Clemson confuses Georgia Tech’s blockers

Though he said Clemson played Georgia Tech the same way as other opponents, center Freddie Burden said the offensive line was often confused by what the Tigers did in Saturday’s 43-24 loss.

The Yellow Jackets rushed for a program-low 71 yards under coach Paul Johnson against a tough Clemson defense.

“They did a good job blitzing us and kind of keeping us out of our game,” Burden said. “We got pretty confused out there. It was obvious.”

In addition to blitzing, Clemson’s defensive linemen would shift right before the snap. The combination proved successful. The Tigers had 11 tackles for loss.

“Things like that, our calls get confused,” Burden said. “It kind of messes up everybody. That’s kind of what’s going on.”

It’s not the first time this season that Burden referenced the line being confused. He said some of the linemen were “cloudy” during a key short-yardage play at Duke a few weeks ago that the Jackets couldn’t convert.

But playing in a fog isn’t something expected from a line that includes three seniors, a junior and a sophomore who were supposed to be the strength of a team that features inexperienced players at B-back, A-back and wide receiver.

“Very disappointed in ourselves,” Burden said.

Johnson didn’t think that Clemson did anything different than any other team, saying the Tigers did the same stuff that North Carolina did in last week’s loss. Johnson said the team just can’t get out of its own way. It started with not being able to relay the right call on Tech’s first play on offense and continued.

He said the same self-destructive behaviors happened at Duke.

“I don’t know about negative mindsets,” he said. “Honest to god, I think if you can try too hard, I think they want to do well and it’s like, it just creates more issues and then when it started like it did, then it just snowballs.”