I'm going to go pretty much drive by drive here until the 4th, for the offense only. I'll give a few thoughts on the defense and missed assignments where I see them, but otherwise I feel like the D played well enough to not be critiqued too much. See the end for the summarizing thoughts. I've used TNet videos where I think they do well, but they are sideline shots and don't show the plays develop. Please comment and ask questions on what you dont understand, these take a long time to do well. Our goal here is to look for good plays and bad technique. I may pull a few plays out to discuss the Clemson offense/defense, and if theres anything that you would like to see or have explained, just ask. There was not much worth pulling out this week.
The animated drive chart is at the end.
1st PC Drive - 3 & out. Punt blocked.
1st Clemson drive starts at the PC 11 after a punt block by Kourtnei Brown. - Recovered by Clear. Offset I-Harper should've followed his blocks, caught trying to cutback. 2nd play, Harper really tiptoed into the hole, and it closed right up. Parker on a bootleg hits Jaron Brown for the first TD. 7-0 Clemson
2nd PC drive starts at their 25 -Dendy got 16 yards on the 2nd play, a basic counter, and DaQuan Bowers got blocked by the scrawny ass slot WR who was going in motion. That was the only play of note here. Clemson is showing 3-2-6 and 4-2-5, looks like Cover 1. 5 plays 23 yards.
Gilchrist takes the punt to the midfield mark - Dwayne Allen for 47 right up the seam. Iso TD Ellington. 14-0 Clemson. 2 plays 50 yards.
Feed doesnt give good vantage points on either play, so just the TNet videos.
3rd PC drive - 3 & out. Speed option and bubble screens, some nice open field tackling.
Clemson starts at our 45.- Parker sacked, they blitzed off the edge, beyond both Diehl and Hairston. The announcers say its Hairston but he was all over his man. The twist inside was intended to confuse Hairston/Smith but it looks like it confused Diehl, and the Cornerback got to his hip before he could move his feet to block him. The sack should go against Diehl.... A little flare route by Marquan for 7.....3rd & 24, screen to Harper on the backside, Hairston couldnt get far enough out to hit the CB, but Nuke Hopkins was there and decided to not block his man.
I doubt the screen would've gotten 24 but they were way back in deep coverage. This drive only stopped because of the blitz.
4th PC Drive - They dropped a 1st down pass over the middle. Justin Parker nice persuit on the boundary, forced it as wide as possible and made the tackle. A little slant gets them the first down against the nickelback, but I cant see who it is, maybe Sensabaugh. Malliciah Goodman gets a fumble in a dogpile. 4 plays 18 yards.
Clemson starts at the PC 38 - Tajh Boyd in the game. Cloy kinda flubs his block and an Iso is stopped for no gain. A designed half-roll levels play hits McNeal on the 2nd level. On this play, Dye runs a Go route to clear the safety, and ends up wide open (could've been 6 for him but he's not looking for the ball), Brown runs a quick stop route at 3-5 yards to pull up the Corner, and McNeal runs a Corner route between the two....HB Power for 8....Zone read Tajh Boyd, hard running. 21-0 Clemson, 4 plays 38 yards.
5th PC drive starts at the 20 - Lost edge contain on first play. Brandon Thompson completely ate up his Guard once and the play went the other way. DMac got his first good hard hit on an end-around. Bowers is being pushed backwards, not getting off blocks from little guys today (his pad level is high, they stand him up).... Branch misses tackle on shovel pass option, overpursued the QB. Looks like Willard was just a bit late....Branch gets a sack after the RB cuts him, and they punt. 8 plays 13 yards.
Clemson starts at the 23 - Parker in. Harper Zone for 5. Rocket/Jet sweep for Jaron Brown for 23. Play-action finds Clear on a Corner route, excellent catch. Xavier Dye would not have even tried for that ball.....Dwayne Allen is actually the 3rd option on the play, a little pump route to the back of the endzone. 28-0 Clemson. 4 plays 77 yards.
Malliciah Goodman forces his 2nd fumble on the KOR, Clemson starts at the 15 - Parker in the 1st play, FB Dive for 3.....Boyd in, end around to McNeal, and Terrance Ashe put up a shitty block to stop it.....Boyd to Hopkins for the 6, nice throw to the back corner of the endzone for 9 yards. 35-0 Clemson, 3 plays 15 yards.
PC goes 3 & out. Nice breakup by Bowers, who was in coverage the exact same zone blitz we ran last week, he could've picked the ball off had he looked.
Clemson starts on the 26 - Boyd in. Hot Rod for 24 on a counter trap.... Zone for a few....Another zone for Daniel Barnes for 16....Boyd too hot on a slant to Ashe, ball was low but shouldve been caught....veer option to Barnes for 14. Actually this looks like the exact same play TCU ran against us last year. Boyd scrambles up the middle, holding the ball out like a QB usually does, for 7.... Shovel pass to Barnes for the TD. That is Matt Sanders pulling into the hole. 42-0 Clemson. 7 plays 24 yards.
PC starts at their 22. - Nearly all backups in now. Clemson showing all UNDER front, I guess the backups don't know the other fronts we play well, but PC in 21/22 personnel too. Backup QB in for PC. Brown missed a tackle. Jenkins missed a tackle on a slot screen. Daniel Andrews missed a tackle off the edge. They punt to end the half. 6 plays 21 yds.
Clemson 253 yards: 158 pass, 95 rushing.
PC 91 yards, 45 pass, 46 rushing, 3/9 on 3rd downs.
Not much you can do better than that really. I've seen us move some guys inside and out, and Branch moved to LB on a few snaps.
Clemson starts at the 25 - 3 straight incompletions by Parker, we go 3 & out but a roughing penalty gives us the ball back at our 40. One pass was hurried off the edge, another was almost intercepted by a lineman because Parker put no air on it (McClain didnt keep his hands down), and the 3rd was a throw away because they sent 3 again off the right side. Two protection issues and one on Parker, but none was the fault of anyone up front, we didnt have enough people to block and I don't think Parker read blitz. Parker pulled for Boyd.
Hot Rod for 4,....HB Power for 9, may have been a counter trap.,,,Ashe for 43 on a deep crosser, almost the same play we ran last week to Clear. The Z ran a go and Ashe came across under it.....Zone read for 2 from Boyd...Power TD by Hot Rod. 49-0 Clemson. 8 plays 75 yards.
OL played well there on that series. No reason to pull those plays out.
PC goes 3 & out, loses 3 yards on the series. Nice sack by Branch and another deflected pass. They held him and still couldnt prevent the sack.
Clemson starts at our 36 - 3 & out. Boyd misread the Strongside End on a zone read option, should've handed it off but kept it and lost yards. Price went down on this play......Power for 7....Boyd throws to Clear down the sideline and I don't think Clear ran the right route. Incomplete.
Probably should've ran there on 3rd & 3.
PC goes 3 & out, Brandon Thompson really ate up the Guard on the backside of a toss....We lost contain on the edge with Chavis and Hawkins for a 13 yard gain....incomplete throw and punt.
Clemson starts at our 32 - Keeper for 4...Gun sweep down the sideline, really good blocking here. Same play that worked last week for a TD.....Ashe flubbed another block on an inside run, looked like Power/Trap, and Ashe's man made the TFL....Read option play again for a few....Pass to Darrell Smith is baubled, shouldve been caught. Catanzaro 47 yd FG. 52-0 Clemson 6 plays 38 yards.
Catch the damn ball Smith. Ashe has whiffed 3x that I have seen.
PC starts at their 25 - First bad drive by the defense, though it appears to be entirely 2nd/3rd teamers. Brewer had a facemask on a tackle he should've made for loss....Meeks missed a tackle....Shuey missed a tackle on a QB Draw, as did #50...Spencer Adams and Shuey again flubbed a tackle, DL let themselves get sealed on another long outside rush....The trick play, looked like the receiver was Andrews' responsibility and he left him, hard to tell...TD play was a well-executed "Hide" play.
The WR in the slot initially cuts in to crack block as the QB rolls to his side, but he doesnt really block. He stops and the defense doesnt pick him up, theyre too busy wanting the sack and going left with the QB. The WR is left uncovered in the flat. A play that works against teams that overpursue plays. 52-7 Clemson, 11 plays 75 yards.
I believe Shuey should've walled off the inside here, but it may have been Meeks' assignment. It appears we are playing zone, and Adams lets the WR cross his face.
Awful tackling on the drive, awful angles, but the TD play was just a perfectly executed play on their part.
Clemson starts at their 27 - McDowell a great zone run juking down the sideline for 34 yards...Another for 3....False Start on Dye....zone read for 6 from Boyd....4TH QTR....Incomplete throw to Bryce....Boyd throws a pick over the middle, to the damn Nose Tackle (zone blitz). Boyd never saw him, throwing to Ashe over the middle on a shallow cross. I like that Boyd tried to flatten the NT, but he shouldnt be doing that.
PC goes 3 & out. - Kourtnei Brown stands out, but should be standing out more than he is, to be honest. Brown can outrun anybody PC puts at Tackle, and he doesnt. His technique with his hands appears nonexistent. If he isnt able to speed rush he doesnt get around anybody. I expected him to be better after the RS year.
I know Steele praised him and he did make some good plays today, but hes a better athlete and doesnt produce to his potential.
Clemson goes 3 & out, 3 straight runs, McIlveen in, and we're playing so many backups now that I don't know their numbers.
PC starts at our 37 - QB Draws and zone reads eat up our backups. Its just bad angles. A catch was made on Jenkins that was well-defended....QB gets 19 because we blitzed on the backside, and he ran where we werent. Parker left his position in the middle.....Parker fits his gap properly on a QB draw....The TD play was man/man coverage, Corner route against Sensabaugh. 52-14 Clemson, 7 plays 37 yards.
The TD play they ran is the exact same play that North Texas ran against us for a TD. Inside receiver runs a Corner route to the pylon, and the two outer receivers run 5 yard In routes. Both times the Corner route was open.
Clemson starts the 25 - 3 & out. McIlveen fumbled a snap and Dabo yanked him for Ogle.
PC starts at their 28 - One play, Meeks intercepts a ball that sailed. He just didnt put any zip on the throw and Meeks had plenty of time to get there to intercept. Returned to the PC 8.
Clemson from their 8 - 3 plays, 3 runs, then hit Kasey Nobles on a rollout. 59-14 Clemson.
PC starts from their 27 - Same story as before, just bad angles and tackling, and add to that poor coverage. Guys don't know where they should be. Kourtnei Brown makes almost every tackle himself, as apparently no one else can do it. 59-21 Clemson, 9 plays 73 yards.
Have our problems been corrected?
Well in tackling, for the most part, the first team guys took much better angles and they made the tackles they shouldve. The backups need to work on it much more.
Some of them won't see the field again though.
Other than that I don't think I can take much from this game for the defense. Its no better than a scrimmage. The only thing I think that can be critiqued is the technique in drops, coverage, and alignment. All of that looked good to me but you need endzone footage to check alignment.
Gilchrist wasn't spending the majority of the game jumping around and getting everyone else in proper alignment, so thats a plus.
I don't think Hawkins or Willard played as much as they should have. I would've left them in much longer, well into the 4th. Shuey got some significant PT and the one thing that I can say about him is that he's just not fast enough on the field right now to play every down. He's not faster than Hawkins, nowhere close. He seem to know where to line up and what to do, but he plays slow. Justin Parker hasn't played enough to get much of a read on his ability.
Goodman played well, he used his eyes today. Branch is the one player on D who stands out as playing the best game. The guys in the secondary didn't get much chance to show anything.
OL played better than I thought the first time through. No one stood out one way or the other. McClain has now made it 2 games without pissing me off, a new record.
Parker was sharp, and thats all I wanted to see. Boyd was noticeably sharper than he was against NT.
I was surprised that Harper/Ellington didn't play more, but Barnes likely won't get on the field again this year and he's put his 4 years of work on the scout team in, so let him play.
Ashe did not play well, flubbing blocks left and right. Dye should've played better. I do not expect them to be starters this year as we go forward into the ACC schedule. By midseason, one or both will be 2nd teamers.