Clemson vs. Louisiana Tech football report: Defense drops GPA

CLEMSON — Clemson football pulled away from a seven-point halftime lead on Saturday night to beat Louisiana Tech, 48-20, at Memorial Stadium.

The Tigers are getting good marks for the most part, although they have some work to do on defense.

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Here are the notes we distribute:

Offense: A-

Clemson’s offense looked strong for the most part. DJ Uiagalelei threw for 221 yards (17 for 29) with two touchdowns. More importantly, no interceptions. Will Shipley rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 12 carries. The team averaged 7.2 on carries. It will. The only disappointment was 13 points at halftime. It was a good ending for the non-conference part of the program.

Defense: D+

Clemson’s defense still didn’t look as good as advertised. Still not one of the best in the country. Louisiana Tech threw over 300 yards. In the first half, three receivers caught at least 30 yards. After three quarters, the Bulldog had six passes for at least 25 yards. Clemson finished with a sack and a quarterback in a hurry. Three interceptions and good running defense prevented a failing grade.

Special teams: A-

Clemson’s Payton Page blocked a field goal attempt early in the second quarter. BT Potter was solid as usual, making both of his placement tries. Will Taylor, who missed a punt return last week against Furman, was shaky on one but fielded a deep one like the outfielder he is for the Clemson baseball team. Aidan Swanson averaged 42 yards on his punts. There was nothing spectacular but no glaring errors. Nice game from Page to make it an A overall.

Training: B-

Clemson threw a field goal on the fourth and third on the opening possession as the crowd was still hyped by the pre-game spectacle and some great driving to start the game. The Tigers had an illegal substitution penalty, 12 men on the ground, to give Louisiana Tech the first and first base at 5. Probably tougher questions ahead for defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin. The defense never really adapted to passing misfortunes. It could be a problem in the ACC.

Overall: B-

That was enough for a positive feeling as the Tigers head into the meat of the ACC schedule. The defense will have their work cut out for them. But also consider that Clemson was without five key players. Hopefully, by the time the Tigers arrive at Wake Forest next week, they could get a tremendous boost with the return of Bryan Bresee, Tyler Davis, Xavier Thomas, Andrew Mukuba and Nate Wiggins. Clemson won by 28 points and went undefeated. This is the main.

Todd Shanesy covers Clemson Athletics for the USA Today Network.