7 at 7: Seven wrap-up notes from Clemson 56, Wake Forest 7, the most lopsided victory of Swinney’s career

Wake Forest Clemson Football

BY AARON BRENNER | abrenner@postandcourier.com
@Aaron_Brenner | Tiger Tracks on Facebook

CLEMSON – Was hoping to make this morning-after version of 7 at 7 one quote from each of the seven touchdown scorers yesterday; but we only talked to four of the seven.

So, instead, seven random notes which didn’t make the print notebook and are worth taking note:

1) Sammy Watkins licked his chops all week, knowing what was coming as early as the third play of the game.

“That was scripted as an early call, because No. 7 (Merritt Noel) and No. 9 (Kevin Johnson) are very aggressive at corner, and they will jump things,” head coach Dabo Swinney said. “It was a little double move by Sammy; corner actually did a good job, but Sammy did a great job of running through the collision, and Tajh did an excellent job of keeping the ball inbounds where Sammy could go get it.

“Even if you don’t hit it, you send a message, as far as, hey, we’re going to take some shots.”

Message sent. In the second quarter, Watkins drew a pass interference on another deep ball, which led to Clemson’s fourth touchdown.

“When you put Sammy out there in 1-on-1,” Swinney said, “more times than not, good things are going to happen.”

2) Tajh Boyd has terrorized Wake Forest, the happiest team in the land that Boyd’s gone next year. His 1,255 total yards of offense against one opponent sets a Clemson record.

3) Safety depth is at the top of the grocery list these days for Clemson coaches. They did an okay job of solving that riddle Saturday, with plenty of garbage time to test out some unprovens.

Jayron Kearse and Taylor Watson got some play early; Kearse got plenty more than Watson. Ronald Geohaghan and Cordrea Tanklersley got in late.

“We have good players; they’re just all young,” Swinney said. “We’ve got to just put them on the field and let them play. They’re not going to get better standing on the sideline.”

Kearse was one of seven Tigers who had at least four tackles (none had more than five; call it a balanced effort.)

“Jayron has practiced well. He’s got tons of range and upside,” Swinney said. “As he plays, he’s just going to continue to get better.”

Overall, Swinney said “we’ve got a pretty good rotation at corner, and all those guys are playing well. But safety is where we’ve got to get guys some experience.”

4) Clemson running backs have rushed for four touchdowns this season. C.J. Davidson has two of them.

Davidson was called upon to run out the clock, getting 25 yards and a pair of scores on nine carries. He didn’t take any losses.

“C.J. Davidson, as he continues to really learn the big picture of playing this position, he’s going to be a good football player,” Swinney said. “He’s a little different than those other guys, and I think brings a good dimension to us. It was good to see him get a little more action today.”

If we’re nitpicking, it’s a bit of a concern that on 47 attempts, Clemson couldn’t register a run longer than 13 yards.

5) Oh, the Tigers so badly wanted Daniel Rodriguez to be the eighth different player to score a touchdown Saturday. The former Army ranger and current Clemson receiver got two jet sweep opportunities inside the 5 but couldn’t quite crack the end zone, yielding the goal-line carry to Davidson.

6) Easy at it might have looked Saturday, they don’t just hand out 49-point routes over conference foes.

It’s the Tigers’ fourth-largest margin of victory within the ACC, ever; and the biggest since 1999, when Clemson beat Duke 58-7.

Hard as this is to believe, it’s the largest margin of victory against any opponent in the Dabo Swinney head coaching era.

7) Set your DVRs … it’s the ACC schedule for Oct. 5 (all times ET):

Ball State at Virginia, noon, RSN
Maryland at Florida State, noon, ESPN
North Carolina at Virginia Tech, 12:30 p.m., ACC Network
Army at Boston College, 1 p.m., ESPN3
N.C. State at Wake Forest, 3:30 p.m., RSN
Georgia Tech at Miami, 3:30 p.m., ESPNU
Clemson at Syracuse, 3:30 p.m., ABC in ACC states / ESPN2 nationally

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