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Maryland Game Film Review

Since our Tigers love to have inept offensive performances against Maryland this review is geared similar to last week and last year's Maryland review (Part 1, Part 2) in that we're looking at the offense primarily. Below we are looking at the formation and playcall (as best can be determined without endzone film) and then execution. I'll make notes of the run/pass ratio. I will not go too far into detail about motions and shifting on offense or all the tweaks to formations we run, but will note shotgun vs. power sets.

The defense gave up a few big plays and we'll look at those, but otherwise I'm not spending much time on the defense review unless I just see someone blow an assignment altogether.

Please comment and ask questions on what you dont understand, these take a long time to do well. Our goal here is to look for good plays and bad technique. If theres anything that you would like to see or have explained, just ask. 

The animated drivechart is at the end.

Clemson starts at the 39 - Gun, Zone to AE for 12.....I, PA, Allen on a Sail route for 24....Gun, sweep to AE for short loss. Nobody turned upfield to make a block....Gun, Hairston beaten badly off the edge and the LB forces a quick throw to AE that is dropped...Gun, Allen runs up the seam and a TD is dropped. Catanzaro 43 yd FG. 3-0 Clemson. 6 plays 36 yards.

4 shotgun snaps, 1 under center (i form). 2 rushes and 3 passes. 1 clear drop and AE had the man on his back. Should be 7-0. The man who broke up the pass came clear across the field to hit Dwayne. If Parker hits him a half second sooner we're set up inside the 5.

MD starts at 20 - Hawkins jumped into the wrong gap and Maye flat missed a tackle to give them 12 up the middle. Brewer made a good play on a trip tackle. 5 plays 11 yards allowed.

Clemson showed Under front, only one Nickel set.

Clemson starts at 36 - Gun, Zone read to AE for 3....I, Iso to AE, but LB runs right up the A-gap beyond Freeman's grasp to stop the play for a loss....Gun, hits Jones on a shallow cross for 9. Punt.

2 shotgun, 1 under center. 2 runs and a pass. Freeman didn't check the front and ID the linebacker, but Parker could've seen it too.

MD starts at their 6 - Hit Watson out of the backfield into the flat, and Hawkins is late getting over to him. Maryland shows their first option play from the I-formation and is telegraphing it with how they split out the Tackle, but we stop it. Punt. 6 plays 22 yards

We varied the front a little there. Some Under, some Over, and a 3-3 stack front.

Clemson starts at our 38 - Gun 2Back, PA and Parker throws it at Diehl's feet. He was open....I, Iso JH, pulled down from behind. A run blitz was on....3rd & 8, Gun, two receivers in the same area, which should never happen. Looks like Ford was running a Go and Marquan a Corner route, that he cut lazily. Punt.

That makes me think Ford should've either been running a hitch (unlikely), or needed to get his slow ass down the field deeper. It is possible Jones just looked and saw the ball up and went to get it.

If Jones was running a Corner, he F'd up the break on the route.

2 shotgun, one under center. 2 passes and 1 run.

MD starts at the 18 - 3 & out. Nice play by Brewer to break up a pass to Torrey Smith. Honestly I think the safety, Jonathan Meeks, should've been over there and coldcocked Smith when he caught it. 3 plays and 2 yards, punt.

Little more Nickel, more backups in, and Da'Quan hits O'Brien constantly.

Clemson starts at the 41 - Gun, Zone AE for 8. Good block by Cloy, no block by Walker....Gun, Zone Read by Parker for 2 and the 1st. Correct read as the End crashed....Gun, stretch play for AE loses 1. Walker didn't block anybody at all and no one else got movement....I, PA pass to AE thrown out of his reach. The TE was open up the seam but Parker didn't quite have time to hit him...Gun, Parker eludes pass rush well enough to get a couple but probably could've gotten rid of this ball. 5 plays 14 yards

Landon Walker is playing pattycake. He just likes to stand in front of guys and shield their eyes instead of engaging.

4 shotgun, 1 under center. 3 runs and 2 passes. Noticing the theme yet? 33 yards passing and 28 rushing for CU, 6.9 yards on 1st down and 0/4 on 3rd down conversion.

12 snaps from the Gun, 4 in the i-formation. 8 passes and 8 rushes.

MD starts at the 19 - Cannon made a one hand grab against Maxwell for 26 on a deep cross, thats just an awesome catch. 90% of the time thats incomplete. Byron Maxwell could've been a step or two closer though. 1st QTR ends. We have a LB blitzing, Willard, and he charges out of gap, O'brien scrambles and hits Yeatman for 10, because Daniel Andrews cant stay with him.....Power play gets 5, Branch sealed off and WIllard couldn't make tackle.....Moore forces quick throw to Yeatman, and Hawkins plays for the ball instead of making tackle, he goes for 20 yards. Would've been 3rd & about 2 if he had.....Christian on Yeatman in the flat and he also makes a one-hand catch, just a great play. Christian needs to tighten that up....HB Toss Throwback, Branch should be all over that QB and otherwise Sensabaugh should be there. 7-3 Maryland. 8 plays 81 yards, 04:33

LB play, partiularly in underneath coverage, killed us. It wasn't just one of them. Andrews, Hawkins, and Christian all needed to do better there.

You have to give MD some credit for 2 one-handed grabs.

Andre Ellington 87 Yards. 10-3 Clemson.

MD starts at 25 - A disappointing drive up front. A bad angle by #32 and Hawkins nets them 10 on an option play. K. Brown lost the edge as well..... 3 missed tackles gets Da'rell Scott 12 on a Power play, Hawkins missed one, Brown lost the edge, and someone inside (i think Rennie Moore) completely missed him....Torrey Smith hits a 27 yard Go route, a perfect throw. Brewer was in position and looked for the ball, and again the safety is late....another pitch option outside nets 5, then Bowers ends the drive with a sack to force the FG. FG missed. 8 plays 59 yards

I put this in only so folks would know what MD is telegraphing and our staff didn't seem to pick up in the 1st half, because there was no LB scraping over and no End there to hit that QB and force the pitch. Notice how the RT is aligned a step wider and forward than usual, this is to give him enough room to veer inside to hit the LB.

Hall forced it and then made the tackle. You try that shit next week and it'll go for 20 yards.

If you think PJ isnt going to see this drive on tape and exploit the LB flow and angles....

CU starts at our 20 - I, motioned Harper out, PA and Parker finds Harper sitting in the backside flat for 40 yards. Nice play by Parker to get out of pressure....I, JH Iso for 1. No push on the right side, and the tackler was Freeman's man....I, AE Iso for a couple again. They ran an inside stunt and the DT came right around Cloy to hit him....3rd & 8, Gun, throw to Marquan who got PI....Ace, Zone AE for 2. No push....Gun, Zone read Parker for 4, correct read by Kyle...3rd & 4, Gun, hits McNeal standing still at the marker.....Gun, Zone read Parker for 2....I, AE Power for 6 to the MD 11. Nice block by Cloy....I, lead option, Parker keeps it and fights for the 1st down to the MD 2....I, FB Dive for half a yard....I, PA roll out and Darrell Smith can't grab it. Good play by the Defender. Parker had Allen open in the corner of the endzone.....I, Power R for JH, down at the 1....4th & Goal at the 1, JH on another Power R for the TD. 17-7 Clemson. 13 plays 80 yards, 06:52

I'm surprised we run Power R when Walker can't move people. In the same situation, given the fact that we have shown no ability to get 1 yard when we needed it, I would've taken the FG. Its hard to fault Dabo for going for the TD though.

This drive was the big play to Jamie and then looked like a retard banging his head against the wall. I do like that we could execute well enough to run 12 plays and go 40 yards and run off some clock though.

10 plays from run formations, 9 in the I-form and 1 Ace set. 3 shotgun plays. 4 passes, 9 rushes.

D gave up two 11 yard completions to end the 1st half.


12 snaps from the Gun, 4 in the i-formation. 8 passes and 8 rushes in the 1st quarter. 3 shotgun snaps and 10 plays from under-center formations, 9 of which were I-formation in the 2nd. 4 passes and 9 runs in the 2nd. Admittedly the Ace set is just the same as Gun but under center, but I prefer that over shotgun runs simply because the RB can have momentum.

2nd quarter was all the one drive for us thanks to AE's Kick return.

Thats a total of 15 shotgun snaps and 14 under-center snaps. 12 passes and 17 rushes.

I would like to know, when you don't have good WRs, and the best of the worst is injured, why you would throw out 4 WR sets and throw it the entire 1st quarter? Why would you not immediately establish the running game? We did not do that. This playcalling makes no sense. You don't deviate from what YOU do best, when you try to just give up your strengths and attack the opponent's weakness (man/man coverage and blitzing) with inexperienced players who don't do that well, you only hurt yourself. Unbelievable.

Defense - Danny O'Brien 13/18 159 yards, 1 TD for Md. Jamarr Robinson strangely goes unused. They made two great catches to extend drives and another throw to Smith was perfect, so you have to give them that much.

We didn't allow much at all on the ground, and played mostly a true 4-3.


3rd QTR

MD starts at their 22 - 3 & out. Bowers ate that RT for breakfast on the last play.

Jaron Brown returns a punt 41 yards to the MD 21. Nice block by Sensabaugh and Meeks to help spring him.

CU from the 21 - I, PA pass to Allen and he drops it again. Easy catch, but no effort from Dwayne. Only used one hand. Bryce McNeal was wide open in the end zone too.....Gun, Bubble screen to Brown for 9, but illegal motion nullifies it.....2nd & 15, Gun, Fade to Jaron Brown completed for 20.....I, Power L to AE for 5 to the MD 1. Nice block by Smith and Cloy....Ace, QB Sneak, not enough push. Didn't get low enough....I, AE Iso for TD. 24-7 Clemson  5 plays 21 yards

Another key drop by the TE, but thankfully the fade route to Brown worked to make it 1st & GL.

2 shotgun calls, one nullfied. 4 under-center plays. 2 passes, 3 rushes all in goal line situations.

MD from their 18 - Da'Quan correctly played his assignment on the end around. Slow played it and held containment to cause the 4 yd loss..... After that we let them convert the 3rd & 17. TE screen right up the middle. Hawkins got cut blocked, Hall was playing over Sensabaugh on the Boundary and dove for his legs, missed the tackle. Again, Marcus Gilchrist is jumping and signaling the defense while the ball is snapped. Gilchrist is right in front of the TE here and is blitzing with Brewer, but I believe he should be on this route. Technically it may have been Hawkins man, because I can't tell if Gilchrist is supposed to be blitzing or not, he's not giving effort to it if he is. It was a Dime set....Weak tackle effort by Gilchrist in flats, gives them 16....Gilchrist bats away a pass on 4th down. Turnover on Downs. 7 plays 53 yards, all on the single play to the TE.

CU starts at our 30 - Gun, Zone to JH, LB blitzed right up the B-gap. Hairston or Smith should've picked that up, I think by counting its Hairston's man as another LB was coming up the A-gap and Freeman had someone on his right side....2d & 16, Gun, Pressure forces early throw that bounces off Harper's hands in the flat. Gotta catch that ball....Gun Empty, thrown a little above and behind Harper. Gotta catch that ball. Punt. 3 plays -6 yards

2 drops by Harper and a complete whiff on protection. Definitely had to throw on 3rd down, but if we're going "Conservative" as Dabo said we were after going up 24-7, then why did we open up in shotgun?

3 shotgun snaps, 2 passes and 1 rush.

MD starts at our 48 - 3 & out. MD telegraphing the option again, we play Stack with a Safety in the box to present 8-man front.

CU starts at our 20 - Ace, BS no offside call. Loss of 2. Dabo has a tirade...Gun, called Keep to Parker for 18. No DE there to read, and Allen sealed it off outside excellently....I, PA, thrown at Allen's feet....Gun Empty, Jones on a bubble for 1....3rd & 9, Gun, Parker eludes blitz and runs for 1st down. Good play....Ace, Zone for AE for 3 up the right side. No push by Walker or Allen. Why did McClain hesitate on his block? He stood straight up and then hit the man....Ace PA, thrown behind AE in the flat with two blitzers. Cloy got beat right up the gut, bad....3rd & 7, Gun, hits Ford down the sideline inside the 10, later called incomplete. Parker underthrew this ball. If he leads him its 6. Ford had to stop and jump for it. Punt. 8 plays 30 yards, 03:15

Uh, if we're "going conservative" then why run two pass plays immediately after Parker ran for the 18 yarder? Where were the strong run sets to run down the clock here at the end of the 3rd?

Bad blocking, bad throws by Parker on the drive.

4 shotgun, 4 under-center (ace) sets. No telling what the first play call really was, but counts as rush. I'm taking it out though, along with the Parker scramble, so 2 rushes called and 5 passes called.

Only 78 yards rushing and 98 passing thus far.

MD from their 19 - 3 & out. Christian needs to tighten up that coverage in the flat. Bowers made them false start (again) and really caused the 3 & out.

CU starts from our 29 - Gun, AE Zone and tackler comes from the backside to make TFL. No push on left side....END 3rd QTR....Gun, hitch to McNeal for 7....3rd & 3, Gun Empty, throw to flat almost picked. Should've been. Cant throw LATE TO THE FLAT EVER!!!

Uh, I thought Dabo said we were "going conservative" with a 24-7 lead? You come out in shotgun instead of bleeding the clock dry, and then on 3rd & 3 go empty set?

3 shotgun plays. 2 pass 1 run.

MD from their 33 - Maye absent in coverage on TE, took his eyes off. We have some backups in here in secondary. Brewer misses a tackle in flat one play. Branch actually had good flat coverage on TE in another play. Intercepted by DMac to end the drive. Bad throw. 8 plays 30 yards

CU starts at the MD 46 - I, Power R JH for 1....Gun, Parker pushed out of bounds and an illegal hit penalty given to them...Gun, PA called, can't get the play off. Timeout called....Ace, JH Zone for 7....Ace, JH outside zone for 1. MD playing an 8 man front....Ace, QB Sneak....I, bullshit no offisdes call. BULLSHIT. 6 plays 21 yards

Now we start to get conservative, but still went Shotgun PA on 1st down in MD territory.

2 shotgun (1 nullified by TO), 2 i-form, 3 ace sets called. 5 runs 1 pass (another nullified by TO).

MD starts at their 26 - 3 & out. Another sack by Bowers on an inside T-E stunt.

CU starts at 28 - I, Iso AE for 2...Ace, motion H-back to I, Power L for 2 from AE....3rd & 5, Empty, 1st down pass to Allen over the middle nullified by Holding call on Walker.....Gun, Zone AE for loss of 1. McClain whiffed on the block of Wujciak badly. Punt.

Staying conservative now, but on any given play somebody can't block.

1 shotgun, 1 under-center motioned to Empty, 2 run sets. 3 rush 1 pass.

MD from their 36 - Justin Parker (and Martin Jenkins) asleep in zone coverage allows 18 yd gain. Not using his eyes to locate the receiver and match him. Brewer 63 yd INT for TD. 31-7 Clemson.

MD from their 22 - Darius Robinson gets his first INT. Good read and break on the ball on inside/outside cross pattern.

CU starts at the MD 45 with 5:23 left - Tajh in the game. I, Hot Rod Iso for short loss.....I, Power Left for 2....3rd & 8, I, PA and I think the Keep is called. Runs for 7...4th & 1. I-form, PA pass to Nobles for 13, well executed as they sold out for the run....I, Iso for loss. Personal foul called....I, Power R, no blocking gets him 1.....I, Iso loss of 3. #58 beaten by bull rush...I, Iso for 2.


Obviously running clock there. 1 pass and 7 called runs. All from the I-formation.

Summarizing Thoughts


Secondary actually had a good day overall. Nobody beaten that badly outside. The long pass to Smith against Brewer was a perfect throw.

44 yards rushing allowed on 21 attempts, 2.1 ypc. Thats outstanding gap control and play up front by the linemen. Aside from a couple whiffs on tackles they played perfect run defense with the front 7.

3rd down defense - 4/14.

No Turnovers by the offense. Not many penalties overall.

Special Teams, both returning and coverage of the best returner we've faced and best in the ACC (though its early). Credit to Powell.

They wised up enough to give AE the lion's share of the carries.

Da'Quan Bowers. I should just make a highlight clip of him. He's playing his assignment perfectly almost every time, and the plays are coming to him. He is absolutely unblockable. I'm surprised Maryland didn't try more to get some help for that young RT.


Playcalling. Bad again. No reason for this team to be showing spread formations without guys that can catch the football or get open. No commitment to running the ball early and it set the tone for the day. Its like we have a shotgun playbook and the playbook that worked last year, and we're picking new gun passes and the same I-form plays we always run.

1st Half - 12 snaps from the Gun, 4 in the i-formation. 8 passes and 8 rushes in the 1st quarter. 2nd quarter was all the one drive for us thanks to AE's Kick return. Thats a total of 15 shotgun snaps and 14 under-center snaps. 12 passes and 17 rushes. Mostly zone runs from the Gun, and at the end of the half it was GL situation.

2nd Half - To include the last drive or not?

Dabo said in the Teleconference that we didn't do anything in the 2nd half because we went a little conservative, but until the 4th quarter thats not true. 15 shotgun plays called total, plus one empty set under center. 15 under center run sets used until the last drive (note there are some I am counting where plays were not actually run, e.g., the offsides). Run/Pass ratio again basically 50/50, and some of those were goal line situations too. Not counting the last drive of course.

This team should be running 75/25 out of Run/Pass sets until multiple WRs step up.

Aside from bubble screens, I'm not seeing screens at all to negate MD blitzes. One or two of those zones could be construed as Draws, but not enough draw plays to negate blitzes.

Drops by backs and our best TE Dwayne Allen. WRs may not have been open but the checkdowns didn't make their catches either.

Parker played bad. He had guys open and passes that hit your hands should be caught, but he was underthrowing, throwing wide, behind, or into the dirt. He still doesn't read the backside. Maryland showed us Man/Man all day and we did not take advantage. This is not a good secondary. How bad are those ribs hurt?

AWFUL blocking. Pass blocking is good, run blocking is GARBAGE. FINISH YOUR BLOCK. Please tell Landon Walker that he must hit people to move them out of the way. Chris Hairston had the best day up front, the rest were average or bad.

213 yards of offense. 8/21 passing.

350 yards allowed on defense, mostly on bad underneath coverage. A few were really good catches, but in many cases they just took what we gave them with bad matchup coverage. LB play in coverage was poor. Clemson was in 4-3 for roughly 80% or so of the contest.



Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.