Clemson averaged more than 33 points per game last season as the Tigers returned to the College Football Playoff for the third consecutive year.
Still, co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott sees plenty of room for improvement for 2018, and he recently outlined specific areas where he wants to see the Tigers get better during spring practice.
“Number one is tempo,” Scott said. “I think there are times last year we could have played faster.”
Clemson had a first-year starter at quarterback, running back, tight end and two receiver positions last year, which may have limited how fast the team moved on offense.
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As a result, the Tigers averaged 74.9 plays per game in 2017, compared with 81.4 in 2016.
“Part of that is you’ve got a lot of guys out there for the first time going through everything,” Scott said. “Now, with all of those guys coming back, we expect to play faster and we will emphasize that early in spring ball and will continue to do that.”
The Tigers also had less success with screens in 2017 than they did in past years.
Clemson had times when it struggled blocking on the edge and with its timing between quarterback and receivers.
“The next thing is improving our screen game. We saw a decline in that last year,” Scott said. “We really need to be able to stress defenses horizontally. Some of our outlets screen, I don’t think we were as efficient as we can be.”
Finally, Scott wants to see the Tigers get back to having success in the downfield passing game.
Clemson had 39 pass plays of 20 or more yards in 2017, which ranked No. 66 in the country.
The Tigers had 73 such plays in 2016, which ranked No. 3 nationally.
“The last area was the explosive plays down the field. When we had opportunities we didn’t connect,” Scott said. “Our standard around here is the 50/50 balls are usually 90/10 balls for us. That’s what we are used to with the guys we have here. Last year we were in that 50/50 range and that’s not where we want to be. That’s something we have spent a lot of time on. Our guys have spent a lot of time watching video trying to find ways to correct that and some of those plays early here in spring ball.”