2022 WTE Production Lost – Clemson

The ACC, besides switching to a 3-5-5 scheduling arrangement, has done away with divisions. The top two teams in conference play will now meet in Charlotte for the ACC championship.

Due to the first year of the 3-5-5 scheduling, Pitt will not play Clemson, Miami, NC State, Georgia Tech, and Virginia. It is also my order of who I believe can make it the ACC championship game.

Some may quibble with ranking Miami ahead of NC State. But this is the year for Miami to be back (just like the last 20 plus years). After all the ACC “BRAND” is better when the “brand” teams (Clemson, FSU, Miami, and VT) are back. The rest of conference is fodder. The question is how long does it take for a “fodder” to become a brand?

I have already done a WTE for Pitt. With the rest of the ACC, I am going to start with the five teams listed in the second paragraph. Clemson is first.

Clemson went undefeated in ACC play and won the conference championship. But they did not make their yearly goal of the CFP after out of conference regular season losses to Notre Dame and rival South Carolina. They then lost to Tennessee in the Orange Bowl.

HC Dabo Sweeney believes in continually. He believes in the culture he has developed at Clemson. He has constantly promoted from within his program to fill vacancies when coaches leave. Prior to the 2022 season, both the offensive and defensive coordinators left the program to take HC positions. In Dabo style, he promoted internally.

To make a long story short, Dabo replaced his OC after a disappointing offense production. Instead of promoting internally, he hired from the market – Garrett Riley. Riley is noted for his up tempo, air raid offense. Not the pass heavy Mike Leech air raid but the UCF/Tennessee style air raid.

On to the review but some notes.

My review mainly covers those players who recorded a “stat.” If a player missed the whole season or a sizable portion of the season due to injury, his ‘23 potential is under rated. In fact, unless it is a prominent player, I usually have no clue of his existence.

I also may not catch all the players who leaves a team with eligibility remining. (Think Nick Patti but from the perspective that you know nothing of Pitt’s roster movements.)

Here is an article from CBS Sports. I found it informative.

One question each ACC football team must answer during spring practices ahead of 2023 season – CBSSports.com

Schedules and results for the 2022 and 2023 seasons.

Below is Clemson’s 2022 NCAA offensive Statistics:

The offense revolves around the QB play and for Clemson it now means Cade Klubnik.

DJ Uiagalelei was the designated QB to replace Trevor Lawrence. He will now be doing that at Oregon State. Klubnik started the last two games of Clemson’s season.

Dabo has now picked up his second TP entry of all time. Like last season pickup (QB Hunter Johnson), the second is also a QB – Paul Tyson. Tyson is also the grandson of Alabama’s legendary coach – Bear Bryant. I wonder if this pickup is due to Dabo’s Alabama playing career.

On to the Running Backs and Wide Receivers:

Speaking of Trevor Lawrence, Clemson had a RB named Travis Etienne during that period. RB Will Shipley is the answer to his lost.

The WR’s are part of the problem with Clemson’s passing attach. They are just not as productive as they were in the past. QB problem or are the current 4-stars just not as good as previous receivers?

The Clemson OLine review:

The numbers say Pitt had a better OLine – Total TFL’s 61 (4.69/game). Sacks 19 (1.46/game). A homer gotta homer. I am sure the OLine has something to do with Clemson’s passing woes.

That wraps ups the offensive review. On to the Defense stating with the defensive NCAA stats:

Clemson has been known for its defense but are they being passed by others in the ACC? Or is it just a hiccup?

The following chart lists all defensive players who made at least one defensive stat.

It looks like a hiccup. Or at least for this year. The defensive back group returns basically intact. The DL group lost three starters to the draft but return plenty of depth. The LB group lost a starter and their main reserve to the draft. They also lost another backup to the TP. All in all, Clemson’s defense lost production is amongst the lowest in the ACC.

Last but not least, the miscellaneous NCAA stats.

It is a mixed bag of stats. Clemson is excellent at blocking kicks.

Here are some kicking and punting individual stats.

Potter is moving on. Gunn is a 2022 Rivals 5.4, 2-star. Weitz is a walk-on.

Since the Pitt WTE, I figured out how the NCAA calculates net punting. I am so proud of my accounting background. Contrary to some beliefs, numbers do tell a story of connectiveness.

Is Clemson going to have their past normal cake walk (excluding regular season games against Pitt) through the ACC? No. Are they still one of the top two teams? Yes.

65 thoughts on “2022 WTE Production Lost – Clemson

  1. Another solid article.
    I may have misunderstood but I think FL ST will be in the hunt for the Championship maybe the favorite at this point.


    1. You are right about FSU being the hyped favorite. I put the 5 teams Pitt doesn’t play in order of who will make the ACC championship game.

      I will write articles about these 5 teams before I start on the regular season opponents.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Thanks again for keeping all of us extremely well-informed. The ACC is one huge question mark this year with a revolving door of players being the norm. I am going to go out on a limb and say that Pitt may turn out to have a surprisingly good team (if we can keep Jurkovec away from the medical tent). Florida State and I hate to say Clemson will both be the teams that will be fighting for the top of the conference.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Format change for the Spring Game this year. Narduzzi still not sure of how will look just yet but there will be no player draft like previous seasons.


      1. I thought they would go for a more power guy since losing Hugely but it seems they have a more athletic guy that can hit threes. Looks like they are counting on Fede and the twins to gain strength along with Hinson’s bulk.


  4. Taking a player from High Point is like recruiting the #1 player off the best Pitt intramural team!
    But we shall see!….


      1. Posted but it disappeared!

        My thoughts. Looks like a depth addition. Not ACC Caliber

        I spent years traveling thru Carolina. High Point, Catawba etc Good baseball talent!

        There are probably players on Pitt’s intramural team as good.


        1. I found it and approved it. I have a soft spot for High Point. A local player Arizona (AZ) Reid from Gaffney SC HS played for High Point 2004-2008. Must have not seen him play. A 6’5″ power forward with 2 Big South Player of the year. awards. 10+ years playing overseas.



  5. My nomination for “Most Improved” heading into Saturday’s Spring Game.

    Picked Jake Renda and Bartholomew to prove PIVOTAL at tight end position ever since they first hit campus.

    While Bartholomew turned out to be the one to make the immediate impact, I think it’s time we finally see Renda shine.

    In fact, I’m going to go WAY out on the limb to say it just might be that Renda ultimately shines most at the next level.


    1. Hope you’re right, PoD. Also hoping Coach Cignetti gave the TE position some serious thought over the off-season to figure out what went wrong.

      It would be awesome to see Renda, or any of the TEs, including Bartholomew, make significant contributions this season…

      Go Pitt.


  6. Thanks for the article, Richard. That’s a lot of work. I’ve only given it a quick scan so far but I need to get back to it…. 👍

    Go Pitt.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Repark heads up:
    Anyone scheduled to repark into the tailgate lots, the online system is not working. If you can’t get in when your time starts
    have the 800-643-7488 number ready and they will take care of it.
    I just went through the process. 😎

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I don’t know… Is Zach Austin a net addition over last year, or is he just another warm body? I like his experience and scoring potential, although he doesn’t strike me as a good 3 point shooter. He is going to play the 3 spot, and would need to add some rebounding help to play significant minutes. I guess he could get some minutes when they are going with a small lineup, but overall I’m a bit luke warm about this signing.


    1. I agree that you have to trust Capel’s judgement on this one since he is playing at a lower level. Will his game be able to step up to the ACC. Certainly not a given. They must like what they see or they are not getting enough interest from the higher profile guys.
      Hopefully he is a good fit and fills a need.


    2. High Point and Rhode Island are not high level programs. This higher level guys are not returning Capel’s calls.


  9. We had one last year Reed, so I’m pretty sure Fran will be otganizing one for Saturday. If not, I’ll head to the Panther Club one in front of the stadium.


  10. I do trust Capel, ike. But it won’t be easy to duplicate last year now that the transfer portal has become a second recruiting season and a ticket to success for some programs. This signing could be a case of many slots to fill and fewer top players available to recruit. The overlapping time period for good players who will either transfer or declare for the NBA draft is also a problem, such as for Judah Mintz. And the top players transferring could simply be looking for a sweet NIL deal for a year before jumping to the NBA.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Here’s the deal with Nil and it’s not just about the $$. It’s about the fame of your commits! Get Mintz and others of high quality will follow!

    Get another from Catawba and and you’ll get similar! And I don’t trust Capel as far as I can throw him!


    1. While visiting the family for Easter, I stopped on campus and took my little guy to the Saturday game against Notre Dame. He only made it through four innings. Awesome win for the Panthers and a such beautiful stadium…that was our second time there. I strongly encourage everyone to see what I would consider our campus’s new hidden gem…Cost Field.

      I realize the baseball team lost a few pitchers and the starting catcher due to graduation, but I don’t understand how you beat quality teams like Duke, ND, and FSU and lose to lower level teams like YSU, Kent, Stetson, and Maine. What an inconsistent, disappointing baseball season compared to last year. I hate to agree with other posters but Coach Bell may have to go.


      1. They won one of three against ND, FSU, etc. as far as cost Field being a gem I suggest you attend a game at FSU, Clemson, UVA if you want to see a real stadium. Cost is not it but as good as a Pitt will ever pay for.


  12. I know there wasn’t a lot of praise for Verdi as our new women’s BB coach, but I will say that his introductory speech was pretty impressive. I’m all in for giving him a chance.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Interesting, because I got the opposite impression of Verdi’s introduction and speech.

      The gymnastics HC hiring is next, followed by the softball & baseball HC firings 🤞🏼


      1. ok, I’ll throw take the middle position, I wasn’t moved either way positive or negative

        I don’t know what anyone could’ve said or how they could say it to move the needle anyway as I consider these things usually full of BS and platitudes

        we will “play hard” , I’m “impatient” – ok fine

        what he can do with recruits in the first 2 years will say everything

        the fact that another coach turned down 800K to stay in Florida is what impresses me the most,,,,, and not in a good way 😦

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Shot blocker too, hopefully he can guard the perimeter. Looks like loads of potential.
      When you look at the guys coming back. A super point guard who has been practicing for a year and a solid freshman class, Pitt has more talent and depth than they have had under Capel.

      They will miss the senior leadership the most. They are never going to get Mintz unless someone writes a giant check, chances are slim and none.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Richard – thanks for the excellent overview of the changes at Clemson.

    Only 3 guys projected to be taken in the top 50 of the draft per mock draft DB:
    Miles Murphy Edge is top 20
    Bryan Bresee DL has moved down and now top 30
    Trent Simpson LB also has slid down to top 50

    Remember not so long ago when it was Clemson and not Georgia posting a lot of top 20 draftees.

    I hope they spank FSU… they havent even won anything yet and are whining in conference meetings about their brand, etc. Tamp ’em down Tigers…

    …and of course I hope Pitt is able to do the same. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  14. Some players look much better when they have good players around them. This could apply to Clemson. The NFL pre-draft process of evaluating players tends to expose these over rated players.


  15. As for Austin, a good 3-point shooter should be effective whether he plays in the ACC, SEC, or Patriot the only question is can Capel use an offensive set that gets him open. He looks to be at least as good as Elliott, possibly better as Elliott was primarily effective from the corner. Austin has a broader if not deeper range. C. Peak suggests that he’s a very good on-ball defender, again a possible upgrade from Elliott.

    Hopefully, we see a vet PG like Cummings and a space eater, rebounding PF coming in the TP next.

    Glad to see the change in Spring Game format, but only as long as no catastrophic injuries result from the better competition. But as they say “we don’t live in our fears”. Hope to see some breakout TE/WR play and some good coverage from the safety positions.


  16. Everyone have a great time at the Spring Game tomorrow. It was this or the POV golf for me. I still remember last year talking post game and everyone agreed Patti looked much better than Slow vis!!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I went to the volleyball scrimmage last Saturday vs. James Madison (JM). I didn’t write up a long report- much of it was similar to the previous scrimmage vs. Ohio State (OSU). Here are a few things that were different or of interest.

    There was a much smaller crowd vs JM and many reasons for this: It was Easter weekend and students were not on campus, there were home baseball and mens soccer games happening at the same time, JM doesn’t have the name recognition that OSU has, and JM didn’t have two local players on their team. Also, for some reason the scrimmage was listed on JM’s website as a closed scrimmage, hence no fans from JM.

    JM had 15 players, Pitt again had nine.

    I watched warmups and the pin hitters were practicing hitting off a set from behind the 10 ft line. In a normal in-system play, the pass is to the setter who is standing at the net, who then sets the ball to the hitter. The hitter sees the ball coming off the setter’s hands in front of them and can judge when/where to swing. In an out-of system play, the pass does not make it to the setter at the net- perhaps because the setter had to pass the first ball, or the passer shanked the ball and it doesn’t reach the net. Many times this results in a ball that is lobbed across the net because the hitters are out of their usual rhythm. In order to hit a set that originates from behind the 10 ft line, the hitters have to judge the ball coming from the side and behind them, which is much harder to do. Practicing hitting those tough sets will lessen the number of balls simply rolled over the net during the out of system play, and really ups the skill required. This is a good thing.

    Set 1 featured a lot of runs by each team. Pitt lost set 1 24-26. JM served tough, and Pitt was out of system a lot .

    Set 2 had Pitt in the lead the entire time, with Pitt winning 25-14.

    In set 3 Pitt was down early 4-7, and 12-15, tied it at 20, then rallied to win 25-21.

    In set 4, Pitt started fast, up 4-0, ran it to 17-11, JM tied it at 20, then Pitt rallied to win 25-23.

    I saw a real effort to get Rachel Jepsen swings at the net. I think she even improved from the beginning of the game to the end. She became much more aggressive and seemed to gain confidence as the match continued. If she continues to work hard she just might be fine in the fall. (We still need at least 1 or 2 more middles from the portal).

    Lexis Akeo did not have a good scrimmage. A lot of her sets were too low and inconsistently placed.

    Cat Flood looked really good once again. She is not going to allow a freshman to come in and take the starting job from her without a fight.

    Valeria Vasquez Gomez and Rachel Fairbanks were solid once again. Fairbanks is so talented, and is as much of a threat as a hitter as she is as a setter and server.

    Emmy Klicka and Dillyn Griffin were fine also.

    The team has one last scrimmage this weekend in Columbus, Ohio vs. Kentucky on Sunday.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you very much Annie for keeping us informed.

      Glad to see you think Jepsen is improving. I think Jepsen will be our number one middle come the fall. Emma Monks the transfer from Michigan will be our second middle. We do need a spare middle though, maybe someone with several years of eligibility.

      We are very fortunate to have Rachel Fairbanks. Too bad there is such a bias for the player of the year in the ACC to almost always be an outside hitter. Rachel deserves consideration if Pitt does well this year.

      Hopefully Cat Flood will get some playing time at least in the beginning of the season, but I believe our incoming freshmen, especially Olivia Babcock at 6’5″, are going to break into the starting lineup quickly.

      My biggest worry for the fall is how health Julianna Dalton will be. If she is not fully recovered, then we definitely could use Cat Flood as a 6-rotation player.

      It will be interesting how Coach Fisher schedules the OOC part of the schedule this year. Hopefully there will at least be one cupcake early to build up the confidence of the new players, but I doubt it.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Sorry to miss the seeing everyone tomorrow, but will be golfing with my son tomorrow to get ready for the Dick Grote and possibly the Frankcan golf outings. Can’t wait to hear the reports!

    Liked by 4 people

  19. We will miss you Mark.
    I’m meeting Wolfe at 10:30 at Gold Lot 1 to set up our tailgate…hope to see yinz there.
    The Commander will be there signing autographs pregame!!

    Liked by 4 people

  20. I typed up a relatively short summary of the 2nd vb scrimmage last before all the football stuff huts again, but I guess maybe it is caught up waiting for approval?


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