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Game Film Review: Maryland

Like the Duke game, this one is only useful for reviewing a half of football and then we'll judge some of the backup play in garbage time instead of play-by-play. I will just go ahead and say I hate Dan Hawkins.

ESPN Play-by-Play

CU from 39 - AE bucksweep for 9...WR screen for 7, Peake. Gotta do a little better blocking there...Bucksweep AE for 5...ZR, loss of 3. That looked like a busted play up front by the OL, too many came free...Boyd throws too tall, but Nuk had a hand on it until they knocked it free. Good play by the defender. 5 plays 18 yards 1:58.

Almost looked like the OL thought there was a screen call on the ZR, 2 guys came completely free inside.

MD from 2 - Power for 2...Zone for 2...Power read keeper, gain of 10 after a missed tackle by Brewer...Same play, loss of 2 thanks to Grady Jarrett...OZ, loss of 1, Travis Blanks was coming...Thrown 2 miles ahead of deep Cross route, incomplete. Terrible throw. Punt. 6 plays 11 yards, 03:32

Fine defense other than Brewer's miss.

CU from 48 - Quick screen to Sammy, makes 3 miss and gets 11...Pressure comes free off the right tackle, thrown too tall to Humphries who was open downfield...Bucksweep for 4...Blitzer comes completely free with a twist stunt, dumps to Sammy for 20....Same quick screen again to Nuk for 4...Power for no gain...Great catch by Adam Humphries on the 13 yard TD. Cut in behind the defense on a post. 7-0 Clemson, 7 plays 52 yards, 02:11

Should've scored a TD given the field position.

MD from 25 -Shawn Petty fumbles, recovered by Corey Crawford and carried 16 yards for TD. 14-0 Clemson.


MD from 10 - Terrible throw to flats incomplete. Illegal man downfield penalty declined, why did we decline?...ZR toss for 4....Speed option Keeper, Christian completely misses the QB behind the line but we get through for the tackle anyway. Punt.

CU from MD 41 - IZ, gain of 1...Boyd botched the handoff on an OZ. Fumbled and recovered by MD.

Botched handoffs are almost always on the Quarterback, this one definitely was. He kept reading and reading.

MD from 43 - ZR handoff for 16. Just bad pursuit angles and poor aggression...ZR, Malliciah Goodman registers a sack on this with Xavier Brewer's help and Clemson recovers fumble at 47.

CU From 47 - Power for 2...Thrown too high over the middle to Sammy. At least he missed where no one would intercept it...Empty, Blitz is picked up and Nuk gets 12 on a Dig...Bucksweep for 2. Gifford Timothy COMPLETELY WHIFFED on down block. DT just brushed his ass off...Quick stop to Sam Cooper for 7. Power keep for 2...PA pass deep to Nuk for the 28 yard TD, 7 route. 21-0 Clemson, 7 plays 53 yards, 01:54

MD is playing mostly Quarters Zone coverage, some Cover 3 too. Its all soft. Can't blame them for that at all because they would get killed faster with M2M.

MD from 25 - IZ, Grady Jarrett cuts through the OL and stuffs it...Jet sweep, Jarrett whips the RG again, gets into the backfield and forces the WR to slow, Vic Beasley cuts past the LT and stops for no gain. Same play we run with the flip pass, so it technically goes as a completion...Blitz, Post pass tipped away by Meeks. Punt.


CU from 40 - Quick screen again, Sammy makes one miss and gets 17. They're playing so far off that its cake...Bucksweep for 1. Penetration inside as Jaron Brown missed his crack, and Howard hesitated...Boyd sees no one open, scrambles for 10...Blitz, Boyd gets rid of it a little too early and its too high for Peake to grab in the flat...Start 2nd QTR...Empty, WR screen to Sammy for 12...Sammy Watkins end-around, loss of 2. Busted by penetration on the backside, but good discipline by Maryland. Watkins ran into Smith at the end...Brandon Ford shows up for the first time in weeks on a 22 yard wheel route for the score. 28-0 Clemson. 7 plays 60 yards, 2:08.

Bout time Ford did something in the passing game.

MD from 22 - Wildcat keep for 19 right up the middle, Power. Both interior LBs were out of position and Hall got blocked by the puller...IZ for 4...Speed option keep, loss of 2. Nice play by Crawford, but I'd like him to be more aggressive there...Floater thrown away. Punt.

Ball bounces off Adam Humphries' hands, MD recovers at our 18. The ball was going in and out of sunlight, but he should've caught that ball.

MD from 18 - IZ for 1...Fly sweep fake keeps our LBs up, and the TE is left wide open on a wheel route. 28-7 Clemson. 2 plays 18 yards, 0:44.

Willard was the LB to the playside, Hall appeared to have a hook/curl area and went inside with another, TE just ran free up the sideline. Deeper safety (Meeks) went inside with another as well.

Hard to say who is at fault without knowing the call, but its probably on Willard. His eyes were in the backfield the whole time and he was frozen, he never looked at the TE.

CU from 35 - Stop route to Peake for 5...Counter H for 4...Counter to the other side for no gain...4th & 1 at our 44. Power for 2. If the puller gets into the A-gap, that play goes for 5-6...Blitz, Shatley whiffs on a kickout, Boyd dumps it off to AH for 4...Counter reverse inside handoff to Hot Rod for 25. Nice play....Counter H for 3....Nuk standing between two defenders for 15...Boyd forces one to Brown, bounces off his hands incomplete. Wish he'd have checked off the primary there...Boyd keeper off tackle, fumbled at the 2. MD recovers. 10 plays 58 yards, 03:47

Boyd held it too high, not down under his armpit. Jostled out.

A good long drive, OL started to play well, and just a sloppy way to end it.

MD from 2 - a Counter Trey for 44...Power, strung out for a gain of 1...Shuey and Jarrett get there on a sack, it was an inside screen but we had a blitz called, loss of 15...OZ, penetration forces him to bounce and no gain. Good defense there. Punt.

On the long play, Clemson is playing Under with a dropped FS to make it 8 in the box by alignment, with the CB Brewer going with the motion man to make it 9. Quandon Christian is the outside man. Shuey dives into the C-gap to make a tackle and misses, but Christian is the one with outside leverage here and cannot let anyone outside of him. The question is on how we play it.

Some schemes will have the MIKE come over the top of the End and stay tight over the load block, and have a FS fill outside. We had Hall down in the box as a Rover opposite the strength and Meeks was Free but aligned further to the opposite side because of the passing strength. In this scheme for the CT, the SAM spills down when the TE releases inside, which means someone else has the outside responsibility.

Tavaris Barnes did not make it any easier for either scheme by being completely washed inside at a 5-technique either. He should be in that C-gap and not over near the damn Center.

CU from 34 - IZ for 7...Speed option keep for 2...Power for 4...Checkdown drag route to Jaron for 1...Bucksweep for loss of 2, penetration bigtime everywhere on the left side under the pulling Shatley. Howard limping after this play...AH out route after everyone cleared the coverage for 11...Ford behind the 1st level for 24, wheel route...IZ for 13..Power for 6 yard TD. Nice blocking by Timothy and Beasley here. 35-7 Clemson. 9 plays 66 yards 3:12.

After the OL slept through most of the half in the run game, they've started to awaken on the last two drives.

MD from 32 - Wilkcat, OZ, looked like it was meant to be a jet sweep. No gain...Draw for 4.


Just a little lethargic in the first half, sloppy and not crisp. The timing with the WRs and Tajh is just fine, but the OL just slept through most of the half and didn't get it together until the last two drives. Seems like the crowd is asleep too.

Defensively, I'm not sure what to take from the half. We goofed up a couple times but Maryland's QB sucks ass. He's not going to beat any team with defensive speed. If we had not turned the ball over in our territory, they would not have scored.

Tajh was 17/22 for 213 yards and 3 TDs in the 1st.

Start 3rd QTR

MD from 25 - IZ no gain...ZR/OZ no gain...Speed option keep, Shuey gets there for the tackle. punt.

They come out from the half with this adjustment?

CU from 45 -Martavis runs a streak, 48 yard catch. We started under center...Power for 2...Power G for no gain. Nothing got moved by the down blocks by Smith and Thomas...Maryland jumps, Clemson OL freezes and Tajh throws it away. No flag is called for offsides...TO CU. 22 yd FG Catman. 38-7 Clemson, 5 plays 50 yards, 01:29

I see them jump into the neutral zone and stop, they looked offsides to me.

MD from 25 - QB Power for 5...ZR keep for loss of 3, Corey Crawford and SA got there. Like that Crawford kept going instead of freezing on the read...RB screen, gain of 7. Surprised they haven't thrown that more...4th & 1, Power O for 2...Keeper for 2...OZ keep for 1...Scrambles for 7 and gets the 1st down, but Christian forces a fumble and Blanks recovers it. 7 plays 21 yards, 4:27

Boy this is an inventive offense. Keep keep keep keep, speed option, IZ, OZ, keep keep keep.

CU at MD 46 - Bryant runs a streak down the sideline, Johnson commits PI. Never looked for the ball and shielded MB..Counter H, loss of 6. Way too much penetration off the left side, especially with Sam Cooper's weakass block on the OLB...Boyd too tall for Peake, don't think Charone turned fast enough to adjust to the ball on this timing Out cut...Screen to Hot Rod incomplete. They blitzed into it..Benton misses a 55 yd FG. 3 plays 9 yards 1:04

Looked lackadaisical up front on this drive.

Of course, our FG team never expected them to actually try to return this, and they brought the ball from their end zone all the way to the Clemson 26. The shit I see on the field here reminds me of the GT Thursday night game.

MD at CU 26 - Wildcat keep for 3...OZ for a loss of 1, poor blocking up front...Slant caught for a gain of 7-8 but the dummy ran backwards and got only 3. 39 yd FG good. 38-10 Clemson. 4 plays 5 yards, 2:19.

CU at 24 - Cole Stoudt is in at QB. Counter for 7...IZ for 5..Delay Draw for 8...Counter, run down from behind by OLB for no gain. He read the play since it looked exactly the same as the first play, even the formation...Stoudt speed option keep for 1 Probably should've pitched that....QB Power for 2 on 4th & inches....Start 4th QTR...Bootleg, Bryant comeback for 11...Zac Brooks buck for 1. Lead puller didnt block anybody, shatley....Stoudt keeper outside for 2...Ball is underthrown a little to Cooper down the sideline, DB knocks it away....Blitz, Dig route for Peake, 12 yards...WR screen for 8...Same play for 5, Personal foul for late hit...Pressure forces Stoudt to scramble and throw away...IZ for 3...Seckinger just runs a little stick route for the TD. 45-10 Clemson, 16 plays 76 yards, 6:46.

Best drive of the whole ballgame. 2nd string came in and drove down the field against their 1st stringers, who were probably well beyond tired at this point.

MD from 25 - Clemson has substituted more 2nd stringers. It was not a particularly great showing in run defense but won't be reviewing further.


Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.

Summarizing Thoughts

A nearly complete performance. If the OL had shown up earlier in the game and we had not been lackadaisical, or turned the ball over, it would be one. We only averaged 3.2 ypc over the entire game, and you can see above how poorly we did in the first 1.5 quarters running it. However, both AE and Hot Rod managed over 4 per carry, and I'm thankful we did not run Tajh any more with the lead.

Perhaps the overall poor OL execution is why the starters played nearly the entire game up front. We did not give reps to the 2nd team. A case could be made that they needed a full game of reps to condition themselves for NCSU and SC, who both have very good DLines. We faced a fairly good defensive front, but not a very talented one. Maryland's front is proof that you don't have to be a great talented squad to be a good run defense. If you can teach fundamentals and your guys can learn how to stay in gaps, a team of 2-stars can be solid against the run. Some teams will still out-cat you, but overall you can still be very solid.

Run defense was very good for the most part, but we knew they were running it every time and we had 8 or 9 in the box most of the time. 3.2 ypc allowed as a result, and they only threw the ball for 41 yards on 6 completions. It'll beef up our passing statistical defense, but it was little more than a scrimmage for the pass defense.

We didn't do a good job on Brandon Ross, watch this guy going forward. 16 carries for 100, and I'm wondering why he didn't get it 30 times. I see some good talent there. Our backup defense gave up 60 yards on the 4th Q drive, and Ross did get a few of those runs.