ESPN defends Clemson's offense despite spring game struggles

On3 imageby:Dan Morrison05/09/23


After years of being one of having one of the best offenses in all of college football, turnover at the offensive coordinator and quarterback positions has seen the Clemson offense take a step back. Still, with Garrett Riley coming over from TCU to work with quarterback Cade Klubnik, there was a lot of excitement.

That is until the offense looked very average during the spring game. Despite a frustrating spring game, ESPN’s Andrea Adelson is arguing to stay calm going forward. A big reason why is that several key Tigers weren’t playing.

“There is no reason to read into how Clemson looked on offense and think it’s doomsday all over again,” Adelson wrote. “Clemson played without several key players, including running back Will Shipley, three starters on the offensive line and receivers Beaux Collins and Adam Randall.”

On top of that, Clemson is still learning a new offense. The defense isn’t learning a new system and it is already an elite defense.

“Defenses tend to be ahead of offenses in spring games, and that was the case here. That’s especially true this year as Klubnik and his teammates adjust to a new scheme. Plus, Riley wasn’t going to give away everything for opponents to scout with his playcalls, so we still don’t really know how this will all look once the season opens. One spring game performance should not damper the enthusiasm for 2023.”

Clemson will have to figure out its offense before the season. The Tigers open on the road against Duke, the ACC’s surprise team of 2022. Not long after that, the Tigers will host the Florida State Seminoles.

Dabo Swinney says the Clemson offense will be quarterback friendly

Last season, Garrett Riley helped turn the TCU offense into a dominant force on its way to the national championship game. Now, he’s at Clemson, hoping to do the same thing in what he says is a very quarterback-friendly offense.

Head coach Dabo Swinney explained that the flexibility of the offense is a big part of what makes it easier for the quarterbacks.

“This is definitely a very quarterback-friendly offense, for sure. I mean very, very, very quarterback friendly. He’s got a lot of flexibility. He’s gotta be able to handle that, but he’s demonstrated that he can. It’s been fun to see it pull together,” Riley said.

“The biggest change is procedurally how we’re doing some things and a few tweaks here and there with how we signal, how we communicate, cadence, some more package opportunities that the quarterback has some flexibility in. So it’s been fun, man. These guys have really bought in to what we’re doing. We’ve got a lot in, but it’s a lot of things with complementary plays to it. The guys are really understanding that.”