Saturday, October 6, 2018

Schaible: Tigers stomp past the Demon Deacons with a bye week on the horizon

Photo Credit: Streeter Lecka- Getty Images

By: Brian Schaible
Twitter: @SBNationReports

For the Clemson Tigers, there are very few roadblocks between now and a possible fourth straight appearance in the College Football Playoff.

Saturday was an absolute walk in the park in Winston-Salem, N.C for Clemson.

For Wake Forest, the 63-3 throttling is the worst home loss in school history.

Other than the fact that it was a beautiful day outside, there was absolutely nothing enjoyable for fans of the Demon Deacons to experience.

Wake Forest head coach Dave Clawson summed it perfectly. “Well that was just a good old-fashioned butt whipping.”

The challenge for Clemson may be finding a way to stay motivated for the remaining stretch of regular season games. But Clemson’s defensive coordinator Brent Venables is not anticipating any challenges in keeping his unit focused.

“No, it’s never a challenge to find the good and find the bad. We have a mature group of guys that are easy to coach,” Venables said. “They played well today and we’re going to recognize that and recognize the work they put into it too.”

Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney was equally impressed with both sides of the ball.

“Offensively, I’m just so pleased with our ability to run the football. Every team dreams about the ability run the ball, I think we had a school record 11.8 yards per carry,” Swinney said. “We’ve been really explosive. We can be a little inefficient at times and then bam, we have an explosive play and that’s the thing we didn’t have last year.”

If you thought Clemson couldn’t be any more loaded in the backfield, another star emerged today in Winston-Salem in the form of Lyn-J Dixon.

Normally averaging 16.3 yards rushing is good enough to lead your team and possibly the nation on any given Saturday. However, Travis Etienne’s 167 yards on 10 carries led the way. For Dixon, 163 on the ground and another 41 receiving certainly announced his presence loudly and to thunderous applause from traveling fans.

It was the first time since 2006 that Clemson had three running backs rush for more than 100 yards in a game.

“We strive for perfection,” Clemson co-offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said. “We know perfection cannot be achieved but one thing you can control is a perfect effort. And you’ve seen it since day one, effort had never been a challenge either this offense. Now we just have to focus on the details and understand every single play. As we go forward in the season, the margin of error is going to get smaller and smaller and we can’t come out and squander three drives before we hit our stride.”

After a bye week, Clemson hosts undefeated NC State on Oct. 20 and in a matchup worthy of primetime consideration.