The Tigers were shaky for about 1.5 quarters but took care of business against the fighting Pergolas. Anytime you put up 90 plays and 600+ yards of offense and hold the other team to 10 points is a good day but the inconsistency is still there on both sides of the ball that needs to be worked on in the off week in preparation for an improved GT squad.
Tajh Boyd had a statistically good day, but it was not his best game to be sure. He forced at least 3 balls to double and once triple-covered receivers down the field, still locks on his primary target, and did not take what the defense gave him on the checkdowns. He's still pulling it to run when he should just get rid of it or throw it out of bounds. In some ways it looks like a regression, which makes his 24/29 completion rate look crazy, but UVA has nothing to stop us with either, especially not Sammy Watkins. Other than Eli Harold and Coley they have nothing on defense. Tajh is a smarter player than he is showing us and i'm not sure what the problem is mentally. In the first quarter and the last drive of the half he was good but he needs to have his mind right for Georgia Tech. Its going to be a dogfight.
Clemson's OL did better with blitz pickup today, and the RT spot was fine, so there was some improvement in that area. The interior line still needs to improve in the run game, and we did not take the opportunity to work on it after we jumped ahead. You don't improve at it if you don't just tell the OL to go smash and call the plays to do it.
Clemson's defense was shaky at the start of the game until the great play by Jayron Kearse on the INT. UVA spread us out to run the ball and they did it. The DL was getting penetration vs the run, but they were leaving their gaps. LBs were not filling them properly either, and the starting RB for UVA ended up with 5.1 ypc (16 car, 82 yd). Of course the game stats will say we were lights out vs the run, and we have tackled well the last two weeks, but we did not do a great job at gap control while UVA was trying to run it.
On the flip side I thought we were outstanding at CB and the safeties did not give up a long TD. The LBs were good over the middle against the pass as well. I was a little disappointed in the pass rush against what had been a weak OL. I thought both Crawford and Beasley would end up with at least 2 sacks and I didn't notice either.
Clemson gets an off week to prepare for the Flexbone and if we tackle as well as we have, I think we'll be happy with the outcome. The defense has become more disciplined but this will be the ultimate test in that area.