– 2022-11-06 08:00:04.886
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – What began as an icky night weather-wise only worsened for Clemson’s offense.
Winds were gusting upwards of 40 miles per hour at the start of Saturday night’s game at Notre Dame Stadium, made for a difficult playing environment, but that turned out to be the least of Clemson’s worries as the fourth-ranked Tigers were dismantled by Notre Dame 35-14.
Offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter said the weather factored into how he called the game early, but a lack of execution by the players and play caller was ultimately Clemson’s undoing.
“Going into the game, we knew there was going to be some weather,” Streeter told the media after the game. “We knew it was going to be icky. Just initially, there’s a little of an adjustment of how much we want to throw it, especially downfield. We didn’t execute anything else. In the end, we didn’t do good things. We didn’t get it done. It starts with me and making sure the guys are ready to go and making the great play call.”
Early in the game, Streeter leaned on throws to the perimeter to try and get the offense going.
“Just really trying to get some quick access throws to the edge,” Streeter said. “We started off by hitting a couple of them for big plays and had penalties that brought us back. Antonio (Williams) had one, Davis Allen had at least one early in the game. We knew if we could get on the edge and get into space, then we had some yards there.”
Running back Will Shipley only had 12 carries, but he averaged over five yards per carry. Streeter said, in hindsight, he should’ve gotten Clemson’s leading rusher more touches even though the score dictated the lack of run game late.
“Partially. Still probably should’ve given him some more like guaranteed touches,” he said. “I don’t know how many he had total. Rushing, he didn’t have enough where I could guarantee the touch, where there wasn’t an outlet screen to it or something like that. Just have to get him the ball more because he was doing some good things.”
It was a similar situation for quarterback DJ Uiagalelei who didn’t have a quarterback run until nearly eight minutes remaining in the third quarter.
“I think the biggest things – sometimes, there were calls where he had a run, and he threw it, too,” he said. “There were some RPO thoughts there, too. It was kind of a mixture there, but we probably should’ve gotten him the ball more as a runner in that first half.”
The story of the game was when Clemson – for a second straight game – decided to make a quarterback change midway through the third quarter. Streeter said they were looking for the Cade Klubnik spark.
“It was a similar situation where we just wanted to get a spark going,” Streeter said. “I told both of them to be ready. I told DJ to keep his head in it because you never know what can happen. He stayed positive, and we had to come back to him.
“I think because we weren’t manufacturing any points more so than anything else. Just really trying to kickstart our offense a little bit. We struggled so much, so we just wanted to try and see like it worked last week. We were going to try it again.”
When asked about the struggles of the offense Saturday night and over the past two years, Streeter said up until Saturday’s loss to Notre Dame, they’ve accomplished their goals of winning games, but moving forward, it will be about how they respond individually and as a unit.
“I think we’ve got guys that are talented enough. There’s no doubt about it. There are guys that are talented enough,” he said. “I just go back to our number one goal as an offense is to win a game. Win games, one week at a time; however, we need to do it. Other than tonight, we’ve been able to do that. Obviously, not as explosive as we needed to be the last several games. I’m just proud of the guys for fighting and continuing to work. We just have to keep fighting and keep getting better. That’s what I keep talking to the guys about is how are you going to respond to this? I know they’re going to respond well. I know they’re going to do a great job of staying united and continuing to get better. That’s all you can ask.”