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Game Film Review: Duke

Not as much worth reviewing this week in comparison to previous games, and we will not be doing review of garbage time in the 2nd half. There will be some thoughts at the end on the play of the backups.

Grant Halverson

ESPN Play-by-Play

CU from 24 - bucksweep for 26, AE appeared to tweak it in the last 2-3 yards...IZ for 8...WR screen to Sammy for a few...Power, too much penetration up the middle killed it. Freeman got whipped....Pass too high out of bounds to Nuk...Bootleg, Jaron wide open on the boundary for 20+...IZ for 3...Fade route, TD to Nuk. 7-0 Clemson. 8 plays 76 yards, 2:24.

Duke from 17 - IZ for 12, pitiful gap control. He walked past 3 guys....WR screen for 7...ZR pass option to Crowder on the boundary for a handful and a 1st. Soft zone...Wildcat, Connette keeper into the boundary, Shuey and Hall both played it well for no gain...Holding on Brewer as they hit the open in & out cut. How did he manage to hold and yet let the guy this much open?..Wildcat ZR keep, no gain...Pass too high to Crowder incomplete...Peters leaves Vernon wide ass open on a comeback. Peters just LET him go...Fumbled handoff, recovered loss of 2-3...Checkdown to the TE, he fell down as the ball got there...Beasley nearly sacks Renfree and he misses a wide open receiver that would've been a 20 yard gain. 46 yd FG good. 7-3 Clemson.

Pretty base defense on 1st -2nd down. Blitz on 3rd down.

CU from 25 - IZ for 3...bucksweep for 5...Power for 9...PA fake, Nuk for 58 on a Post. 14-3 Clemson, 4 plays 75 yards 1:19.

All runs by Hot Rod.

Nuk just outran the guy. Safety needed to stay on top of that route. ALWAYS respect the post route.

Duke from 23 - Read pass, thrown incomplete to the flat...Renfree finds Crowder for a 77 yd TD over Xavier Brewer. 14-10 Clemson, 2 plays 77 yards, :23.

Brewer's backpedal wasn't so great there and he was caught peeking into the backfield, one stumble as he opened his hips, an eye the wrong way, and the receiver got separation. His weight looked to be a bit much on the heels. He did not have help to the inside, it looked like C3 coverage and he's the outside deep 3rd. He didn't stay on top of the route and let the guy have the inside.

It was just a small misstep and he got toasted.

CU from 25 - WR screen to SW for 1...Bootleg, deeper throw to Brown incomplete, just out of reach...Nuk down the sidelines gets interfered with for 15...ZR keep for 9...OZ DJ no gain...Power keep for 5.....Nuk for 45 yard TD. 21-10 Clemson, 6 plays 75 yards, 2:13.

CB got juked and fell down, it was over after that. Safety ain't gonna get there. Actually I think their Safety is terrible.

Duke from 25 - IZ for 6...IZ for 2...Blitz, tipped I think. punt 3 plays 8 yards, 1:27.

CU from 20 - Power for 3...Empty set, Sammy Dig route for 22...ZR keep, Duke played it well, loss of 2...Sack. Tajh stepped up and didn't pull it down to run, just stumbled around and the DE pulled off to sack him...Subst. infraction Duke...QB draw for 24. Pitiful defense....Bucksweep DJ for 7, holding called on Seckinger? I don't see the hold...Wide Power for 7...Sammy Watkins 30 yard TD. 28-10 Clemson. 7 plays 80 yards, 3:06.

No chance for Duke in the back 7. We just run right by them. Jaron Brown cut to the inside on a skinny post and took the FS, left Sammy basically one on one with his man on another post. Looked like another post route.

Duke from 25 - Power for 13, Shuey too slow, Blanks got Cracked and squared up with his blocker completely...Start 2nd QTR...Blitz, Crowder adjusted to a bad throw for 37. Garry Peters completely fucking lost. Shit footwork, had no idea where the ball was...IZ for 2...Hit as he dumps it off for 6...TE snuck right past Rashard Hall for 17 yard TD. 28-17 Clemson, 5 plays 75 yards, 2:04.

Hall got sucked up on the zone power read fake, not watching his man. Terrible. ALL-AROUND shit pass coverage.

CU from 23 - IZ for 11..Power for 5...Pass over the middle on a Dig to Nuk for 20, fumble forced by Canty.

Ripped it right out of his arms.

Duke from 41 - IZ for 2, looked like a false start to me...Fumbled snap, flipped it out on a swing route for loss of 5. Willard was all on top of that...Blitz, Crowder dropped an easy catch at the sticks. 3 plays -3 yards 1:18

CU from 28 - IZ for 7...Sammy curl for 10...IZ for 4...IZ for 10...Martavis Bryant 41 yd TD on a Post. 35-17 Clemson. 5 plays 72 yards 1:39.

You would think they might catch on that M2M coverage does not work against our receivers.

Duke from 25 - Blitz, but holding called...Thrown into double coverage, should've been picked off by Breeland...Draw for 4...Sack by Josh Watson. Punt. 3 plays -19 yards 2:03

Great pressure on this drive.

Clemson from Duke 42 -PA, throws one up to Jaron without making a read of the CB. Intercepted at the Duke 21.

Bad read on Tajh. This one is on him.

Duke from 21 - Power read QB keep for no gain...Pass incomplete over the middle, Goodman flagged for roughing the passer. Its legit...False start...Pass tipped and still caught for 4...Scramble for 12...IZ for loss of 1....Stop route, Willard misses a tackle, he gets 6 instead of no gain...Swing route for 3, missed tackle by Cortez Davis...4th & 2, TO Duke...TO Clemson because we must've guessed wrong on what they were about to do. Punt. 6 plays 34 yards 3:58.

CU from 16 - IZ for 2...Scramble for 18, made that LB look stupid ...Boyd sacked, held onto that one too long. Both Thomas and Timothy got beat...PI called on LB jumping on Humphries back...Back shoulder throw to Sammy for 30. Perfect throw...ZR keep for the TD. 42-17 Clemson. 5 plays 84 yards 1:29.

Duke from 25 - Pass dropped on a dump to the RB...Draw for 5...TO CU...Hook to Vernon for 9...Blitz, crosser for 8...TO Duke...Sack by Grady Jarrett, good use of leverage...Blitz, pass overthrown and nearly intercepted by Robert Smith. Punt. 6 plays 14 yards 1:31.

CU from 28 - Curl for 8 to AH...Bad throw over the middle to Sammy incomplete, forced that a little...Stop route for 6...Threw the ball up into coverage for an INT to end the half.


Much better secondary play in the 2nd Q, but it was very much attributable to the pass rush improvement.

Start 3rd QTR

Duke from 23 - Swing pass to Snead for 5...Same thing for 1...Pass rush forces a incompletion. Punt.

CU from 35 - DJ for 14 on a IZ...Power G for 5...Toss for 13....Half-roll, thrown incomplete....Cooper gets the ball taken from his hands, intercepted.

That is unacceptable from Cooper. That DB got there, so it was a good play by him, but that ball should get caught or knocked to the ground.

Duke from the 9 - bucksweep for 6...OZ for 12, pitiful tackling by Hall....holding called on us on an uncatchable pass, bad call...Deep ball slightly underthrown and should've been picked by Blanks. If that is thrown well, its a big gain...RB checkdown for 5...Hook pass completed for 1st, but holding nullifies...Good coverage by Peters, bats down a throw to Vernon. Punt. 5 plays 23 yards, 2:21.

Renfree could hit more throws than he is hitting tonight. Their receivers aren't making the plays that are there to make for them.

CU from 31 - Zone for 21, Hot rod. Almost a Counter H...ZR, botched handoff, loss of 2...IZ for 10...IZ for 2...Bootleg, flipped out to Cooper for 5 under pressure...Power for 4...iZ for 1..Cooper runs up the sideline on a wheel route, wide open for 25, great catch because the throw was not quite on the mark...IZ for 2, Hot Rod went down here...Power for the TD. DJ Howard. 49-17 Clemson. 10 plays 69 yards, 03:20

Nice long drive, churned some clock, ran the ball very well. This was still the starters, but noticed that David Beasley was taken out.

Duke from 24 - IZ, just bullrushed our front for 7. Pitiful. Nobody got low...Pressure from SA, dumped down on the sideline for 4...Swing route dumpeed down for another 8-9...Vernon deeper comeback route for 15....Bootleg, checked down for 8-9...Blitz, forces early throw, Robert Smith reads the checkdown and stops the dumpoff for loss of 1. Nice play...IV/Power read, no gain...WR standing still beyond the sticks on a stop route for the 1st down. That shouldn't have been completed...Sideline catch made, Brewer not paying attention, gain of 14...Pass tipped incomplete...Looks like they tried to set up a screen, Grady Jarrett jumps all over it, goes as loss of 5...Overthrown comeback incomplete. 47 yd FG good. 49-20 Clemson. 13 plays 47 yards, 05:05

Could say the same thing as the last drive they had. The plays are there for them, but either he can't hit the receiver on stride or pressure forces some poor throws.

Its not that our secondary is playing all that great. We're giving them the underneath and playing safe.

CU from 14 - Primarily 2nd string. Zac Brooks is in with Cole Stoudt at QB. Clemson ran the ball 5 of 6 plays to finish the 3rd Quarter. Start 4th QTR. Nice zone read by Stoudt, carried for 25. They overran the play...A few more power read/IV plays before Stoudt hit Peake for a 12 yd TD pass, good catch. 56-20 Clemson. 11 plays 86 yards, 3:40.

Exactly the type of drive to see from the backup front 5. Duke is worn out because of their overaggression, similar to Auburn.

Duke from 25 - D forces 3 & out, Tavaris Barnes finishes it with a sack. Backups primarily on defense.

CU from 45 - All Zac Brooks, gain of 3, loss of 4, hit a pass to him for 6.

ZB runs too high.

Duke from 19 - here with 9:52, they just decide to run clock too. We are playin backups.

Not much point in reviewing further.


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Summarizing Thoughts

Duke did on defense what they knew, which is their basic 4-2-5, 1 or 2-high, Man under. I can't fault them for that, because you should always stick with what you know best on offense or defense.

But its a stupid idea for our opponents to continue to throw this 1 or 0 coverage against us. Its like taking candy from babies. Unless you have the horses in coverage to do this, like say LSU or FSU, etc., then this coverage will get your ass beat. That is what happened to Duke today. Why they keep doing it? I don't know.I do know that Clemson should have offered Walt Canty.

I would not have gone 0 coverage at all against us, but once Andre Ellington went down theres no need to try to put another in the box to take away the least going into this game. It turns out they were going to get destroyed either way, giving up 300 on the ground and the air.

Clemson had put up 46 passes of 20+ yards through this contest. Nearly 40% of that has gone just to Nuk Hopkins. Wouldn't you play Cover 3 against this team and hope for the best? NC State is the first team we'll have faced since BC that plays conservative coverage like that, but they are pitiful in the back end aside from David Amerson in my opinion.

Tajh's interceptions will go negatively against him in the record books, but we know from the tape that one was a bad read, one was the fault of Sam Cooper but was a good play by the defender, and the other was an arm punt that was unecessary.

I was happy with the OL performance obviously, we controlled the line of scrimmage basically from the start of the game until the end, even with the backups in there. Isaiah Battle was physically impressive in his reps at LT.

Hot Rod does not run too high, well not terribly so, but both Howard and Brooks both run straight upright. Both of them need to lower their pads more or they'll get killed. You can run upright once youre through the traffic but going into a melee with your pads up is asking to have your head taken off. We were happy that they all got plenty of carries, especially Brooks since we burned his redshirt (for games like this judging from his snap counts).

Defensively, the Clemson secondary played the first half about how I expected them to. I knew we would look terrible and get roasted by this Duke passing game. For their benefit, the DL started to take the game over in the 2nd quarter and get better pressure, and it kept us from giving up another 200 yards passing.

Up front, I have started noticing better and better fundamentals from the interior linemen, Vic Beasley, Tavaris Barnes, and both Willard and Shuey. They're starting to keep their leverage much better and I see better angles to the ball. I wish I could say the latter about the secondary.

You can see it in the rushing yardage allowed. In the first four games, Clemson allowed 5.4 ypc. Take away the GT game, and we've allowed 96.5 rushing yards a game and 2.79 yards a carry. Just one run of 20+ after giving up the national leading 19 at the 6 game point.

We're still not a good defense, but at least its an improving defense. We need to keep in mind that we've faced offenses who barely have more talent than our defense does though at some positions, and all of these teams (BC, Duke, WF, etc.) are terribly weak.

What asshole let KornCoot go to Duke to watch us?