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Clemson-Sakerlina film review

ESPN Play-by-Play

I see no big or very descriptive plays to pull out for this week. 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.

CJ Spiller, opening kick


Defensive drive starts at the SC 27. Sweep for 5, missed tackle by what appears to be Conner. Garcia for 18 on a read option, on 3rd & 4. Clemson was playing a 3-4 front and guys inside are just getting pushed out of their gaps...Maye doesnt get off a block. Garcia on a QB Power O play for 5, well blocked by SC. Garcia underthrows a deep play to Brown and Chancellor barely misses the INT...really couldve caught that one. Quick slant for 14 to Jeffery, on 3rd down again. Maye forces him to fumble it with 3 white jerseys there and none of our guys fall on the football. Bowers bats down a pass. Rashard Hall jumps a route on a late throw to Saunders for the INT...Garcia should not have thrown this ball at all, Hall had him when the ball was let go.

1st CU drive starts at our 26. Ford on a deep cross for 23. Zone play to Harper for 8, lowers his head and takes on the tackler. Ford on a stop route for 9, good pump fake by Parker opened up that zone. Clemson tries to get cute now, running an end around pass with Ford, loss of 4 out of bounds, and I'm wondering why the fuck the SE receiver on the play is blocking instead of running his clearing route that would let Parker get open downfield. Jamie Harper gets a CB's helmet on the ball on a Power play and drops it at their 24, returned to the SC 40 by Norwood.

These playcalls were fine, but this turnover was a killer.

2nd defensive drive from the 40. Wildcat formation, Cumbie is beating his man but running himself out of his gap. LBs not controlling their assigned gaps. Bomb pass was a Power Play Action fake, Chancellor just gets beat. Looks like Clemson is sticking with a 3-4 front and played Cover 0 on that play, but I dont see a blitzer. Why is the safety so close in the box? Wildcat Power and the guy who should've made the tackle gets blocked by the pulling guard. Garcia back in on the 1, well-executed option play scores the TD. Branch took Garcia as he should, no LB around to help. 7-7, 7 plays 60 yards

These wildcat plays are no different from the Garcia power plays on the previous drive, just take out a QB and put in a RB. Its just a power play with some jet motion. Same exact play UVA ran, same one TCU ran too basically but with Dalton. The guard pulls and the RB/QB follows him into the hole. I'm curious why Clemson is running a 3-4 though.

2nd CU drive from the CU 37. Botched snap on the Gun snap, routine play blown. Its on Freeman. Good crossing route by Ford for the 1st down. Sweep  to CJ for a couple, poor block by Walker but they had numbers. PA pass is out of bounds, not a bad throw really but a tad high and wide. Next play was a badly late throw by Parker up the seam on a dig route for the INT by Holloman. That ball should've been there 2 seconds earlier, Holloman jumped it. and returned it 54 yards. SC playing C2 zone.

I will question the playcall on 2nd and 8 to throw, I would run the ball there in SC territory at the 46. Billyboy didn't commit to running the ball.

3rd defensive drive starts at our 11. Saunders missed in open field tackle by McDaniel. 14-7

Again Clemson was driving in SC territory and turned the ball over, then looked confused on how to tackle the guy with the ball on a long return.

3rd CU drive from our 37. End around to Ford for 3, good defense. Spiller Iso for 5: I dont know what RT David Smith is doing on that play, but its not called blocking. 3rd & 2, a pitch to Spiller from the Gun to the Boundary side, punt. END of 1st QTR.

Stupid ass playcall to the boundary. Run the damn football inside Napier, you just got 5 on an Iso and the left side blocked it well. Quit trying to be cute and hit them.

4th Defensive drive from the SC 23. Inside trap to Miles for 4. Clemson not set on the next one for 9. End around well played by Sapp and Cumbie. Clemson manages to stop Garcia for loss and they punt. Roughing the kicker called for 15. Sapp was engaged with a blocker and ran into him. Basically a turnover. Clemson wouldve had it on our 40, they keep it on their 45. Moe Brown drop. On the next zone read play, a myriad of screwups: Branch misses him, a safety takes on the blocker instead of making the right angle to the play and the inside guys get blown off the ball. Chris Chancellor breaks up the pass to Jeffery, excellent play. Again Chancellor makes a great play to save a TD. Clemson blitzers miss Garcia in the backfield, Cumbie in particular, and he rushes for a couple. SC 47 yd FG off the upright. 17-7, 11 plays 47 yards

Three turnovers in a row.

4th CU drive from our 36. They stop Spiller on 1st down on a Power play with the TE as an extra blocker inside. Don't recall us running that much this year. It was a single back play, TE in motion, RG pulled. May be a trap play but its definitely zone blocked. Parker dumps to Palmer in face of a blitz for 5. 3rd & 2, and we throw to Diehl on a screen that sails over his head. Punt.

SC had 8 in the box, we ran a clearing route downfield and Diehl under for a screen. I think this playcall is questionable, but they dropped 8 in and a 9th was closeby. I would've run the ball here.

Defensive drive from the SC 10. Maddox gets 4, DT to the playside gets blown off the ball. No LB presence. SC going with hurry-up pace. Zone read to Garcia, Bowers takes the correct man, but there is no LB to be seen. Hall and Maxwell have to come up to push him out of bounds. Maye blitzes outside and Garcia finds Maddox on a wheel route. There was no one available to make a play there, the LB did not go with the back as he should in man/man coverage. I believe this was Conner.Midline read option inside, Bowers misses the RB but he fumbles, but we cant recover the ball when Cumbie fell right on top of it. 3rd & 6 pass is dropped in the flats, but 2 clemson defenders get picked on crossing routes by WRs. If Miles had caught the ball he'd have 20+ yards. Punt.

5th CU drive from our 14. Parker gets blitzed and cant hit CJ wide open underneath, thrown low and behind. Hairston is whipped by his man inside, and gets a holding call. McClain whipped too on the same play on a stunt. Punt is deflected, touched by SC player, recovered at 26. Spiller Iso for 4. Ajiboye beats Austin to stop zone run. Palmer makes a good catch on a ball thrown behind him on 3rd down. Spiller Iso for 4. Ellington inside zone for a first, then again for 2 because Austin cant hold his block. Weak throw is batted down on a slip screen. Low throw is trapped by Dye, incomplete, because a Norwood was in his face and he couldnt set his feet. We call a TO and decide to punt.

Weak throws by Parker, poorly inaccurate. OL has success on straight-ahead running plays. I can forgive Austin for being beaten by Ajiboye some however.

Defensive drive from the SC 20. Miles gets 7 because there is no LB in his gap, Sapp had to run him down. Garcia up the B-gap on a Keeper, LBs blocked out. Read/pass option thrown in the flat, excellent open-field tackle by Crezdon Butler. Miles gets another chunk, LBs blocked by Guards, and Sapp runs him down again. Sack by McDaniel on the backside Guard, good move and quickness. Draw by Miles for 5 more, caught by Conner.

WTF is our DE making all the tackles down the field for?


Defense-LB play sucks. Clemson is playing mostly Nickel and is sticking with mostly 2-Man and Man-free coverage, and LBs are not getting off a block by the Guards/Center, and are getting picked on crossing routes so they cant pick up the backs. Also, several attempts by SC to give us turnovers and we didnt get them. All 17 points off turnovers allowed.

SC-131 yards rushing, 79 passing, 3/7 on 3rd down

Offense-Inaccurate throws, average blocking on run and pass, overeagerness to throw a bit.

CU-34 yards rushing, 67 passing, 1/6 on 3rd down.

Defensive drive from their 31. 3 & out. Good plays by Bowers, Maye, and Hall on tackles, Hall forces early throw on a blitz.

CU starts at 23.  Spiller tackled for loss because Austin didnt pick up his man. Bubble screen to Spiller and he fumbles it. Shoulder pad right on the ball.

Defensive drive at our 35. Missed sack in the backfield but no gain, good play by Conner on a tackle. Maye is just a step late with Hall in coverage on a quick slant. SC still going hurry-up. Chancellor makes a great play to break up a pass over the middle. Screen is blown up by our DT, looked like Thompson. 42yd FG blocked by Bowers.

Clemson defense comes up with two big stops here and we couldnt do shit with it.

2nd CU drive from the 25. 3 & out. Spiller Iso for 2, shoestring tackle saves a huge gain. Parker overthrows Ford by 10 yards on a Post. Parker leads Ashe too much on an Out route.

Playcalls were fine, no execution.

Defensive drive from the SC 45. Fleaflicker to Moe Brown on KA on a Corner route, no way should KA be on him there, total mismatch. Good catch by Brown though. Lead draw, Gilchrist misses a tackle, another arm tackle, Cumbie is slow on one. Gurley TD catch, unattended in the endzone. Totally blown coverage by Byron Maxwell. What happened: SC had doubles to the Field, and motioned the WRs to a "stack" alignment, then the DBs have to make the right choice on who to take. Maxwell didnt stick to the man going vertical RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM. 24-7 SC, 4 plays 55 yards

People rag on Chancellor alot, and say Maxwell deserves to start, but he made several great breakups so far. He might be beat, but its not a totally blown coverage. Two blown coverages on the drive, and missed tackles.

3rd CU drve from our 36. 3& out. Ford in the flat for a couple. 2nd & 7 when you can run the ball, and we throw. Blitz and pressure force incompletion, McClain gets his ass beat again. Cloy comes in, then David Smith beaten on 3rd down.

Don't like the 2nd down call at all. Bad OL play. 3rd down we had to throw.

Defensive drive from SC 20. DTs not controlling gaps, getting blown off the ball. Inability by anyone to tackle Garcia in a glut of white jerseys on 2nd down. 5 guys grabbed, none tackled. DTs blown off the ball, Maye blocked by Guard totally on another chunk play. Conner follows up with a good play with Alexander. Maye charges into wrong gap. Screen play blown up by Butler and pressure....could've been picked off. Punt

Shitty LB play, Shitty interior line play. Shitty tackling.

4th CU drive from the 36. PA pass, Parker scrambles for a big gain.  Ashe was a hot route when SC blitzed off the tackle, too high and he wasnt ready for it. Jailbreak screen to Ellington, short gain. Ruboff screen to Ford, tackled for loss. Punt.

3 minutes in the 3rd quarter, and we throw on every play on this drive. Clemson throws screens to halt the pass rush, when we could be RUNNING THE DAMN BALL TO STOP THAT.  I think the ruboff screen is a useless play.

Defensive drive from the SC 14. Chancellor decides to not play defense on Gurley for 36, caught flat-footed on a stop route. Start of 4th QTR. Maye slow to take Garcia on a zone read, but it was well blocked and executed. Conner makes a good play to stop a run for a loss. SC takes a delay of game, then an ugly punt of 16 yards that hit Norwoods chest.

Front 7 played better on this drive, aside from the brain cramp Chancellor had, it was good.

5th CU drive from our 32. Have to throw the ball, down 17 in the 4th. Quick out to Palmer for 5. Next pass thrown over Dye's head on a crossing route. Left side falters on a stunt and Mathews comes through untouched and gets a roughing penalty. Parker sacked, left side again. Palmer runs down the seam and makes a great catch on a high throw to their 33. Next pass batted down, Austin didnt keep his guy's hands down. Parker overthrows Palmer on the sideline. Jackson 45 yd FG, 24-10

Now down 14 with 11min left, you need a quick stop and you can run your offense, you dont have to throw. The left side of the line is getting beat on stunts, both Austin and Hairston. Parker still woefully inaccurate on throws.

Defensive drive from the SC 30. Cumbie throws his man off and gets Garcia on a read option. Then Miles for 22. BOTH LBs get blocked by the ONE Tackle, Maye jumped to the A-gap, got pancaked and Conner stood there and then the tackle took him out next. Gilchrist was held a little and made the tackle. Midline option to Miles for about 4. Miles for 6, missed tackle by Butler on 3rd & 3, Bowers not where he was supposed to be. Clemson does have 8 guys in the box here. Midline to Maddox, Jenkins blown off the ball, Sapp too. Thompson blows up his man, and is out of position to make the tackle, Maddox went the other way for 4. Thompson stops him on the next play. Great play by McDaniel to stop Garcia on 3rd down, looked like a run blitz. SC 38yd FG, 27-10.11 plays 49 yards, 06:01

Linebackers....people out of position, but interior linemen being blown back off the ball too. SC making their blocks well. They ran off 6 minutes, now we're in pass-only mode.

6th CU drive from our 36, notice thats basically where we're starting all day. Parker off his back foot to Ellington over the middle. SC playing Quarters coverage. Palmer a good catch between two guys on a stop route. Parker throws up the seam to Brandon Clear on a skinny Post, into 3 guys that really should've been picked. Spiller in the flat for 4. Palmer left alone up the seam on an out-n-up route for 25. If he was faster that would be a much bigger play. Norwood forces Parker to throw one away, Landon Walker not playing well at all on this drive. Again, Palmer up the seam, same play as before for the 22yd TD. 27-17

Palmer was more accurate but the decision to Clear was a horrible one. The throw to Ellington was in the face of a blitz and he just got rid of it. Norwood was blitzing nearly every play, lined up as a DE on Walker and beat him on every play.

Clemson onsides kick with 3:46, and nobody tried to get the damn thing. It didnt go 10 yards. Jeffery returns it. Adding on the offsides penalty, they get it at our 4. WTF guys.

From the 4, Gilchrist stuffed the back on a blitz. McDaniel on the next play. KA stops Garcia on the 1, inside guys blown off the ball totally.  Saunders left uncovered by McDaniel/Conner for the TD, difficult to tell who shouldve had the coverage there. He released unchallenged, I believe its on McDaniel. 34-17.

Not much any defense can do there from their own 4.

Clemson gets it at the CU 40. Good route and throw to Allen for a 1st, and Parker overthrows him on the next play. Low throw to Marquan Jones (HOLY SHIT MARQUAN?)  on the boundary, that could've been picked off, the CB jumped the route and missed it. Parker runs for the 1st down. OL cant stop the rush on the next play, Parker is rushed to throw to Brown over the middle. Thrown behind Taylor up the seam, nearly picked off. Slant to Jones broken up, good play by the CB. Next throw to Brandon Clear is well off the mark, on a Post, could've been 6 if it wasnt.

Game over

Summarizing thoughts

Offensively, this is probably the worst day Kyle Parker has had, together with Boston College. I think SC played very good zone coverage down the field but he was inaccurate all day.

Part of his inaccuracy comes from the pass rush, as everyone on our offensive line got beat at some point. If anyone up there had a great day gradewise, it would've had to be Freeman. But, with Brad Scott calling 75% "winning football", they probably all got A's.

Turnovers. Turnovers. SC capitalized on all of them. Harper's fumble was a killer, as we were driving early. I would say this swung the game early in their favor. Thats TWO big games you swung now Jamie, HOLD ONTO THE FOOTBALL.

But I think more of this loss, from an offensive standpoint, goes to Napier. I've praised him when he does well but he dropped the ball. He never attacked SC with the running game. WHY NOT? Horrible gameplan, worse adjustments. The Isolation was working, why abandon? We beat the snot out of them last year with it and theres nothing I saw that makes me think they could've stopped it today.  There were times they dropped 8 in the box but they didnt have to when we went almost ALL-shotgun in the 2nd half.

its not difficult to beat SC if you can run the football. Its not rocket science.

Defensively, linebacking corps had a pisspoor performance. Thats nothing new. I cant get over how one LT blocked out both LBs there, thats just atrocious. Interior linemen had up and downs. Jamie Cumbie had a good day that I saw. The rest were good one play, bad the next. They just werent sticking to their gaps up front, and were not at all aggressive across the board. The aggression is probably my biggest complaint really. I didnt see guys jumping around excited at all on defense as the game wore on. No emotion, that goes for offense too.

I'm a firm believer that technique and alignment are the utmost important defensive football, but emotion is a big factor too.

The plays that Spurrier threw against us were the ones that teams had success with all year. It was all midline option handoffs inside, midline traps, zone read, and QB and Wildcat Power plays: same play but in one case its a RB, otherwise its Garcia. Spurrier apparently decided to take what worked and run it all the time, great gameplan by him. If other teams had studied us like this, then others would've run the ball well against us.

The secondary had a good day overall, Garcia looked like the Garcia I expected. They just had him run the ball. I noted the botched plays in coverage, McDaniel on two TDs, Maxwell and Chancellor, but Chancellor made some great breakups and saved 2 TDs on one drive early.

I dont believe Clemson wanted to play this game. They were not emotionally prepared, and the responsibility for such things goes to the Head Coach. Its his job to change it.