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Postgame Impressions: Special Teams saved the day for Clemson

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And Special Teams is one of the few obvious positives about this performance. Their coverage was good against a pretty good KO/P return team thus far, and our returns set us up with good field position. If that had not happened we may not have ever scored on offense. I think this week, like UNC, we may just look at a few defensive gaffes and focus on the offensive playcalling.

  • Kyle Parker had a horrible day. Just downright bad. Its not all on his shoulders of course, but when you go 7-of-20 for 106 yards, much of it stays on the QB. He was inaccurate once again, underthrowing the deep pass to Brandon Ford, throwing behind underneath receivers and into the dirt a few times as well. Parker does not scan all of his reads in the progression, frequently missing the backside receivers who stand there wide open.
  • OL had their worst day of the year. I saw weak effort quite often up front. Frequent whiffs on blocks and many cases where no one could move a defensive front that averaged 153 yards allowed on the ground. No technique, not maintaining leverage with pad level constantly going up, and sometimes just being sluggish. Zone blocking was particularly awful. If the OL had been able to move people, at ALL, we would've scored another couple TDs I believe.
  • 21 carries for 44 yards by Clemson. 11 carries by Parker for 39. 16 carries for 41 for AE. 8 for 8 for Jamie. They figured out how to use Harper less, but many times they would not simply line up and try to run the ball out of power formations. Many of these runs were shotgun zone plays that we have sucked at running since RichRod left. I guess they will tell us this week that AE got his extra carries and didnt do anything with them, but I fail to see how you expect your offense to get yards running plays that don't take advantage of your strengths, like running behind Chad Diehl.
  • Don't call play-action when you can't run the football Napier, youre not fooling anyone. Don't run play action out of shotgun sets that we've not been able to effectively run the ball out of all season.
  • WRs were nonexistent. Dwayne Allen couldnt even catch passes that hit his hands, twice. Once dropping a TD, another would've been a big gain. Nothing from anyone. No separation against a weak MD defensive secondary.

If I were defending Clemson, I'd stack the box and play Robber press. I would never once deviate from this strategy. People don't get separation, and if I outnumber Clemson up front it'll be very hard for them to run the ball.

Our defense was good overall, and again Da'Quan Bowers shows why he'll be a 1st round pick, recording 3 sacks (9 for the season). 3rd down conversion rate was good, and other than the big TE screen on 3rd & 17 (where both Hall and Dmac got caught and blocked), i thought we were very good there. We stopped their running game fairly well, thanks to the great DL play. Great pressure with the down 4.

However, LB play was pitiful in underneath coverage, especially on the TE, and we gave up some big yardage on botched coverages. 306 yards passing allowed to Danny O'Brien? C'mon. Most of it was dink/dunk stuff and on their TD drive the TE made two great catches, but you've got to cut back on that yardage. Other teams will see that and just take what you give them.

A win is a win, and now its time to prepare for the Triple Option.