Clemson football endured an uncharacteristically poor season in 2021. Will the rebound for Dabo Swinney be immediate?
Dabo Swinney has generated the expectations for Clemson football to be College Football Playoff or bust. Thats a testament to the work hes done at the helm of the Tigers program but, simultaneously, its also a near-impossible bar to keep every year. In order the team comes from a year where they didn’t make the playoff as well as win the ACC, its time for Clemson to prove that theyre back.
With among the best defenses in the united kingdom, that shouldnt be hard as NFL-caliber talent dominates generally. The offense, however, must find its footing once more.
Back up at No. 4 inFanSideds Preseason Top 50 Rankingsand attempting to stay there these times, the Clemson Tigers!
Clemson football 2021 season in review
Losing in a defensive struggle against eventual-national champion Georgia to start out the growing season shouldnt have already been a death knell for Clemson a season ago, but what fans didnt realize was that game signaled D.J. Uiagalelei and the Tigers offense sinking faster than Howards Rock if thrown into nearby Lake Hartwell.
All told, though, the anemic offense overshadowed a defense that, despite numerous injuries, still looked as dominant as ever. Furthermore, the 10-3 final record may not be right for the Clemson faithful in name alone, however the Tigers didnt have a really bad loss on the record because they fell to Georgia, NC State and Pitt.
Following the season, though, changes were caused on the coaching staff with Tony Elliott leaving for Virginia and Brent Venables heading home for Oklahoma. Now itll be on Brandon Streeter and Wes Goodwin at offensive and defensive coordinator, respectively, to step into new roles and either elevate or keep up with the degree of play from this past year.
And its own easy to decipher which side of the ball must do which.
Previewing Clemson Tigersoffense for 2022 season
- Returning starters (8):QB D.J. Uiagalelei, RB Will Shipley, WR Joseph Ngata, WR Beaux Collins, TE Davis Allen, LT Jordan McFadden, RT Walker Parks, OL Will Putnam
- Newcomers:5-star QB Cade Klubnik, 4-star WR Antonio Williams, 4-star WRAdam Randall, 4-star OTCollin Sadler, 4-star OTBlake Miller
- Impact player:Cade Klubnik
The good thing, eight starters from the offense are back. The bad news, it could not be considered a positive thing that eight starters from the offense are back.
DJU struggled immensely last season to call home up anywhere near to the hype that surrounded him as he found Clemson. Swinney has been adamant that hes the quarterback of the team despite 5-star wunderkind Cade Klubniks arrival. But I’ve Klubnik because the biggest impact player for that very reason.
One of the primary problems with the quarterback play last season was that the team didnt have a choice beyond Uiagalelei they felt wholly confident in. Now with Klubnik in the building, if DJU struggles again, theres an alternative solution that the coaching staff ought to be confident in embracing.
Theres too much to like concerning the offense with Will Shipley back, Joseph Ngata once more healthy and ready for a breakout season, and three starters returning in advance plus a bevy of additional options over the board who is able to make a direct effect. But should they dont get improved quarterback play, itll all be for naught.
Previewing Clemson Tigersdefense for 2022 season
- Returning starters (7):DT Bryan Bresee, DE Myles Murphy, NT Tyler Davis, DE Xavier Thomas, LB Trenton Simpson, S Andrew Mukuba, S Jalyn Phillips
- Newcomers:5-star CBJeadyn Lukus, 4-star CBToriano Pride, 4-star SSherrod Covil
- Impact player:Myles Murphy
Where there shouldnt be much concern is on the defensive side of the ball. Yes, the Tigers lose James Skalski following a decade (rough estimate) with this program at linebacker however they have a solid returning leader in Simpson and a huge amount of talent with reps under their belt stepping into bigger roles.
There’s turnover in the secondary as Clemson must replace their starting cornerbacks from the year ago, but a bunch of stud freshmen alongside even more players that are wanting to snatch up a large opportunity who’ll have that chance.
But really, this defensive line will be the driving force. Myles Murphy may be the very best defensive result in college football beyond Will Anderson Jr., Bryan Bresee is dominant, Tyler Davis is healthy and just as fearsome, and Xavier Thomas is really as experienced because they come. This unit covers up any flaws simply by overwhelming just about any opponent devote front of these.
Clemson football players awards watch out for 2022 season
Will Shipley, Maxwell/Doak Walker/Hornung/Wuerffel
As stated, a wholesome Shipley is a center point for the offense and his preseason accolades reflect just as much. The running back was electric when on the field last season and, with hopefully improved quarterback play, he could possibly be a lot more so in the 2022 season.
Bryan Bresee, Bednarik/Nagurksi/Outland/Lombardi
Bresee found Clemson challenging hype on the planet around him and, while he hasnt totally lived around it yet, there were enough moments to believe it may be coming. Especially with the elite help around him, this may be a monster year for the defensive tackle.
Apart from the Outland Trophy, Murphy and Bresee may be duking it out for exactly the same awards this year however the defensive end is worthy in their own right. Hes been dominant off the edge but could actually set up better numbers if the defensive scheme affords him that opportunity given that Venables is fully gone.
Clemson football biggest game on 2022 schedule
Going on the path to Wake Forest wouldnt be considered a picnic or even for the Sam Hartman situation, which feels unlikely to be resolved by Sept. 24. Meanwhile, the Tigers should be at their finest at Notre Dame on Nov. 5 and against Miami on Nov. 19 in Death Valley.
However, its NC States visit to Death Valley on Oct. 1 this is the biggest one on the schedule.
The Wolfpack will be the biggest threat to Clemson in the ACC Atlantic and also have legitimate aspirations to be College Football Playoff spoilers this year having an offense that may be one of the better in the conference, a skilled defense, plus some bodies that could be in a position to combat Clemson in advance. If the Tigers desire to prove their back, this is actually the spot to take action.
Clemson football best-case scenario
Theres not just a good deal to unpack here. If Clemson gets the quarterback position determined whether thats Uiagalelei or Klubnik doesnt matter then this team is having an ideal season and addressing the faculty Football Playoff.
Despite having challengers like NC State, Notre Dame and Miami on the schedule along with other potential spoilers in the ACC aswell (and lets remember a potentially frisky Sotuh Carolina team, either), you can find landmines through the entire schedule. But Clemson gets the talent to overtake every one of them and go in to the conference title game with a 12-0 record.
Clemson football worst-case scenario
The worst-case scenario would really only happen for just two reasons. The initial has been mentioned numerous times already, the quarterback play. But beyond that, if Clemson has trouble remaining healthy again, that may be highly detrimental.
If theres shoddy play under center and we see injuries accumulate on defense, it is a Tigers team which could very well end up getting losses in the home to NC State and Miami plus a loss at Notre Dame. Heck, you can even talk me into potential upset losses at Boston College or Syracuse. A whole lot worse, which makes the rivalry matchup with the Gamecocks a question mark too.
They arent likely to lose all those games regardless of what, but Id put the worst-case scenario because of this team at an impression worse than this past year, going 8-4 because the ACC figures to be more formidable than it had been last season.
Clemson football 2022 season prediction
Its time and energy to buy low on Clemson, if thats even possible. Despite having being ranked as a high 5 team in college football, the actual fact of the problem is that the Tigers are slipping a little beneath the radar due to last season. But I’ve faith in Swinney to help make the right quarterback decision given that he has a couple of quality options and really should make that work to his advantage.
NC State would be the biggest challenge because, frankly, I’m as confident as ever that Notre Dame will be a letdown making use of their preseason Top 5 ranking. And Miami may be tricky, but I dont think they are able to handle the Tigers in the thick of it in advance.
All told, I dont visit a loss on the schedule for Clemson and think this team secures an enormous rebound season by going12-0 and winning the ACC.
Clemson football 2022 bowl game prediction
Regardless of the high hopes for Clemson and also easily dont necessarily trust this assessment Jerry Palm of CBS Sports gets the Tigers playing in the Orange Bowl against Notre Dame and passing up on the faculty Football Playoff in his preseason projections.
My very own projections, however, say that Dabo Swinney gets this team back again to the proverbial final four.
Up next: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs
Other articles in this series:
- No. 50: Nebraska Cornhuskers
- No. 49: Iowa State Cyclones
- No. 48: Maryland Terrapins
- No. 47: UCF Knights
- No. 46: Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
- No. 45: Appalachian State Mountaineers
- No. 44: Auburn Tigers
- No. 43: Louisville Cardinals
- No. 42: Boston College Eagles
- No. 41: SC Gamecocks
- No. 40: Kansas State Wildcats
- No. 39: Fresno State Bulldogs
- No. 38: Minnesota Golden Gophers
- No. 37: UCLA Bruins
- No. 36: Florida State Seminoles
- No. 35: Boise State Broncos
- No. 34: Florida Gators
- No. 33: Mississippi State Bulldogs
- No. 32: Purdue Boilermakers
- No. 31: Iowa Hawkeyes
- No. 30: Air Force Falcons
- No. 29: Ole Miss Rebels
- No. 28: LSU Tigers
- No. 27: Houston Cougars
- No. 26: BYU Cougars
- No. 25: Texas Longhorns
- No. 24: Pittsburgh Panthers
- No. 23: Penn State Nittany Lions
- No. 22: Kentucky Wildcats
- No. 21: Arkansas Razorbacks
- No. 20: Oklahoma State Cowboys
- No. 19: Wisconsin Badgers
- No. 18: Michigan State Spartans
- No. 17: Tennessee Volunteers
- No. 16: Wake Forest Demon Deacons
- No. 15: Cincinnati Bearcats
- No. 14: Miami Hurricanes
- No. 13: Baylor Bears
- No. 12: Oklahoma Sooners
- No. 11: Oregon Ducks
- No. 10: NEW YORK State Wolfpack
- No. 9: USC Trojans
- No. 8: Notre Dame Fighting Irish
- No. 7: Utah Utes
- No. 6: Michigan Wolverines
- No. 5: Texas A&M Aggies