Duke: Who got the snaps?

Tavaris Barnes, Vic Beasley make big moves, as Tigers continue to build depth across the board

Clemson running back D.J. Howard dives into the endzone for a touchdown against Duke.

Photo by Sefton Ipock

Clemson running back D.J. Howard dives into the endzone for a touchdown against Duke.

As the Tigers hit the home stretch of the season some subtle, but important, changes are transforming Clemson's lineup on both sides of the ball.

The bottom line: more second-tier players playing more snaps, pushing the starters ahead of them, and improving depth across the board.

Of all the Tigers, no one has made a stronger move than sophomore defensive end Tavaris Barnes, who over the past two games has played 62 snaps - 30 against Wake Forest and 32 against Duke - after playing just nine against Virginia Tech.

At the opposite end, Vic Beasley has made a similar move. He was in the game for 30 snaps against Wake and 34 against Duke, after playing just seven snaps against FSU and Georgia Tech, and 10 against Virginia Tech.

Also working his way into the mix is first-year freshman Kevin Dodd, who since sitting out the FSU, Boston College and Georgia Tech games, played seven snaps against Virginia Tech, 13 against Wake and a season-high 22 against Duke.

Increased playing time for Carlos Watkins and Rod Byers is adding depth on the interior defensive line, as well.

Other players who've stepped up recently into more substantial roles include defensive backs Cotez Davis and Garry Peters, and linebacker Spencer Shuey (who has now established himself as a mainstay at middle linebacker).

Clemson's early offensive explosion against Duke allowed the coaches opportunity to invest playing in numerous other players, as well.

Robert Smith played a season-high 43 snaps at safety, while at linebacker, Lateek Townsend made his non-special teams debut and B.J. Goodson got a season-high 11 snaps.

The second offensive got its most extensive action since the Ball State and Furman games. Ryan Norton played 46 snaps, Kaon Davis 23, Isaiah Battle and Shaq Anthony 19 each, Reid Webster 14. Spencer Region, Eric Mac Lain and Joe Gore also saw action up front.

Players with a season-high in snaps included D.J. Howard and Rod McDowell, Darrell Smith, Webster, Cortez Davis, C.J. Jones, and Byers. Zac Brooks matched his season high with 20 snaps

Following is a breakdown of Clemson's player participation against Duke, with total season snaps in parentheses:

Offense (31)

Offensive Line (13): Tyler Shatley 60 (604) Brandon Thomas 60 (652), Gifford Timothy 60 (567), Dalton Freeman 60 (631), Ryan Norton 46 (215), David Beasley 39 (478), Kalon Davis 23 (156), Isaiah Battle 19 (80), Shaq Anthony 19 (120), Reid Webster 14 (22), Spencer Region 7 (61), Eric Mac Lain 5 (40), Joe Gore 4 (54)

Wide Receiver (8): DeAndre Hopkins 39 (489), Jaron Brown 36 (424), Sammy Watkins 35 (283), Martavis Bryant 35 (169), Adam Humphries 34 (281), Charone Peake 31 (307), Matt Porter 13 (64), Daniel Rodriguez 12 (40)

Tight End (3): Sam Cooper 35 (195), Stanton Seckinger 22 (77), Brandon Ford 20 (475)

Running Back (4): D.J. Howard 33 (95), Rod McDowell 31 (130), Zac Brooks 20 (58), Andre Ellington 1 (429)

Quarterback (2): Tajh Boyd 62 (643), Cole Stoudt 21 (80)

Fullback (1): Darrell Smith 15 (81)

Defense (30)

Linebacker (8): Spencer Shuey 51 (265), Tig Willard 51 (436), Stephone Anthony 20 (410), Corico Wright 18 (145), Tony Steward 14 (54), Lateek Townsend 13 (13), B.J. Goodson 11 (20), Quandon Christian 7 (307)

Defensive Line (6): Josh Watson 39 (305), DeShawn Williams 28 (276), Carlos Watkins 25 (78), Grady Jarrett 25 (336), D.J. Reader 20 (173), Rod Byers 17 (40)

Defensive End (5): Malliciah Goodman 38 (419), Vic Beasley 34 (189), Tavaris Barnes 32 (187), Corey Crawford 29 (383), Kevin Dodd 22 (64)

Defensive Back (11): Rashard Hall 72 (507), Travis Blanks 63 (397), Xavier Brewer 62 (452), Garry Peters 49 (268), Robert Smith 43 (83), Jonathan Meeks 40 (572), Cortez Davis 29 (66), Bashaud Breeland 24 (341), Dante Stewart 12 (59), Taylor Watson 11 (26), C.J. Jones 8 (8)

Special Teams Only (7): Chandler Catanzaro, Spencer Benton, Bradley Pinion, Phillip Fajgenbaum, Michael Sobeski, Marcus Bullard, C.J. Davidson

Did Not Play: Darius Robinson, Jerrodd Williams, Tra Thomas

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