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FSU Game Film Review

On offense, we'll go into the run/pass ratio and the formation calls. Instead of differentiating between the various one-back sets and motion, i'll just denote any single-back play as an Ace formation.
Not going play-by-play on defense here, no need as they did their job. I'll just point out some missed assignments where I see them. Most of it was just speed option really. There were not many plays worth pulling out.

ESPN Boxscore


CU from the 18 - Ace, Orbit sweep play to McNeal for 2....I, Iso for 2....Gun, Hairston and McClain are beaten badly, Parker rolls, hits Nuke on the run for 13 on a deep cross. Hairston did not move his feet and McClain just got pushed out of the way....Gun Empty, Marquan catches the 10 yd stop and drops it....Gun Empty, Parker has all day, and dumps it to Allen on checkdown.....Ace, Toss sweep for 10 to the boundary...Ace, Power play to the right and the backside isn't blocked, Alexander tackles Harper at the line....Gun, Parker rolls when Smith lets his man by, overthrows open WR down sideline....Gun 2B, Parker misses a wide open Jaron Brown on an Out. Punt.

FSU holding called at their 48. Ace, zone for 2....Gun, draw for 5. Good movement generated up the middle....3rd & 3, Gun, FSU DE jumps offsides, Parker throws one to Hopkins' hands and he drops it. Would've been 20 yd gain... Ace, Harper takes a Power wide up the C/D-gap 26 yards for the TE. 12 plays 82 yards, 04:54, 7-0 Clemson.

FSU is playing OVER Nickel, zone coverage. Had everyone in the box on the TD, and the CB who is essentially a "look" player outside took a bad angle and Smith knocked him out of the way.

7 shotgun snaps, 6 passes and 1 run. 2 drops on the drive. 6 under center, all runs.

FSU from their 20 - Clemson comes out in what looks like Under Cover 1, Hall bit hard on the play-action and wasnt there to help Gilchrist on a 53 yd gain. Manuel runs a Power sweep, Christian got cut and Hawkins didn't charge his gap, gain of 16. Manuel is sacked two plays later by Jarvis Jenkins, but Bowers enabled it by getting a hand on him first. FSU runs a QB Power from Gun for 7 but kicks 27yd FG. 7-3 Clemson. 6 plays 70 yards, 03:03

We're playing with 3 LBs because they use the TE and play mostly pro-sets here. Coverage is Robber and 2 man early. Just the one coverage mistake put us bad position.

CU from our 16 - Gun, zone for 2....Gun, PA, hits McNeal in the flat for about 5...Gun Empty, Parker on a called run/pass option off tackle to get the 1st...Gun, PA, throws one up to McNeal on a Post route. McNeal couldnt catch it, it was a perfect throw....Ace, Harper on a flare and runs hard for the 1st. Good cutback...Ace, Draw to Hot Rod, Everett Dawkins hit him as soon as Parker gave it to him, because McClain didn't move...Gun Empty, Parker bootleg right and hits McNeal on the same crosser as earlier....Gun 2B, man blitz, Parker throws one up and forces the Pass Interference call. It was legit PI, he manhandled him....I, Power wide again for 3...Gun Empty on 2nd & 7, zone blitz, Parker rolls and can't get it over the LBs hand to Allen...Gun 2B, hits Harper on a flare to the field for 14...I, Iso is fumbled, on Parker for not putting it in his belly....2nd & 14, Gun Empty, snap over his head and hits McNeal on a screen for 5....Gun Empty, FSU offsides, Parker hits Allen on a quick slant, doesnt count....Gun 2B, flare to Harper and Reid misses easy tackle, and Harper gets another 4. False start on CU, then missed the FG. Low kick. 14 plays 67 yards, 06:37

Left/right/middle balance on passing on this drive is good. FSU seems to play the OVER to the Field side, so we're going to the Boundary more.

10 shotgun snaps, 8 of them passes, 2 runs. 4 under-center snaps, 3 runs and 1 pass. 1 drop.

FSU from the 13 - End 1st QTR Bad hold on Branch as Manuel rolls out to throw incomplete... Manuel hit Ty Jones for 14, Hawkins way too late picking up the back in the flats.  Blitz forces a weak throw to Reed incomplete. 6 plays 22 yards

Clemson switched to 2 Zone predominantly here. They aren't generating any movement up front anymore.

CU from our 24 - Ace, inside lead play for 8....Gun Sweep for 1.5. Hairston didn't touch his man...I, Power for 3. FSU had 9 in the box....Gun 2B, PA, hits an uncovered Harper for over 20, but Nuke hit his man in the back. He didn't need to but I think its a ticky-tack flag. Still a 1st....Gun Empty, they blitz and Parker hits Nuke on the sideline stop for another 1st....I, Diehl in the flats for about 3-4...Gun, Landon Walker false start...Gun, thrown incomplete,. Freeman called for holding....2nd & 21, Gun, Draw for 1...Gun, Parker underthrows a pass to Nuke. Punt.

Greg Reid fumbles it due to Byron Maxwell,  Clemson 1st  down at the FSU 10...I, Power for 5...Gun, Parker called keeper for no gain. Stupid playcall, you just beat them with a straight-ahead run and want to risk Parker getting the ball to run from the 5 against the speed of this defense?  I thought this was a zone read initially, but the blocking scheme says keeper. Either way, it is poorly blocked by BOTH WRs outside...Gun, Parker throws it up to Brandon Ford on a Fade, both of them holding each other, incomplete. 22 yd FG, 10-3 Clemson.

3rd & Goal from the 5, yeah I probably throw it. 2nd down call I take issue with. FSU gives us a gift and we only get 3.

8 gun snaps, 5 passes and 3 runs. 4 under center, 3 runs and 1 pass.

FSU from their 24 - 3 & out. All Andre Branch and Da'Quan Bowers. One end around was badly exchanged and Bowers was right there.

CU from the FSU 43 - Ace, Power for 5, hard running. Ace, sweep for about 2-3....3rd & 3, Gun Empty, Harper drops easy catch over the middle. Punt.

2 run plays, 8 yards, then of course you must go shotgun empty set, makes perfect sense.

2 under center, 2 runs. 1 gun, 1 pass, 1 drop.

16 yard net punt too.

FSU from their 20 - 3 & out. FSU gets 5 on the Speed option, Brewer makes a good play in the flats.

We're covering their receivers really well in zone coverage.  

CU from our 26 - Gun, Flanker screen to Nuke for 8....Gun, PA throw to Nuke thrown behind him but complete for the 1st...Ace, zone for 2...Parker calls TO at our 41...Gun, Parker underneath to Harper for 8....Gun, Parker rolls out and holding called against Dwayne Allen....Gun, Flanker screen to Nuke again for 9, plus a face mask....Gun, Parker rushed as Cloy forgets to move his feet, and throws into the ground....Gun, Brandon Ford over the middle on a checkdown...Gun, Parker unwisely throws to Allen, thrown behind him, tipped and intercepted. 8 plays 42 yards

Parker forced the throw to Allen. It should not have been thrown.

Of course here inside 2 minutes, we were in pass-only mode. The inside zone call is curious though.

1 under center, 1 run. 7 shotgun plays, 7 passes.


Clemson 17 plays under center, 15 of them runs. 33 shotgun snaps, 6 rushes and 27 passes thrown already in gun. 29 passes in ONE HALF from Clemson, crazyness. Take out the 7 throws in 2-minute situation and its still 21 times. Of course 3 are negated by penalty taking, so statistically Kyle Parker is 16/26 for 134 yds.

Clemson shouldn't throw more than 25-30 times in a single game. 4 drops in the 1st half as well.

Jamie Harper has 16 carries for 72 yds and 5 catches for 48 at this point. Surprising that McDowell didn't get just a couple more carries in the 1st half, or maybe a Jet Sweep or two called for McNeal.

FSU has 79 yards of offense, 8 yards rushing. 53 of those yards on the one pass play. Jimbo hasn't had sustained success with anything. CU's defense is predominantly Cover 2 Zone, some Nickel.

Too many guys are slipping on the field, somebody picked the wrong cleats.

Start 3rd QTR

FSU from their 27 - First pass should've been intercepted, and the ball comes loose on the 2nd when Manuel slips. 3rd play is thrown into double coverage, underthrown, and Rodney Smith outjumps Sensabaugh for a 42 yd gain. I can't believe DMac didn't hammer him when the ball got there.... Da'Quan gets his 13.5th sack after a holding call....Easterling catches one underneath, against Brewer, who did not have proper position. He is supposed to be one-arm length away from him and for some reason he was just standing there (Easterling ran his checkdown and stopped) well away from him. Then Brewer is "picked" and they get 18. 39 yd FG made. 10-6 Clemson, 7 plays 52 yards

Clemson did back out of the Undershift to show some stack front. We are leaving Christian out there when they split the TE out.

CU from the 20 - Ace, PA, screen underneath to Harper for a couple...Gun, Sweep for 10. Nice job by Freeman on the edge....Ace, zone for 7 up the left side...Ace, Nuke takes a Go route up the sideline for 19....I, Power for Hot Rod for 7 up the left side....Ace, zone play goes nowhere. Drew Traylor didn't block the backside....Ace, Power play for JH for 11....Ace, PA, Parker immediately has to scramble, again because Traylor didnt block his man, and the pass is tipped incomplete...Gun, False start Hairston...Gun, Harper on a screen for nothing...3rd & 14, Gun Empty, Hairston beaten inside on a blitz and Harper gets 5 on a flare. 39 yd FG missed. 11 plays 59 yards

Moved the ball right down the field on them, Dwayne Allen goes out limping and Drew Traylor comes in, and misses two blocks.

Difficult to justify running it after the false start, but shouldnt have had them in shotgun and ready to throw anyway. Power play gets 11, then we go pass happy.

3 gun, 2 pass and 1 run. 7 under-center, 4 runs and 2 passes.

FSU from the 22 - Not much to it, they hit a couple passes open underneath and Manuel fought for 3 yards off-tackle to get one 1st down....Drive ended as Christian tips a pass for Da'Quan to intercept. He comes from the OL all the way over to pick this tipped pass off. Thats hustle.

CU from their 49 - I, PA, Reid holds Nuke Hopkins badly. He had to, because Nuke had him beat....Ace, Zone for 5...Ace, PA, Parker throws underneath to JH, bad decision. JH immediately tackled for loss of 3...Gun, Parker hits Jaron Brown with a bullet on an Out route. Nice catch....Gun, Parker's pass to Allen on a Dig is tipped away....Ace, Zone for 9....3rd & 2, I, Toss goes to the backside and JH makes a great play, jumping over #4 and getting the 1st down...I, Iso for 3. START 4th QTR. 2nd & 7 at the FSU 11, Ace, Parker throws a fade that is intercepted by Xavier Rhodes. Hopkins fell down at the goal line.

Get good field position, run the ball well, then throw a low-percentage pass that again goes for nothing. Harper now at 23 carries for 122 yds and they didn't stick with him.

As for the Fade call itself, in general this is not a bad call, and in principle I don't disagree with throwing a fade in the endzone. But on 2nd and 7, when you've pounded the ball and are one of the worst teams in red zone scoring, you stick with what got you there. If it was 3rd & 7, then I could see the need for a Fade pass.

In any event, Nuke knows the ball is coming to him, this is a designed play call for a fade, and if you are going down, you must drag that defender with you.

2 gun, 2 passes. 6 under-center, 4 runs and 2 passes.

FSU from their 15  after the return - Now they're starting to use the speed option and outside designed runs by Manuel. Again on a bootleg no one is there to make a play on defense....Brewer didn't turn his head on one play but was close enough to tip it away...Speed option for 8, Hall got cut...Manuel fights on a QB Trap for 2....TO call...Out route gets 16 as Hall is just a bit late, good throw and catch...Speed option for 6...Speed option keeper for 11. Christian runs by him, clearly thinking he has Pitch, but the DE didn't get off to play the Force...Christian a step late underneath on a pass to Lonnie Pryor to the Boundary, and gets 5 on the next carry up the B-gap....3rd & 2, Speed option, Christian nails Manuel but no one is there for Pitch which goes for 13...Called keeper on a bootleg for 3....Speed option and Manuel takes it in for the TD. Christian was not where he was supposed to be, let himself get cracked instead of charging the play. DMac overran it and Manuel goes in untouched. Just well executed by FSU really. 13-10 FSU, 12 plays 85 yards, 04:44

All speed options killing us, and they like to run it to Quandon Christian.

CU from our 20 - Ace, zone for 1. Diehl didn't do his job on the backside end....Gun Empty, bullet to Brown on a hitch for 8...3rd & 1, Ace, Power O for the 1st down....Ace, PA, Parker overthrows the Out to Brown....Gun, PA, comeback route by Marquan Jones is almost intercepted by Rhodes. Jones didn't sell the Go route well enough. Good play by Rhodes.... false start on McNeal....False start again...3rd & 20, Gun, Parker overthrows a ball to Nuke for 10. Had Parker thrown it a bit lower, he may have been able to get a few more yards. Punt. 6 plays 12 yards.

On 3rd & 20, I wouldn't expect them to throw beyond the sticks. FSU will be backed up in C3 and expects it.

I expected CU to come out throwing like mad after being down, and after the success on the last drive I disagree with the 1st down pass call following the Power play. I think they should've kept running there. Once you get nothing on 1st & 10, you put yourself in 2nd & long and then two penalties made it 3rd & longer.

3 gun, 3 passes. 3 under-center, 2 runs and 1 pass.

FSU from their 36 - Speed option pitch on the gets nailed by Xavier Brewer for loss of 3...Manuel takes the next one 25 yards on an inside Trap, then we stuff the drive. Brewer was beaten badly on a sideline pass but it went out of bounds by half a step.

CU from the 20 with 4:43 - 3 timeouts left and plenty of time to run your offense. Ace, PA, Parker hits Hopkins on a deep cross for 32. Go route cleared the safety there....Ace, Zone right up the gut for 15...Gun, Hairston beaten and Parker scrambles right, McNeal turns upfield but is covered by the Safety well....Ace, screen to Jones for 5...3rd & 5, Gun Empty, Parker throws a high bullet over the corner to Jaron Brown for 10....Ace, Power for 2...Gun, PA, Allen slips out too soon and Parker is rushed, scrambles out of bounds for a loss. Shouldve thrown that ball away....Gun, Brown on a slant for 6. Catanzaro hits the 29 yd FG. 13-13, 9 plays 68 yards, 03:18

Get inside the 30 all day and again can't execute. Their defense stood up though.

I would've gone back to the run again sooner after the 15 yd gain, rather than wait 3 plays to hit it again.

4 gun, 3 pass and 1 run (which was really a pass play call). 4 under-center, 2 passes and 2 runs.

FSU from their 29 - 8 yards on an underneath flare to Shaw....Good catch made by Jones on a ball at his ankles for the 1st down...Reed drops a pass and a chop block called... Manuel stopped on a keeper for no gain...2nd & 24, Go route and Sensabaugh called for PI....Next play is a Dig left well uncovered by Sensabaugh for 18...FSU kicks the FG to win it. 16-13 FSU.

Summarizing Thoughts

391 yards of offense for Clemson, yet we get inside the FSU 40 yard line on all but one drive and put up 13 points. When teams score well in the red zone, they almost always have solid running games. You have to be able to man up and pound the rock in there, and though our OL played one of their best games of the season, the playcalling prevented them from pounding it in.

44 pass attempts for Clemson. FSU played well in deep coverage and kept things in front of them, but really didn't stop us. We shot ourselves in the foot again and again with critical mistakes at the wrong times and poorly timed calls.

Even if the fade throw or the zone read play had worked, I'd still say they were bad calls. Most people wouldn't say squat if a call works, but if the call doesnt make sense then it doesnt make sense whether it works or not. If you only complain about the call when it doesnt work, then you are complaining about execution and not the play call itself. Neither of these fades were executed. I would've called a higher percentage play, like a Mesh or a quick slant.

Jamie Harper played his tail off. He was more decisive and hit the holes (which were wide open many times) without dancing. Thats improvement.

Clemson did distance itself a bit from the Gun/Ace tendencies, but they are still there. 12 gun snaps in the 2nd of which 10 were passes and 2 rushes. One of the rushes was a Parker scramble for loss. 20 under-center formations in the 2nd half, 12 rushes and 8 pass attempts. Still looks to me that you should back up and play zone when Clemson goes shotgun, but one member of the genius coaching staff we have watched film for a change and decided we should maybe throw the ball a few times from under-center.

Not much else to say there, we moved the ball all night and didn't do jack when they tried to giftwrap one for us early.

Clemson's defense gave up a few passes that really switched the field position on us, but usually came up with a stop to force a kick. I have to think FSU would not have scored twice if not for those coverage busts though. FSU was completely dominated up front in the first half and aside from the long pass got zilch on offense. They have too many athletes to not score at all, and they put together solid drives at the end to win it.

Speed option and the QB Trap are really the only things they did with consistent success against us.


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