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CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Elliott explains emphasis on tempo
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CLEMSON FOOTBALL: Elliott explains emphasis on tempo

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CLEMSON -- Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott virtually met the media on Monday following Clemson's 37-point outing vs. Wake Forest on Saturday. The primary takeaways are:

  • Said the first-team OL set the tempo for the entire offense on Saturday.

Said the second-team OL played hard and effort was good. There were a couple of missed assignments but nothing glaring.

"I think a lot of it was just the lights are on, communication is different, and you're moving fast, and they might not have heard what they should they should have heard (communication-wise)."

  • More on Clemson operating at a faster tempo on Saturday:

"Individually, the faster you get lined up, the more you can process the pre-snap."

Said post-snap errors often come because you're trying to process things, so the more you can process pre-snap the better. And tempo allows for that.

  • On the balance of giving Trevor Lawrence the freedom to change the call at the line while also going fast: "We have tried to design concepts with as many answers as possible."

Said when Clemson first installed tempo with Chad Morris, there were maybe 1-2 answers built in post-snap. Now Clemson tries to include 3-4.

The uptick in built-in answers gives Clemson the ability to "go, go, go" but also gives Lawrence the ability to make decisions.

Said he thinks Lawrence is the best in the country in processing information, anticipating and validating where to go with the ball.

  • Said he didn't feel like the lights were too big for D.J. Uiagalelei on Saturday. Played similar to how he plays in practice.
  • On Jordan McFadden's performance on Saturday:
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"He's a dancing bear. It's amazing how athletic he is. I'm definitely pleased with his performance. What Matt Bockhorst said, this offensive line has the ability to have a nasty demeanor and Jordan helps leads the way with that, even though he doesn't say much.

"For a tackle, if you don't have to call his name, he's doing his job. He made some athletic plays where you're like, 'Wow.' Very, very pleased with how Jordan McFadden played."

  • On if conditioning was biggest obstacle for Joe Ngata and Frank Ladson in returning after missing camp:
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"Really didn't see any conditioning issues with any of the guys. I thought those guys looked good."

  • On the ABC broadcast saying Lawrence now puts his right foot back instead of his left when receiving the snap:

"I think people are trying to look for anything that makes Trevor who Trevor is. I know [J.P.] Losman works closely with him, and that might be something they tweaked in the offseason. The biggest thing is we tell him whatever he does, to make sure it's consistent so he's not tipping opponents on film."

  • Dabo Swinney said Walker Parks was getting on the second-team offensive line.

"He was challenging the rest of those guys on the offensive line: 'We can't go three-and-out and we've got to do our job better.'"

Said Parks hasn't been phased by anything.

"He's got a strong personality type and a lot of confidence and seriousness to his game. Even though he's a freshman, he's not afraid to be a leader."

Lawrence honored

The Atlantic Coast Conference announced Monday that quarterback Trevor Lawrence has been named ACC Quarterback of the Week for his performance in Clemson’s 37-13 win against Wake Forest on Saturday.

Against Wake Forest, Lawrence completed 22-of-28 passes for 351 yards and a touchdown while also adding two rushing touchdowns. He produced the first game of 350-plus passing yards and multiple rushing touchdowns by a Clemson player since Tajh Boyd against N.C. State in 2012.

With his performance, Lawrence set Clemson records for passing yards (351) and total offense (327) in a season opener. The passing mark surpassed Charlie Whitehurst’s 288 yards against Wake Forest in the 2004 season opener, and the total offense number exceeded Kelly Bryant’s 313 yards against Kent State to open the 2017 season.


Anna Hickey reports for, a website devoted to Clemson athletics and featuring premium content on recruiting and much more.


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