Clemson’s 10-3 loss to Georgia could have a lasting impact on their College Football Playoff chances, according to ESPN’s Paul Finebaum.
It is tough to remember the last time a Clemson offense looked as inept as it did against the Bulldogs last night. The Tigers produced only one field goal and 180 yards of total offense. Quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei was sacked seven times and his pick-six was responsible for the game’s only touchdown.
“I think it said a lot about Clemson’s offense,” Finebaum said on SportsCenter this morning, via 247Sports. “They have serious offensive line problems. Any person in the stands or around the country watching that game could tell. Yeah, there were seven sacks, a lot of those were on D.J. (Uiagalelei), but still, they couldn’t find any production at all. This was an offense that’s been averaging in the 40’s over the last couple of years under Trevor Lawrence.
“You have to give some of the credit to the Georgia defense and conversely, Clemson’s defense is fantastic, but against quality teams they have not looked that great in recent years. Remember the Ohio State game at the end of last season and this one.”
From there, Finebaum dove into what could be an even bigger issue for Clemson. Even if the Tigers get their problems figured out and run the table in the ACC, the league’s overall mediocrity could prevent CU from picking up a signature victory.
“Their biggest problem I think in addition to their offensive line is where do they do now for a quality win? The ACC was a disaster over the weekend, and they are going to look long and far to try and get back to the College Football Playoff. I know their fans say ‘all we have to do is win, we go to Charlotte again and win the ACC.’ It may not be as easy, because of the path of Georgia and Alabama — the path that they’re currently on.”
On paper, Clemson’s best chances at a quality regular season win could come against Boston College, NC State or Louisville. The Tigers would then have to take down the ACC Coastal winner in the conference championship game.
If they do that and finish 12-1, Dabo Swinney’s crew has to hope that’s enough to continue its streak of CFP appearances.
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