Clemson entered its bye week 5-0 but admittedly with plenty of room for improvement after a narrow 21-20 victory against North Carolina on Sept. 28.
The Tigers made good use of their time off, including doing some self-scouting during the bye week, according to Clemson coach Dabo Swinney. Swinney didn’t get into the details of what the staff learned as to not tip off future opponents, but he did say the information was very helpful.
“It’s very beneficial to us and what we do, how we position things, people, tendencies that come off of formations and different things, when those things happen,” Swinney said. “We look at everything, whether it be the formations, personnel, placement. Are we tipping things? Are we giving away details?”
Co-offensive coordinators Jeff Scott and Tony Elliott and the rest of the offensive staff not only took a deep dive into what the Tigers did offensively the first five games, but they also broke down the Clemson defense to help out that side of the ball.
Brent Venables and the defensive staff did the same for Clemson’s offense, giving the offensive staff another perspective of what they saw as far as personnel, tendencies and play calling.
“Coaches see things differently. It’s just really helpful,” Swinney said. “It might be something simple maybe that we’re tipping with the tight end or (offensive line) or receiver stance or quarterback footwork. … You have a different lens, different way of looking at things.”
Scott admitted that the offense did have some tendencies the first five weeks that could have helped opposing defenses in their preparation. With that said, having tendencies isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
“When you’re a good offense or you’re a good defense, you’re going to have some tendencies, that’s just part of it,” Scott said. “I think some of the teams that don’t have any tendencies, it’s because they’re just running a bunch of stuff trying to find something to get good at.”
Still, Clemson’s offense wasn’t as consistent as most expected early on in the season, and breaking some of those tendencies and being more unpredictable the second half of the year could help the offense reach its potential.
“OK, after five games, Florida State has two weeks to get ready, what are they seeing,” Scott said. “I think overall, as we look at our offense and look at each position, it’s kind of locking in on some of the reasons we haven’t executed. ... There’s definitely some things that we were able to see this past week that we knew we had some tendencies on that we maybe wanna try to counter that here as we move forward.”