Clemson Overhauls Offensive Tempo With Garrett Riley After Getting Waxed By Tennessee’s Speed In Orange Bowl

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Clemson closed out the 2022 college football season with an Orange Bowl loss to Tennessee. It was not particularly close.

The Tigers simply could not keep up with the Volunteers’ offense and lost by 17, scoring just one touchdown in the fourth quarter. They ran nearly 40 more plays and out-gained their SEC opponents, but struggled to put points on the board.

Now, as Clemson enters 2023, head coach Dabo Swinney and new offensive coordinator Garrett Riley are bringing a new look to the offense. Former five-star quarterback Cade Klubnik will be at the helm after making his first-career starts in the ACC Championship and bowl game, and the Tigers are going to go fast.

Clemson wants to be more like Tennessee.

Tennessee and Josh Heupel focus on tempo, spacing, and going vertical in both the run game and passing game. It was on full display in the Orange Bowl as big plays proved to be the difference.

Riley, who coached TCU’s offense to the CFP National Championship last season, has a similar focus. And after getting beat by the Volunteers, Swinney wants to pick up the pace, which is part of the reason he poached his new coordinator from the Horned Frogs.

Klubnik recently spoke about the Tigers’ new offense and how much fun it is going to be. Spring practice has only been underway for about a week, but he’s already excited about what’s being installed.

Although Clemson was not slow in the past, it sounds like the big plays and deep shots are set to play an important role in the team’s offensive future. Tennessee keeps things simple and moves quickly. It proved effective in the Orange Bowl, so the team that it beat is going to emulate the victors.

The Tigers will open their season on the road at Duke in September. This will be Riley’s first opportunity to show off with his new program. Klubnik and Clemson ended last season on a sour note and will hope that their offense will find success with tempo in 2023.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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