Clemson’s first sport week is right here, type of.
As a result of the No. 4 Tigers open up the 2022 season in opposition to Georgia Tech on Sept. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, the whole lot is pushed again two days.
The Clemson coordinators and gamers will kick off weekly interviews once they discuss to the media on Wednesday as an alternative of Monday, ending a week-long break since fall camp ended. Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will maintain his weekly tackle on Thursday as an alternative of Tuesday. The Tigers head down I-85 South this weekend and get the season began on Labor Day evening with the second invoice of the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Recreation.
This implies there are a few further days to ponder how the 2022 season will go and what Week 1 will appear like, so listed below are 5 storylines to comply with all through Week 1:
1. Beginning lineup: Swinney purposely did not put out a pre-fall camp depth chart as a result of he stated there have been too many positions the place he did not care who ran on the market first. Clemson is deep at line of defense, linebacker, security and working again. It actually would not matter who takes the sector first as a result of these are heavy rotational positions. The beginning QB place is DJ Uiagaelei’s and Cade Klubnik is the backup.
However there are questionable areas. Clemson will supply the primary take a look at a revamped and wholesome offensive line that would function true freshman Blake Miller beginning at proper sort out, shifting stalwart Walker Parks inside to protect. The receiver depth chart is just a little unknown. The beginning cornerbacks are possible settled however what in regards to the backups? If Clemson lastly places out a depth chart, questions can be answered. If not, wait till Monday evening.
2. Receiver well being: This has been a recurring difficulty at this place since final yr, so it must be no shock that the Tigers head into Week 1 with query marks. Beaux Collins was in line to be a starter heading into fall camp, however he suffered a shoulder damage that stored him out of shape for the final couple of weeks. He wasn’t again the final time coaches spoke to the media, so his well being can be one thing to observe.
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EJ Williams, one other should-be starter, had a again bruise that restricted in for some time in camp. Has he gotten sufficient reps to expire on the “9” or “5” spots first or will Brannon Spector earn a begin? Additionally, freshman Adam Randall is out till at the very least later in September as he recovers from an ACL damage.
3. DJ’s confidence: Final yr was a catastrophe for the idea that getting off to begin offensively tremendously helps a profitable season. Clemson acquired steamrolled by a Georgia protection that, properly, steamrolled all people. Nevertheless it was clear that Uiagalelei’s confidence was shaken in Week 1 and he by no means recovered.
This week, all indicators from his teammates, coaches and the beginning QB himself level to a renewed spirit. Whereas there may be fixed work on mechanics, Uiagalelei confirmed a dedication to bettering and getting in higher form in the course of the offseason. The bottom-rated passer within the ACC final yr enters the GT sport at the very least feeling good. Let’s have a look at how a lot that issues by way of manufacturing in Atlanta.
4. Teaching adjustments: This is not the primary time that offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter and defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin will put together for and coach a university soccer sport at their respective positions. The 2 new coordinators labored the Cheez-It Bowl and did an admirable job in a win.
However that is totally different. They’re making ready the workforce for a complete season. They have been accountable for growing expertise and implementing schemes and methods that are actually all theirs. No extra simply working what Brent Venables or Tony Elliott put in with tweaks. Terminology on offense has modified. How will that go in Week 1? In-game defensive changes are one thing to observe this sport as properly.
5. GT variations: Clemson is anticipating quite a lot of surprising from the Yellow Jackets, particularly on offense. Star working again Jahmyr Gibbs is now at Alabama. Gone is Jordan Yates, who began at QB in opposition to the Tigers final yr. There have been one other 10 gamers who transferred out and a couple of dozen newcomers who entered this system.
And that is simply the personnel problem. Fourth-year head coach Geoff Collins introduced in a brand new offensive coordinator, QB coach and offensive analyst to revamp a sluggish scoring assault. Goodwin had his work reduce out for him when it got here to watching movie on groups not named Georgia Tech to determine what he might be seeing. Defensively, the Yellow Jackets might get extra play-calling affect from Collins this season.
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