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Clemson - UVA game film review

Cavaliers vs Tigers boxscore

Cavaliers vs Tigers recap

This week's film review will be focused a little more on the defense and I will cover every offensive series but not in-depth. I see no big or very descriptive plays to pull out this week either, other than their trick plays. See the end for the summarizing thoughts. Please comment and ask questions on what you dont understand, these take a long time to do well. The goal here is to look for both good plays and bad technique. If theres anything that you would like to see or have explained, just ask. (edited with Tigernet videos)

1st play of the game on defense, UVA botches the handoff. That was on the RB, he never secured it.

Offensive drive, Clemson takes the ball on the 24. All zone runs from CJ. Diehl doesn't quite make the mesh point and fumbles, recovered by Austin. He's just not used to getting the ball. 4th and 2 call, shotgun set and Parker looks to throw on a bootleg. There was no one open and he runs it out of bounds. We ran the ball all the way down here, I would've spread the formation out to throw a dropback pass, or run inside.....but running inside seems to be the better call given that CJ ran the ball well. I would've gone for it instead of kicking however.

No points. Turnover at UVA 5.

Defensive drive: Rashawn Jackson pushes 3 guys forward for extra yardage. In a Nickel set, Gilchrist is in the nickelback and is late charging into a gap when the back comes to him, for a 1st down. Maye charges into the correct gap on 3rd down, but misses the tackle, goes for 3yds, but we still force a punt.

2nd CU Drive starts at the UVA 48. Harper gets nothing because McClain can't budge a guy. Deihl made a great block on the isolation play. Ford on a corner route and slipped for 17. Xavier Dye was open on a fly route in the endzone behind him. Parker hits Allen on a seam route for the TD. Parker looked off the FS to keep him still, but the FS should've made this play. Allen gives a salute, to the fans on the Hill and the military/ROTC guys in the endzone. He didnt even look at the UVA guys when he did it. Bullshit penalty. 7-0 CU. 4 plays 48 yards

Penalty forced Clemson to kick from our 30. UVA returns it 34 yards to our 45. Huge penalty from Ron Cherry's stellar crew.

Defensive drive from the CU 45. Can't stop the Wildcat against a terrible run offense. LBs out of position, not attacking gaps. I see a marginal hold on Bowers. Simpson is merely waiting on his blockers on delayed runs. Maye is held by the Guard on a 14 yd Power play to the CU 2, but he took that blocker head-on and shouldn't have. Still, he did try to turn his shoulder into him. McDaniel and Conner got their feet tangled up, and KA got handled by a RB. Weak KA, weak. Sewell walks into the endzone for the TD on a naked bootleg. Ricky Sapp was on that side and should've had containment, as should DeAndre McDaniel. The entire 2nd level bit on the play-action. 7-7, 6 plays 45 yards

Penalty set this up, but UVA had not been much of a Wildcat team that I'd seen earlier. They changed up their schemes on us and the Defense looked totally unprepared for it.

3rd CU drive starts at our 29. CJ takes a zone run for 14. Dalton Freeman forgets to snap the ball and we get a false start. Ford on a jailbreak/ruboff for a first down, then a comeback route for a first down. End of the 1st QTR. PA pass to Spiller on a wheel route for 26. This play was basically the same play we scored with against Georgia Tech earlier, but CJ was lined up at RB and there was play-action. Ford ran a Post to clear the underneath, and Ashe ran a Dig on the backside. CJ takes a zone with orbit motion for the score. 14-7, 6 plays 71 yards.


Defensive drive starts at the UVA 17. Goodman late on a tackle. Thompson and Goodman get penetration but cant run down Sewell. CLEAR holding call on Goodman there to make him a step late, right in front of Cherry. Screen is well played by Conner and Chavis for no gain. Zone Trap for 3 yard gain on Sapp. Sewell is caught by a backside blitz and throws off his back foot to a wide open receiver, Maye's man. Maye gets the late hit, and he deserved it. Another stupid penalty on Maye in consecutive weeks. UVA runs a Hanford Bunch set, Vic Hall is hit on a flanker screen, then throws back once the defense comes over to make the tackle on Hall. He had all the blockers. Overpursuit by the entire defense. Backside should've kept some containment by the End. Next play is an end-around pass to a wide open TE in the corner of the endzone. Nobody picked up the TE on his release after he initially blocked the DE. Secondary again bit on the initial motion. Chancellor went with the right guy, the LBs responsibility is run-first here. I think this is on the Free Safety. 14-14, 7 plays 83 yards

4th CU Drive starts at the CU 39. LB comes untouched around McClain and hits the mesh point, but doesnt know who to tackle. McClain apparently going to the DE with the RT headed to the OLB. I wonder what the hell McClain is thinking, in zone you block head-on when you are covered, you dont zone step right. Borderline late hit on Parker, not called. Marquan Jones catches a bubble, where has he been? Parker threads a needle into triple coverage on Palmer, great throw but a little late. Harper takes two Isolations for good yards. Ford gets an end-around, same play we ran against NC State last week. Good blocks by Palmer and Ellington downfield. Parker throws one away when the rush gets to him, but I thought everyone was covered when I saw it live. He might've been able to thread one in the back of the endzone. McClain again whipped on CJ's subsequent run that gets stopped. Dye can't get a foot down, incomplete. Throw was high.  Jackson FG 17-14, 13 plays 57 yards

Antoine McClain is pissing me off. I don't think highly of Walker yet but McClain makes him look like a Pro Bowler.

Defensive drive starts from the 6. UVAs returner cant catch footballs, and didnt all day.  Simpson hesitates going into his hole. Bowers holds and controls his blocker. On 3rd & 11 Vic Hall runs a great route and great throw for a 1st.  Maye forces the fumble and Chancellor recovers at the 24.

5th CU drive at the 24. Parker blitzed and throws it away. Screen pass batted down, Parker didnt move his feet at all. He finds Ford in the endzone on the next play for 24 yards, deep post route. Parker was behind the LOS by a half yard. 24-14 CU, 3 plays 24 yards


Defensive drive starts from the UVA 20. 1:52 on the clock. They run one play, and let the clock run. On 2nd down we call timeout with 1:05 left. Dabo trying to get more? They run short for the 1st down. They want to run the clock off, but since we cant get off blocks and get tripped, they get 22 yards on one play with 40 seconds left and get a shot for the endzone. Burd drops a pass. Butler playing soft and they get out of bounds on an out/hitch. Conner gets through his hole too late and the back gets the 1st down. Brewer beaten on a return route for 13. Then they finally take their first timeout with 8 secs left. A wheel route to Simpson, Hall not there to help Maye. I think he should be but the post route kept him occupied long enough. Perfect throw and catch. 24-21 9 plays 80 yards

They weren't even trying to score, they wanted to run the clock out. We called timeout at 1:05 on the UVA 27. I know what Dabo is thinking, and don't blame him. We could get a punt return TD or good field position at midfield or better and put this game on ice. He has faith in his defense to stop them, they couldnt.


Defense: Caught by tricks and misdirection. I thought we were more disciplined than that, but we overpursued, didnt get off blocks, lost containment on the edges, and had blown coverages by the Safeties. The Cavs deserve credit for doing things that they hadnt all year with trick plays, and they made a great catch at the end of the half. If they'd stuck with their conventional offense, i doubt they'd have scored twice.

UVA 230 yards, 114 passing 116 rushing

Offense: nothing much to complain about other than McClain's missed blocks. Very efficient for Parker, good running game, no drops. Spiller 9 carr, 39 yards, 3 rec 31 yards.

CU 224 yards, 152 passing, 72 rushing

3rd qtr

1st CU drive starts at CU 22. Zone read by Parker for 19. Spiller steps out on a flare route, looks hurt. Parker overthrows a deep post to Ford. Parker misses Spiller underneath, Spiller didnt seem to be looking for the ball to come to him. Parker had to throw it since they were running a twist into the gap, shouldve waited anotehr half second. Punt.

Spiller seemed totally unenthused with being out there after that flare route catch.

D: 3 & out, finally. I knew they wouldnt score again at this point.

2nd CU drive starts from the CU 34. Ellington is in at RB. Sprint-draw PA to Ford for 28 yards. Dye on an out for 13, his foot was down. Ron couldnt screw us. Ellington inside zone with orbit motion for 13, then hard running and good push by the left side for the TD. 31-21 CU 6 plays 66 yards

D: 3 & out. They go back to the Wildcat with Vic Hall, and we manage to jump into the gaps and get free from blocks off the corner. KA sacked Sewell, Conner NAILED Vic Hall within the 5 yd contact zone. Same situation that Maye got called a PI for last week.

3rd CU drive from our 40. Spiller back in. Rendrick bulldozes Dowling for a 1st down, where has that been? Harper 5 tough yards on an Iso. Cloy playing some RG here. Spiller stopped on some zone runs. Parker's pass to Ford in the back of the endzone is tipped by a Robber, or it would've been 6. Jackson FG 34-21, 9 plays 34 yards

D: 3 & out. Sack by Cumbie. End of 3rd quarter. Missed tackle on the completion to Burd, appeared to be McDaniel but Maye got over.


4th CU drive from our 33. 3 & out. Spiller on a sweep for 2, well defended. Taylor tackled shy of 1st down, Spiller knocked for loss on a Power. Looked like the RT in on this play missed Collins, who blew up the play. There were some backups in up front. Punt.

D: 3 & out. Good disciplined pursuit up front, good LB play. Andre Branch has a sack and lets him free, review shows him down. How Ron Cherry missed that I dont know, he was RIGHT behind him, not 3 yards away and looking at his feet. Again the booth ref isnt in on Ron's shenanigans.

5th CU drive from the UVA 40. Spiller zone for 1. Inside guys not moving anyone there. Hairston missed his man on a ruboff screen to Ford. Parker has ample time to find a receiver on 3rd & 4 PA, and doesnt see anyone. There was someone open on the backside but Parker never looked, but to the playside no one was really open. Jackson Missed 52yd FG.

I would've gone for this first down at their 35. I believe we could've made it if it was a little swing pass to Spiller.

Defensive drive from the UVA 35. Sapp is held, and Sewell finds a wheel route to Jones, matched on Gilchrist for 38. Rennie Moore sacks Sewell, intentional grounding call for loss of 17. Sewell is sacked on 3rd & 28, but Conner gets a personal foul on a helmet-to-helmet contact. I think its total bullshit. Conner is coming at Sewell, and he drops just before Conner gets there so it became helmet-chest contact. Conner's head hit Sewells shoulder pad and vice versa. Conner makes up for it by charging up the B gap and making a TFL, Gilchrist knocks a pass down in the seam on good coverage. Chancellor there in coverage on 4th down pass, and knocks it away. Turnover on downs.

6th CU drive, the offensive line has been shifted to more backups the last 3 drives, and thats the primary reason we can't run the football.  Lambert doesnt feel like blocking on a screen, but they played it well. Punt.

Defensive drive from the UVA 32. Sapp and Maye finally get Sewell down for a sack after Maye missed him in the backfield, Burd gets a deep cross for a first down to our 41, Chavis misses a sack when he had him cleanly. Campbell and the nickelback both blitz and Campbell brings him down. Campbell knocks the next pass away from Vic Hall. Rennie Moore gets another sack, good jump and technique. Turnover on downs.

Clemson takes a knee. End of game

Summarizing thoughts

Defense didn't blitz as much as I expected early, they were on their heels. In the 2nd half I think we blitzed a little more, but it was predominantly better play by the defensive line getting off blocks and shooting the gaps. LBs played better, particulary Conner. Chancellor was excellent in coverage, and went unmentioned because of it. I knew Steele would shut it down in the 2nd half.

Bowers probably got in on 10-15 plays tops.

Offensively we just executed, theres not much to say. Route running was ok that I saw, blocking was good in the 3rd quarter but fell off in the 4th when we put in the backups. Jacoby Ford had a great day, he pretty much returned every kick and had 100+ yards receiving.

Kyle Parker didnt miss many throws at all, much better day for him in terms of efficiency.

Red zone issues remain.

I was just disappointed we didnt leave the 1st team OL in there to block for CJ and let him break one. I think he lost something after that flare pass, and he looked tired afterwards. The 2nd team had a noticable dropoff.

Special teams was sound, but not spectacular. We hit the EXTRA POINTS, but kickoff coverage was a bit lax a couple times. I'm surprised we didnt recover a kickoff fumble since their returner sucks.