Clemson did what they should've done for about a half of football today, crushing the atrocious Syracuse defense to the tune of a 35-7 halftime score, and ending up 49-14 after a 91 yard TD pass to Sammy Watkins broke their wills.
Personally, I'd have left the first team in the whole 4th quarter and put another 21 on them. If they want to talk shit to us on the field then let them try to back it up. And I'd have left the first team OL out there to learn how to move someone off the ball consistently, because they haven't learned yet.
Tajh Boyd looked really good today, and ended up with 455 yards and 5 TDs to go with 2 INTs. One INT was an overthrow of Mike Williams and the Safety was in position, and the other was a bit of a freak play along with a great effort by the DB. The offense as a whole ended up with 624, despite the superior heat and humidity of the Carrier Dome.
However despite some great success running the ball early in the game, we didn't keep doing it and we carried nearly none of it into the 2nd. The Cuse defensive front stiffened up and our OL were stood up. There were few holes for anyone to hit, but I think Davidson and Brooks have earned some extra carries against BC. Clemson's OL did not do a good job pass blocking for Tajh either in some spurts, though Cuse is a blitz-heavy defense. We did not have the correct protections called for the series of blitzes they threw at us.
The defense had a solid performance, with the exceptions of run fits by the DBs and taking a nap in the 3rd quarter. 323 yards allowed on the ground to this team is horrible, even if half of it was on 3 plays. They don't have the players at WR to challenge us that much in the secondary, and we did a great job picking passes from Hunt, but when we fall asleep on fitting gaps and tackling a run offense can have a field day.
DL pressure was again consistent, but we appeared to not snatch blocks as well, and Syracuse linemen were able to pull us into their bodies and grab.
What irks me the most about this game was Dabo's choice to go for the TD when he did. I can understand at times you want to give an overmatched opponent a chance to stop you from scoring at all instead of kicking for 3. Those times are with the 2nd or 3rd team offense when its 55-x in the late 3rd or 4th quarter, not just before half with the 1st team offense. We called a run/pass option on 4th & goal well away from the goal line after losing yardage on 3rd down -- you take the points. That fired up Syracuse's coach (who was losing his mind way more than a defensive coordinator should) and he cussed Dabo
Then went to the locker room and fired up his team by telling them we were running the score up. Well, Dabo messed up there, but I'd have no problems running the score up with the amount of shit-talking they did before the game. I'd have just done it in the 2nd half with an offense that wanted to make plays, which the first team really didn't seem to want to do in the 3rd.
Thankfully Sammy broke them and it was over.