Offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter and select Clemson players addressed the media in Miami (FL), Tuesday, ahead of Friday’s matchup with Tennessee. In the interim between the ACC Championship Game and the Orange Bowl, Streeter has been tasked with shifting the offense into the hands of freshman quarterback Cade Klubnik.
Klubnik will be facing a Volunteers defense that had its ups and downs this season. Tennessee stifled LSU, Kentucky and Missouri, but offered little resistance in a shootout victory over Alabama and a decisive loss at South Carolina. Streeter is excited to see Klubnik take the reins and has been impressed with how the young signal-caller has embraced his role as leader of the Tigers offense.
Coaches will often simplify the plan for young quarterbacks, focusing on execution more than deception. Streeter says, however, that’s always been the case in Clemson’s scheme, “Our game plan has always been, keep it as simple as possible. He’s (Klubnik) done a really good job of that. As long as he continues to trust his progression, trust the offense and not try to do more than what he has to do, he doesn’t have to be a hero.”
The change at quarterback may spark the entire offense as it did in the ACC Championship Game. The Tigers receiving corps didn’t produce a 100-yard game until Cole Turner posted 101 yards on three catches against UNC in Charlotte. An improved downfield passing attack may also open lanes for Will Shipley, who racked up 1,110 yards rushing this season despite often facing stacked boxes intent on stopping the run.
Klubnik and the new-look Clemson offense will kick off against Tennessee from Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL at 8 p.m., Friday.