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Examining Brandon Streeter’s debut as Clemson’s offensive coordinator

Caleb Browder, Photo Editor

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei (5) avoids Iowa State tacklers in the 2021 Cheez-It Bowl in Orlando, Fla.

The Cheez-It Bowl marked a lot of accomplishments for Clemson football, including Clemson’s 11th straight season with 10 wins or more and coach Swinney’s 150th career win at Clemson. 
It was also the debut of Clemson’s new offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter. 
Despite only having a 15 day turnaround between being named the official offensive coordinator for Clemson and coaching the Tigers in the Cheez-It Bowl, Streeter has already added his own “twists” to the team while keeping it the same as he mentioned in December.
“There are going to be some similarities for sure, but like all of us, whenever you have a role, you’re going to have your twist to it and you’re going to want to emphasize things that might not have been emphasized in the past,” said Streeter.  
One of those things that stayed the same was a balanced offense. 
In the eight games Clemson played in that were decided by 10 points or less, they ran the ball 52.3% of plays and passed the ball 47.7% of plays. Like the regular season, Clemson nearly ran an even split of running and passing plays against Iowa State. The offense had 38 rushing attempts and 32 passing attempts.  
Another part of the offense that remained the same were conservative passes, predominantly screens, swing passes and short comeback routes. 
In fact, out of DJ Uiagalelei’s 32 pass attempts against Iowa State, only seven traveled 10 plus air yards and no completion traveled farther than 13 air yards. 
“I thought [Uiagalelei] really managed the game,” said Streeter. “That’s something we talked about all week long, is managing the game and he did a really good job with his decision making.” 
The lack of deep pall passes should not come as a surprise since Streeter was Clemson’s passing game coordinator this year. 
A new wrinkle in Clemson’s offense was pre-snap motions. In 20% of Clemson’s offensive plays against Iowa State, there was pre-snap motion. Typically, it involved the running backs shifting from side to side of Uiagalelei. 
Nonetheless, this degree of motion was new to the Tigers’ offense and regardless of how extravagant the motions are, they will keep the defense on its toes. 
Something that was not used a lot during the game and even underutilized was play-action passes. Clemson’s offense only ran four play action passes against Iowa State. 
Out of the four times Clemson ran play-action, Iowa State’s defense bit on it twice, adding more reason to use it. 
Additionally, the two times play-action didn’t work was because of poor timing of the play call. For example, Streeter ran a play-action pass on a third and three at Clemson’s 35-yard line after a two-yard loss on the previous play.  
It is very perplexing as to why Streeter did not run play-action more and when he did, the unusual timing of it.  
Overall, Clemson’s offense looked relatively the same against Iowa State as it did all year. Look for more development to come next season as Streeter will have plenty of time over the off-season to craft a new offensive playbook. 

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