Defense Saves Tigers against BC

Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson escaped. We played like hot garbage and still won, and both Chad Morris and Robbie Caldwell should walk over and kiss Brent Venables for saving any hope of a national title.

The biggest culprit for our poor performance on offense was not Tajh Boyd, or the RBs, or the calls, or dropped passes. It was our offensive line and the blocking at TE. We couldn't move Boston College off the line of scrimmage and we could not pick up the simplest blitzes. When you can't execute a simple handoff along with that, you're lucky to have escaped with a win. Several guys had nice games at WR, and we don't want to be so negative that we miss that, but we should've put another 2-3 TDs on BC and didn't because we could not control the LOS.

Clemson's offensive line has clearly regressed in the run game over the last few weeks. They are not physical. They got beat like a collection of 5 year old girls today. Every one of them either got his ass kicked or completely missed an assignment at least once that wrecked a play. Kalon Davis was the worst offender, having pissed down his leg in pass protection, and can't get his ass in gear when he pulls. He was doing his best to refresh my memory of the worthless Antoine McClain. I thought I had blacked that shit out but apparently not. My gut feeling is that we are not hitting in practice enough since the UGA game and its showing on the field. We had to go max protect quite often to keep BC from planting Tajh in the turf, TEs still could barely pick anyone up, and its unacceptable.

Conversely, I'm really proud of the defensive performance today. I expected BC to be able to run the ball better and we shut Andre Williams down. I think he's an NFL-caliber back. Our linebackers were knifing through holes and making the tackles once we made more adjustments to their late pre-snap motions. Our DL did a similarly good job with gap control so those linebackers could move. We did not get consistent pass rush for the first time this season.

The secondary did well also, and I expected us to have a worse time with Amidon than we did. Chase Rettig is a capable passer and couldn't find anyone open today. In the end, the coverage notched us some sacks. We will not shut FSU down but I have more confidence going into the game given the secondary play over the last few weeks.

Safety is still a big problem however. Robert Smith did have a good day but Jayron Kearse did not, and was eventually replaced by an injured Travis Blanks, who we'd rather have rested. Safety play is the one thing holding this defense back from being really damn good. For two weeks you could say we may have shut the opponent out if the safeties had done better.

All in all, we're happy to have escaped with a victory, but we have the same problems showing up that next week's opponent will be able to exploit. Jimbo Fisher will directly attack our safeties. He'll know to attack the right side and Seckinger in pass protection. If they are not addressed this week, and if we don't hit in practice, we'll lose. We can't have a performance up front like this again next week. Its past time for our offensive line and TEs to get their shit together and start hitting

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