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Game Film Review: Boston College

Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

I'm going to go pretty much drive by drive here until the 4th, offense and defense, not every play but most of them. 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. Our goal here is to look for good plays and bad technique. I may pull a few plays out to discuss the Clemson offense/defense, and if theres anything that you would like to see or have explained, just ask.

Note on my shorthand: IZ/OZ= Inside/Outside Zone; IV=Inverted Veer; Power= Power O; Counters we run are mostly Counter-H's. ZR=Zone read, though a ZR handoff is nothing but IZ. Sometimes I label it as both if its a ZR play. Clemson's Pistol dive plays are labeled as IZ as well, because its difficult to determine if we're actually zone blocking them, but I think they are still.

The animated drive chart is at the end.

ESPN Play-by-Play

CU from 43 - IZ for 5...Wildcat, Power G for 2, BC got penetration outside...Boyd shorthops a throw to Jaron Brown. Punt. 3 plays 7 yards. 1:07

Punt just 34 yards.

BC from 16 - Toss for 1, Grady Jarrett nice penetration, nice edge setting...PA pass for 31. Linebackers got sucked up on the PA wayyyy too far, WR crossed behind them on a Drag. Hall stumbled then missed a tackle...Rooskie play for 8 off tackle OZ....Counter for 2 and 1st down...TE over the middle for 5, LBs right there behind him on the tackle...Draw, Tig fills the hole well, gain of 3...Darius Robinson bats a quick slant away from Amidon. Good coverage...4th & 2, TO CU. Good timeout call because they outnumbered us on the edge...Rettig has too much time to throw, finds the TE over the middle UNDERNEATH GOODMAN DROPPED IN ZONE, his feet are like boat anchors...Zone handoff for 30 yard TD. BC 7-0. 9 plays 84 yards, 03:37

FB pulled across and kicked the safety run supporter out. Malliciah Goodman squared up with his blocker and could not get off into the C-gap. He didnt even get one shoulder into the gap. Depressing.

This right after Goodman dropped in zone coverage and didn't even play pass defense on the drag route coming right underneath him.

CU from 12 -Rollout pass to Ford in the flat for 11...IV keeper for 15....Counter for 3...PA pass to Ford, lost a yard because they blitzed into Tajh's face and it wasnt ready outside...Nuk on a corner for 11...OZ/sweep for 9...Humphries up the seam for 15...PA rollout to Jaron on the sideline for 12. Another corner...IZ for 2, DJ...PA pass to Ford too high in the end zone, missed Nuk wide open on a Post in the back of the endzone....Boyd stares down Jaron again in the corner, incomplete. Catman 28 yd FG. Boston College 7-3 12 plays 77 yards 2:59.

BC blitzed from the right side and Tajh never looked off the left corner to Ford, if he had we'd have 6. He stared Jaron down again on the next play. Both looked like fade calls.

Short kickoff to the 9 too

BC from 12 -Draw, Josh Watson got off his block and nailed him...ZR handoff, Watson again it appeared...Zone Read handoff bounced outside, Blanks got off his WR there and made the play. 25 yard punt. 3 plays 5 yards.

CU from BC 43 - Bullet up the seam to Nuk for 20 on what looked like a Dig...Power for 3, Beasley didn't get over there into that hole outside...PA post route to Ford for 14. LBs sucked up on the PA hard...IZ for 1...Lob pass in the back to Nuk, but illegal man downfield called...WR Trap handoff to AH for 4. We didnt do a good job trapping that DE...TO CU...Belly Option keeper for 6. 10-7 Clemson. 6 plays 43 yards 2:17

The whole line went downfield 4-5 yards. Usually that is not called. It may have been an audible by Tajh and he forgot to tell the OL.

WR trap was a jet sweep with a counter-trap scheme. DE stepped down when Timothy veered, but nobody trapped him and Beasley didnt really block anyone. Humphries got outside too quick for them to be much help anyway.

BC from 18 - ZR fake, QB threw a dead duck downfield but it was covered on a comeback route and we hit him...Empty, quick pass for 2, Hall right there on it in the flats...Sacked by DeShawn Williams for loss of 9. Coverage sack. 30 yard punt. 3 plays -7 yards

We only rushed 3 guys there. Horrible protection by BC.

CU from BC 41 - Counter for 3, DJ...QB Power for 6. Shatley pulled and was injured here...Power O for 5...Throwback screen to Nuk, runs 20 yards and gets 7. Should have gone vertical, Dabo tells him same thing...Keeper off tackle for 5. End 1st QTR...Empty, Sam Cooper right up the middle of the field for the TD. 17-7 Clemson. 6 plays 41 yards 1:43

BC wasn't lined up properly on the score. No linebacker got set nor touched Cooper, thats usually something they are very good at.

BC from 27 - Toss, Meeks jumped right up there off-tackle. Read it well and filled the outside. No gain...Corico blitzes off the edge, Rettig scrambles and Reader gets off his block...TO BC...Robinson on the reciever's back, called for PI. He had a hand on his back that dragged him to the ground...PA pass over the middle to Amidon called back for illegal motion...Rettig throws one up to Coleman, Meeks was on him like glue and LOOKED FOR THE BALL...Brewer CB blitz, drags the RB down on a Counter Trey. Just had the right call...Amidon on a Dig complete for 17, 4th & 1 at BC 48...Toss, SA got over there into the hole, the edge was well set by Christian. Turnover on downs. 6 plays 21 yarrds 3:26

Robinson actually made a nice play on Swigert, he read it and jumped the comeback route, but the hand grabbed jersey on his back and they'll flag that.

The dig or whatever the route was to Amidon over the middle would not have been completed if Goodman's feet weren't boat anchors. He was so slow getting off that RT that Rettig got rid of it.

CU from BC 48 - Wildcat, stupid trick play, Tajh forced the ball to Nuk who was clearly double-covered and it was intercepted.

Worst decision of the day by Tajh. Just throw that away if the primary is covered. He had a AE in the flat to check it down to.

BC from the 8 - IZ for 2...IZ for no gain, Both interior LBs attacked immediately into their gaps...Evans cuts inside underneath DR for 26 yds...Amidon down the sideline for 49 on a out & up, Breeland jumped the first cut out and fell down...Power, off tackle for 13. Didn't set the edge, FB sealed Christian, who didnt get enough penetration before engaging the block...Power, Willard and SA all over it....PA pass to the FB, thrown over his head. Rettig held it too long...PA pass to Coleman over the very middle between the LBs for TD. 17-14 Clemson. 8 plays 92 yards, 3:33.

Christian hit Coleman initially, then he snuck back inside and cut upfield between Tig and SA, neither of whom picked him up. Thats on those two.

Appeared that Breeland was in C3 on the long completion, which would mean no help. Once he falls down theres not much chance.

Would they have scored if we had not turned the ball right back to them on the trick call? We could've put it out of reach early. Big momentum flip because of a coaching (and QB) decision.

CU from 25 - WR screen for 5...IZ for 1, BC got too much penetration on Beasley...Boyd nearly sacked, drags tackler 2 yards. 35 yd Punt. 3 plays 8 yards.

BC from 32 - Double pass in double coverage for 28. Meeks didn't stay on top of that route...Draw, Tig gets there first...PA fake to the FB, he runs a wheel route and falls down. Steward was right in Rettig's face on a blitz...TO BC...Draw for 8. We were in a 3-man front, huge holes...CB blitz, Amidon beats DR to the inside on a slant, takes it in 31 yards. Safety Meeks started on the wrong angle and could not recover. 21-17 BC, 5 plays 68 yards, 2:00.

Mirrored Slant-wheel combination pattern, 3 step drop. Killer against Man free coverage. Never give up the inside!

CU from 24 - ZR keep, loses 2...Nuk on the sideline for 18, comeback/out...Scramble for 4...WR screen to AH for 10, Jaron didn't block anybody...WR screen to other side to AH for 7, Nuk made his block...IZ for 2...Power for 7 behind Beasley...Again Power for 10...Hot Rod Power, too much penetration past the Center/RG...Rollout flip to Ford for 10...Power for 4, Norton in there at LG..IZ for 2, no movement on the left side. They stood us up...TO CU...Rollout flip to Ford for the TD. 24-21 Clemson. 13 plays 76 yards 3:49

Boyd held onto the football too long on the TD. Should not have been that close. He had Jaron back over the middle also.

Our KO coverage was TERRIBLE

BC from 41 - FIrst play 33 yd gain to Coleman right down the MOF. Luckily holding called it back. They kneel on it.


Should not be ahead by just a FG. If Tajh Boyd doesnt force that ball, I think we get at least a FG and they don't score on the next drive(s). Turnover handed them the momentum, and we shouldnt be taking that risk with our history with BC.

He's taking the checkdowns and what they give us. They are playing safe C4 most of the time. Roll left, roll right, flip to the TE, WR screen back and forth, then hit Nuk deeper.

No real movement generated inside on the IZ/Dive we run, and its all on the G-C-G combo. They stand up straight on every snap. The Power play is just outnumbering them inside and its having success, but I don't see another that is consistently getting it done.

43 plays for CU, 24 rush 19 pass. Tajh has 158 passing.

257 yards allowed to BC, 170 of it passing and racking up yards on just dumb plays by the secondary. The DL is playing their best game all year, and the LBs are playing really well.

BC's IZ play seems a little too long to develop to me, and Rettig takes so long to get to him that the backers make an easier quick read. Then they just jump into the gap.

Start 3rd QTR

BC from 30 - PA pass dropped beyond the sticks by Amidon. He was open, throw was little off...OZ for 10+, but called back on holding by the LT on Crawford. SA should've been able to get wider there behind the block...Screen for 8. Two missed tackles...Blitz, Christian gets to him. Punt. 3 plays -9.

CU from 43 - Stop route for 7 to Nuk...Power, cut back inside for 15...PA pass to Hopkins for the TD that was negated by the pylon ruling. CB lost him completely...Pass batted down by the DE, Tajh rolled right next to him on the PA...Tajh feels pressure that isnt there, scrambles off tackle for 11 and the 1st down...IV handoff for 3...TO BC...Stop route to Charone Peake for 5...16 yards IZ for hot rod. 31-21 Clemson, 8 plays 57 yards 1:51.

Pinion replaced Benton on KO, touchback

BC from 25 - OZ for 4...OZ, Williams got great penetration. Linebackers all filled backside. Loss of 2...Swing route to the flat for 7, Blanks forced him out inches short. Punt.

They should've passed on 2nd down, running game too inconsistent so far. The TE on the swing route could've gotten the 1st down if he knew where the chains were.

CU from 23 - Rollout, LB stayed with Tajh and tipped the pass to Ford... WR Screen,NEITHER FORD NOR BROWN BLOCK at all. They just stood there like idiots...Tajh feels pressure that isnt there, throws it away, intentional grounding. Punt. False start Steward. False Start Steward again. 33 yd Punt.

BC was jumping at Steward and making him jump.

BC at CU 36 - Rettig throws away first pass, good coverage...Pass to Coleman in flat is dropped...Garry Peters gets inside a skinny post and bats it away. Pooch punt.

Two dropped passes for BC on last two drives. Critical stop there in bad field position.

CU from 4 - IZ, no movement at LT-LG...IZ, cutback but they were home. Gains 3...Bomb to Nuk for 58 right up the seam....IZ for 2. Not enough movement...Thrown over Ford's head on a Flag route...Checkdown to AE, LBs were home and stopped it for short gain.

This is where we called the fake FG and screwed it up. Didn't get lined up right, then got Delay. Punted it.

Just kick the FG Dabo. Its within Benton's range, Catman may have been a stretch from 47 but he can kick it. Extend the lead.

BC from 20 - False start...IZ, great penetration. Watson, both linebackers...Comeback route for 8...Blitz, Rettig throws it right at Rashard Hall's chest. M2M coverage.

Christian got stood up by the damn RB on the blitz. He should've killed him.

What made the INT happen? Amidon ran his route into another, and there was contact downfield. He stopped running as a result.

CU at BC 33 - IZ for 2. Thomas got movement, Beasley didn't...Jaron right over the middle for 30. They didn't make contact with him and the LB didn't go with him....AE jumps over on the Power O for 6. 38-21 Clemson. 3 plays 33 yards, 0:43

Beasley really wasn't low enough on the Power to do much.

BC from 25 - Williams stuffs a stretch play....Drag route for 5...SA too slow in coverage on Amidon, 9 yards...PA pass thrown away due to pressure from Grady Jarrett..Comeback/fade for 20 on Breeland. Breeland was in fine position but wasnt looking for the ball...TO BC...42 yard TD pass to Amidon against Peters. 38-28 Clemson

Notice the alignment below. Peters is playing 10 off so either this is straight man and he's using a big cushion, or its Cover 3 and he's got at least a 3rd. It wouldn't be C2 because of the depth of the men inside him. Looks like C3 with Breeland playing a "peek" and one of the two Safeties has the middle 3rd.


Bc_td1_5_medium Bc_td1_6_medium Bc_td1_7_medium Bc_td1_8_medium

Looks like 3 under 3 deep coverage, and there was no one deep. Two men are on the other outside receiver, Hall and Breeland. That is Christian moving to the flat on Peters' side. Meeks (i think, cant see the number well) is the one inside Peters, who never took his eyes out of the backfield. He should be pedaling back with an eye on #1 and #2. Looks like he's only tracking #2 to me. Without knowing the definite call, I'd say its on Meeks. Peters opened his hips thinking he had help, and no help was there.

Still, the outside safety has to honor the post unless someone draws him to the outside/flat route, and Peters hesitated in his coverage.

CU from 25 - Stop route to Peake for 3...Start 4th QTR...Brown jumps 3 feet to catch a crosser for 19...Thrown behind Nuk incomplete...Post to Nuk for 17...Zone handoff for 1, no blocking outside...Nuk on a Sluggo route for 35 yard TD. 45-28 Clemson. 6 plays 75 yards 1:35.

BC from 24 - Coverage nearly forced a sack, Vic Beasley got him down for a 2 yard loss. Hall was all over the receiver he wanted...Draw for 5, well played by Beasley again getting off a block outside...CB blitz, LBs leave someone wide open underneath for 11...Deep throw to Amidon incomplete, good coverage by Breeland and looked for the ball..Swigert makes SA look slow underneath for 23...incomplete crosser, Breeland close...Quick slant for 7. Goodman too slow to get what should've been a sack...Willard too late on underneath route for 5...Breeland jumped a hitch, tackled for no gain. Breeland had his bell rung on this play...Scrambles, underthrown and almost picked by Hall...Hall pops Rettig as he releases, miracle that its caught for a 5 yard gain.39 yd FG. 45-31 Clemson. 12 plays 54 yards, 4:42.

Love that hit by Hall, he put the crown of his helmet under Rettig's chin.

Coverage considerably better, but still the weakness of the LBs in getting from the Hook zone to the curl/flat area is exposed.

CU from 37 - IZ, AE runs into a wall. Probably could've bounced that one...WR screen for 9. ..Power for no gain. Shatley was standing up too high as he pulled into the gap. 4th & 1 on the CU 46, Dabo says go for it at 7:00 in the 4th. Hot Rod on a Power, no push by Timothy in particular, and no gain at all. Turnover.

1. Don't need to go for that. Good lead, 4th quarter, kick the football.

2. Don't run Hot Rod on that. If Howard has a bum shoulder, only AE is the choice here.

3. Y'all can't get one damn yard?

BC from CU 46 - 15 yard post/corner-out to Amidon, beat Peters outside for 17, then Peters got a personal foul for 15 more. Thats a long throw, Peters should've been able to get there...Toss sweep, SA cuts through the line with Crawford quickly, 6 yard loss...Blitz, Breeland tackles immediately on a hitch. No gain...Blitz, Peters jumps this one to Amidon for the INT. Same post/corner out route, read and jumped it. 4 plays 26 yards, 01:26

Peters did a good job to read and jump it after not doing so the first time. Their blocking outside on the sweep was pretty bad.

CU from 12 - Power for 1...Nuk out route for 17. Great catch...Bucksweep, broken play, Tajh fumbled the ball after running into Timothy.

Definite busted play, AE was beside and in front of Tajh, both linemen pulled, and he looked around like he was expecting someone behind him to get the ball.

BC from CU 33 - Willard on the TE, gain of 6. Good pressure there...Coverage almost registers sack, thrown away...Rettig throws over and behind Amidon, but he was wide open. Missed him. 4th & 5, pass knocked away by Blanks on a drag route over the middle. Great coverage. Turnover.

CU from 28 - Tajh reads and keeps the ball, then throws downfield to a covered Nuk. Don't know what Tajh was thinking on this play. Looked like a run/pass option play...ZR for 8...TO CU..WR screen to Nuk for 2...IZ, AE breaks a tackle and gets 49...Power, Hot Rod for 6..IZ for Hot Rod, 1 yard...Counter Trey to the goal line, then Clemson takes a knee.


Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.

Summarizing Thoughts

Up front, Gifford Timothy did not have a great day kicking out or down blocking, he let the guy get inside him and stand him up too often. Most of the Power O plays were run with Beasley pulling over to the right into the B-gap and while he would generate some movement, Timothy would not and his man would get free to make tackles. I can't say I was very thrilled with Freeman, Shatley, Norton, or Webster either, for basically the same reason. BC got lower than us and stood us up, and thats why we did not do well enough on the ground between the tackles.

I'd definitely agree with The Chad that Beasley was the best of the group up front all day, and he had a better 2nd half than 1st.

AE did not appear to be himself. There were some bounces he could make that he didn't, but there were also very few holes because everyone was being stood up.

This is not a new thing, BC slants up front to cause this very problem. They stand you up, and their LBs are always free to roam. When they have that solid a scheme and can coach Linebackers on good fundamentals, its no wonder they always lead the conference in tackles. Much of Tajh's running was just what they gave us on the IV/Dart and Zone read options.

They just didn't have anyone in the secondary that causes problems. They were mostly in C3 and C4 today and they just like to keep things in front of them. If they had a playmaker at FS they could be a really stout defense again.

It appeared we adjusted the game plan by moving Nuk off the boundary position, where he's sure to catch 4-5 hitches or screens, and getting him downfield more. That, and the fact that they have no real playmakers outside or deep, is why he ended up with so many yards (11 for 197). What we do well is force teams to bring up their Corners to cover these hitches and screens, or the little flip to Ford on the rollout, and then bust em deep.

I would like to see us plan to throw that backside stop route to Peake and get him going somehow though.

Going for it on 4th down and the fake FG were not smart choices. I have questions on our game management.

The defense, aside from the initial kick out block on the TD score, was outstanding up front. I was told that we had hit more in practice coming into BC, and that we're hitting this week for GT. It shows. Why do people think I keep bringing it up? They really only had a few good carries after that first run. This was not a typical BC OL performance at all. Our guys got off the blocks very fast and played more aggressive. Usually they zone and let the momentum carry us out of the play while they pin us to one side or the other. They did not do that and the RB isn't talented enough to take advantage of any openings. I think if they had one they'd have a pretty damn good offense this year.

Reader, Watson, and Williams had good games up front. Beasley had a few plays. Goodman did nothing, and is approaching McClain status. I looked at his participation numbers and he's making the fewest tackles/plays per snap on the whole DL.

Carlos Watkins did not play, Steward only got in for a handful of snaps. I did not notice him in the 2nd half at all.

But I think our secondary still would make anyone look good. Robinson was benched at the end of the 1st half and I did not notice him again on the field. Garry Peters went in and played a good game, so where has he been? Meeks never showed up much either: bad angle resulted in one TD, and the inside post on Peters resulted in another where Jonathan should've been helping.

Aside from Robinson, I think some others had some good plays and some bad ones. It was better than last week obviously. Hall had a better game than he's had in some time, which was very nice to see, but I would not go so far as to say it was a good game.

I believe we still have an issue with the linebackers picking guys up in the Hook/Curl areas and into the Curl/Flat. They have shown a weakness here in every game. Either they get sucked up too much on play-action, ignoring a high-hat read, or they aren't looking at the #2/#3 receiver like they should be. If we picked this up better, started really picking the ball up in the air consistently, and took better angles overall we could start to see real improvement in the pass defense.

.....May or may not show up on the scoreboard if the DEs don't start getting pressure though. It all has to work together. 31 points is unacceptable.