game. “It started back in the bowl game when he really took over and we kinda had a good offensive game. It is kinda headed in the right direction, at least for the tight end position and the entire offensive as a whole.”
Clemson beat Iowa State in the Cheez-It Bowl last December. And though the Tigers did not put up massive offensive numbers, Streeter showed off his creativity by finding different ways to get his running backs involved in the game.
Will Shipley, Kobe Pace and Phil Mafah were the strength of the offense in 2021 and during the win over Iowa State Streeter got the three involved in the passing game, especially with screens out of the backfield and then in the running game by using the sprint draw or counters to catch the Cyclones off guard.
Iowa State had one of the best run defenses in the county last season, but the Tigers still found a way to manage 128 yards on the ground.
“I am excited for the future,” Briningstool said.
With DJ Uiagalelei expected to be improved as a second-year starter. Plus, the addition of freshman phenom Cade Klubnik. As well as the return of several wide receivers, who were seriously injured last year, the Clemson offense should look entirely different than it did last year.
“Our offense is going to be our offense. This is Clemson,” Briningstool said. “We are here to stay. We are here to win championships. Whoever is calling the plays, we are on (board) with and we are ready to go.”
Clemson will kick off the 2022 season against Georgia Tech in Atlanta, as part of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic. The Tigers will be making their third appearance in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Classic and their first since 2012 when they beat Auburn.
They also lost to Alabama in the 2008 game, the very first one.