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Clemson football, surefire way to take 10 years off your life.
I don't understand why it is, but Clemson is sure to always find a way to keep GT in a football game until the very end. We seem to play our worst against these guys on defense every year, and then the offense will make a critical mistake and we lose. We made the mistake, but bowed up with the Safety. Any win over Tech I'll take just to be done with them for the year.
Tajh Boyd did not play his greatest game. He looked very shaky to me early in the game and throughout the contest he made several really dumb throws. He looked like he was pressing again. However, he's grown enough as a QB to overcome his brainfarts. He did well enough to win it.
Nuk is All-World, if we did not have him this year we may have 3 losses. With Sammy Watkins still not himself, Hopkins is the main go-to guy on this offense. Eventually opponents will scheme to take him away first and leave Sammy in single coverage. We really need Sammy to get back into good playing shape to keep defenses honest. It would be great if someone like Charone Peake stepped up a little more. Bryant should be back soon as well.
I'm just stunned that we did not try to run the ball more inside. We came out throwing again, and on some drives it seems that we do nothing but throw. Chad gets pass happy and seemingly worries more about ending up with 40 runs and 40 passes instead of just taking it to them early. This was GT, a team that was ripped apart by MTSU on the ground, and we still can't move the NG off the ball with our supposedly All-ACC Center? I was not at all happy with the OL play on the right side, but we didn't even run some plays that we've stood on for weeks. I don't understand some of the playcalling at all. How many Power O plays did we call before the TD at the end? Would this game have been put away a little earlier if we had run the ball more often? I think so. 47 points is great and thats where we should end up, but it seems like its put more on Tajh and Nuk's backs than it should be.
Its obvious though that this defense did not improve at stopping the veer or counter option. We did a very good job of getting off blocks, much better here than last season, but our problem was basically one thing: two men took the QB. We were reading the option instead of attacking the option. One guy has the QB, and he didn't go for the QB. He let the QB read. You can't let him read, and you cannot read the QB. There is no room for hesitation. The man with pitch responsibilities did not widen to take the pitch back, because he was reading, and was constantly letting the pitch get wider than him. Once he does that he beats him up the sideline for big yards. That one simple thing kept GT in the game. They weren't blocking us well except on the QB Isolation. It wasn't until the very end where we became more aggressive on the pitch option that we forced a Safety and stopped them.
We didn't do a terrible job on the Belly Dive, but like the last time when GT visited, I think PJ screwed himself up by passing too much. They weren't strange when Jonathan Meeks displays a lack of arms of course, but still there were some strange play calls today from Johnson. Did they run the Dive more than 10 times? I don't think I saw Midline more than once or twice (because we were mostly in twin 2-techs) and I don't believe they ran the counter option enough considering our lack of discipline.
I'm just glad this game is over and that we don't see the true option again this year. 47-45-type games are painful for me to watch.