In a nutshell, our team was not psychologically prepared to play this game, but we have so much more talent than this depleted Maryland squad that the score and statsheet will show this to have been a good game for Clemson. We could move the ball between the 20s fairly well today, when we held onto it.
Once again, Clemson's defense kept us in this until the offense figured out how to play football. However, I would not call their performance great either. Maryland could not run the ball that well, but hardly tried after the half, and let Caleb Rowe throw and throw and throw to guys who were open but could not catch it. The rest of the time he missed them. Our pass efficiency defense might look great but we were not great over the middle coverage, and the poor play of the safeties was again obvious. Pass rush was also lacking.
We did a poor job of holding onto the ball once again, with an inexcusable fumble from Hot Rod and another from Sammy Watkins. Tajh's interception was not on Tajh, the WR Mike Williams ran the wrong route, again.
Tajh's play otherwise was his fault. He was obviously staring down Watkins all day today. Just by watching his head you can see he was not going through his progressions and was forcing balls into tighter spots than he needed to. He did not take what the defense gave him. He didn't throw the ball away when there was nothing to take either, which is probably a by-product of him always pulling it and running himself. Today he couldn't run. At one point I would've benched him for a series to wake him up.
Rod McDowell ran hard today, and I'm glad to see ONE back get the carries and he ended up with close to 150 yards, despite having few holes to run through and none inside the red zone. He deserved that 45 yard TD run for all the work he put in today getting his head bashed in because of poor line play.
But Clemson's OL takes the cake for shittiest performance for the 3rd straight week. Can't sugarcoat that. One guy, Brandon Thomas, is doing well. The rest of them should've been benched, but I don't think any wanted to play so it may not have mattered. They do not fire off the football, ever. When they do, they can't generate movement. I think some of it is their angles but S&C is rearing its head once again. They do not hustle on pulls. Davis does not care to ever execute one right and Shatley is painfully slow. They do not lower their pads to deliver a hit. Hell half the time when we run outside they don't even hit anybody. We have a free blitzer coming off the right side on just about every 3rd down pass play (some of which is either on Chad or Tajh, or both).
If this were an NFL team I'd say release them all and go get 15 new ones.
Next week we get the White Meat, but we should be thankful that we're facing some weak competition or this team would very likely blow the chance to even have a 10 win season.