I felt like I should write something before the Jack Daniels takes full effect. I've listened to the postgame press conferences and talked about our problems with FF and we've come to a mutual conclusion that the reason Clemson doesn't win games like this is because we don't do little things right. If you want to hear someone praise your Tigers tonight for their effort, you better click on over to TigerNet, I don't give stars for 5-heart Dabos til they win games like this.
And little things like snapping the ball are why we ended up losing this game in OT, but thats not why we lost this game and blew a 17-0 lead. Losing a 17-0 lead is a glorious fuck up that only brings back memories of a truly Tom Bowden-style screw job. I imagine TigerNet dolts will put the loss on Catanzaro, but this loss does not go on him. It doesnt go solely on Steele, and most of you thought they'd run everywhere on us, they didn't.
This was a team loss. Little things from everyone contributed.
The first half of this game was pretty much perfect. Clemson did everything I wanted them to do on the first drive, as those who read our stuff daily would know. It was clearly scripted, but we executed. We pounded the ball inside and out all over them, hit screens and play action passes, and really just came out there and punched Auburn right in the mouth. Most people I saw on the Auburn message boards said that if you punched Clemson in the mouth that we'd fold....but we didnt fold tonight, we dealt the first punches and didn't quit. Thats a positive, one of few I can find, but a positive. 2 years ago under Tommy we'd have gone 3 & out and lost 35-10. At least we do fight in games.
But fighting in games is not what we pay you for Dabo Swinney. We pay you to win, and there were some stupid ass calls that were made on the sidelines that we hold you responsible for. I'm not going to put it all on Napier when youre the man calling in the plays and running the substitutions, and hiring the coaches.
- When Auburn adjusted to what we were doing, and began slanting their lines, which takes away some of the gap scheme plays we run (Power, Isolation), we didnt adjust by going to zone plays. We decided to run on 1st and 2nd down, pounding sand, and throw on 3rd & long. No adjustment. No screens. No outside tosses and sweeps. We pounded sand from the 2nd quarter til the 4th like that.
- No matter the adjustment, an OL that is "supposedly" as talented and experienced as our own is, and we've been repeatedly told that it is by the recruiting services, should be able to halfway block man/man. If they slant and you're good, you just move them anyway. Gap plays like Iso/Power are straight up man/man hat-on-hat blocking and you couldn't move anybody inside, Brad.
- We went Empty set on 3rd & long, with no answer for the Auburn blitz. I don't care what level youre at, but you're not going to block 6-7 guys with 5. I hate going empty set, but when you can clearly tell they are blitzing, you need to adjust the protection. We did not adjust to this that I saw. Dalton Freeman didn't cover the fucking A-gap all night, there was always a LB coming into the gap where he was supposed to be standing. Chris Hairston, you must MOVE YOUR FEET to block guys on the edge.
- I want to know why the hell Jamie Harper was in this game at RB. If he's the only one that can catch, and his TD grab was truly awesome, he should be moved to slot WR or H-back. He tiptoed into holes and refused to lower his shoulder on people all night. He wouldn't hit a DB, and then pussed out on blocks. He played like a pussy. You don't give a guy 19 carries when he gets nothing (44 yards, just over 2 ypc), when you have another guy with 22 for 140. Thats a BOWDEN MOVE, and I don't forgive that shit. Its the same damn stuff Bowden did with Davis and Spiller and Reggie: Leave in the guy that ain't getting it done, while the one that actually feels like running hard sits on the sideline. Why we continued to pound the ball on 1st and 2nd down with Harper is a true WTF thought if there ever was one. I thought Jamie had overcome this problem, as it was my main complaint about him up until about game 4-5 last year, but apparently he hasn't. 235lbs and won't lower his shoulder on a guy and tiptoes into a hole like he's scared? Put him somewhere else.
- WRs: we knew they'd cost us a game. Jaron could've made that catch at the end. Ashe could, someday, sometime, before he graduates, learn how to catch a SLANT. I recalled two passes which bounced off Ashe's hands on slants last year that were picked, and he couldn't pull one tonight. Dye decided to flub a couple, then woke up and made his catches. McNeal didn't know a play and cost us a TO.
- I thought, for about 3 quarters-worth of the game, that our DL played very well. They did what we asked, and controlled the LOS and their gaps. There was a time in that 3rd quarter where they fell asleep, you could tell their pad level went up and their rush technique went sour. It looked like they were all told to Bull-rush and hold the pocket for awhile. Auburn held them ALL NIGHT, several times yanking off their helmets (no call of course), particularly #57 on Thompson, who was getting his ass beat by BT up and down the field.
- There were blown coverages, and big screwups at LB and DL otherwise that cost us points. I'd rather wait til I watch the film again to point fingers at individuals. On the whole you'd have to say the pass defense did well but they didnt cover Adams well.
I don't put the loss on Kyle, Kyle played well. Kyle had little protection on 3rd down, thats the OL and Napier calling the blocking schemes. He had no WRs open and when they were, they couldn't catch it. He had no running game help from Harper. Its not a mystery to Auburn what youre gonna do on 3rd & 10. Our coaches didn't adjust.
If Brad Scott can't teach a group of guys over 3-4 years how to push people out of the way, then his lard ass should not be here. If Joey Batson can't get the muscle on them to push guys around, then he should not be here, particularly when we keep losing linemen to injuries suffered/exacerbated doing squats and deadlifts (JK Jay and now Kalon Davis). If Jeff Scott can't teach his WRs how to catch passes that hit them in the hands, or get open against a suspect secondary, then he should not be here. If Billy wants to pound the ball when it doesnt work, and forget for 2.5 quarters that screens and toss sweeps and orbit plays took advantage of their LB's inability to read flow, then he shouldn't be calling plays.
I would also point out to you that we hired a coach at the same time Auburn did. Who made the better choice?
Finally, though I do not in any way put this loss on Catanzaro, I will point out that Tom gifted 2 kickers scholarships who are not our primary kicker, and also gifted Matt Skinner a scholarship, and all he does is snap the ball on kicks. THATS ALL HE DOES.
If you want to know why Clemson loses games like this, its those little things that we screw up and teams like Alabama and Ohio State don't.
(FYI, on David Smith, it looks like a bad ankle sprain, no breaks)