Sorry about the gif issue in the other post it's better in this one. This is the only game Clemson played this year where the athletes on defense wouldn't be blown away by Clemson's skill players. Texas A&M has the 24th ranked defense in SP+ and the best comparison for OSU's schedule is Cincinnati at 34. This game was a long time ago and Trevor Lawrence has improved greatly from this game but skill vs skill and line vs line should be pretty good info from this game.
So this is what is to be feared from Clemson. This is a standard 4 man rush 7 man drop into cover 2. It is a play action pass and Lawrence just lets it rip on his very first read and fits it in between a corner and safety. This is an example of a play that can't be stopped when you have an elite QB throwing to an elite WR. The only way to disrupt this is playing man to man because a perfect pass rush can't get there in time. It didn't matter because he got the ball of so quick but the pass pro was solid too
This is where the Tuf Borland conversation needs to happen. I think he gets too much hate but Travis Etienne shows something not even Jonathan Taylor can do on this play. He is just a burner and it looks like he is fast forwarded on this play, I am not confident in Borland making this tackle in open space. Also watch the LG John Simpson on this play, he is their best Olineman and shows great athleticism while being listed at 6'4" 330.
Clemson's offense does not have a weakness. However their offensive line is a question mark. The line of scrimmage wasn't tested once in the ACC and A&M's line is nowhere near as good as OSU's. The tackle on this play is mostly because of a great play by the LB who shot the gap but look at the line of scrimmage, not a single Clemson offensive lineman pushed their guy beyond it and most were driven back.
This was Lawrence's best play of the game. LT Jackson Carman gets beat by the speed rush and RG Gage Cervenka gets beat by the DT. However Lawrence steps up and then evades the pocket and while running hits his WR deep with a perfect ball while rolling left. It appears to be broken coverage as there are two guys deep but this shows how dangerous Lawrence is. This play has to be a sack from a DT, the skill players did their part the Oline made it shaky.
This is where you can get Lawrence. Clemson has lots of quick release/1 read throws to their monsters on the outside. Playing Scrubs every week there is rarely somebody who can stay with the WRs. This time Justyn Ross was lined up inside and ran a streak with a rub off from the outside WR. The 4 man stunt from the Dline took way too much time and Lawrence never looked away from this target. This isn't something Lawrence has stopped doing they have just played teams that cant hang with it. Question is does the pass rush get there even quicker or can Shaun Wade cover this?
Its hard to say if this game should be considered important in evaluating Clemson. It is the best team they played by a wide margin but it was so long ago. To think OSU can stop Clemson's offense this is the game to look at though. If A&M is actually good enough to slow down Clemson and it wasn't a fluke it is a little scary seeing what LSU did to them...