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Game Film Review: NC State

Not even sure what to do with this review. 1000+ yards and a couple hundred plays, so don't expect there to not be errors somewhere. I'm going to just state 3 & outs as is to save time.

Streeter Lecka

ESPN Play-by-Play

CU from 25 - QB Draw for 15. Looked almost like an option keep....Stop to SW for 7...Counter H for 6...Flanker screen for 9...ZR option pass to AH on a stop for 5...Fly sweep with counter blocking opposite for loss of 5. They blitzed into the backside of the counter right at Sammy...Outside hook to SW for 9...Jaron runs an In cut at the sticks, batted away from him. Good play by the defender. 46 yard FG good. 3-0 Clemson, 9 plays 46 yards, 02:04

Can't say I like running the fly sweep opposite to the Counter because you lose all the outside blockers, I'd rather just have it as a fake to confuse a LB.

NCSU from 30 - 3 & out. Glennon is off on one, Peters gets there to tip the 3rd down pass away.

CU from 34 - IZ for 23. We didn't block it super well, but they stunted the DTs...Dumpoff to AE for 14...OZ for no gain...Boyd stares down Nuk and throws a bullet that gets tipped by Amerson...Sammy Dig route for 12, and slipped...Bucksweep no gain. Too much penetration on the playside. Looked like a field blitz...QB Counter for 12...Power O for 1. Right side has to do better than that...QB Counter for the TD. Good block by Darrell Smith. 10-0 Clemson, 9 plays 66 yards 2:21.

NCSU from 17 - 3 & out. Underwood dropped an easy throw that may have gone for 20+.

CU from 49 - IZ for 4..Counter H for 17...IZ for 1...Boyd scrambles for 3. Last year that is a sack...Nuk can't catch a low Out cut at his ankles. 43 yd FG good. 13-0 Clemson. 6 plays 25 yards 1:33.

Nothing wrong with the drive, they are jumping our underneath stop routes and Out/In cuts a little. Leaves them vulnerable to double moves....

NCSU from 23 - Tobais Palmer 77 yd TD on an Out & Up route.13-7 Clemson

Garry Peters was the deep coverage and jumped the out cut. He doesn't have the speed to make up for that.

Tricky to tell what coverage we were in, looked like 2 Zone with the way Meeks stayed underneath in a hook/curl zone area. May have been 3. Either way, Peters is the deep guy and can't jump that without excellent technique.

There was a safety dropping opposite, probably Hall, but he cannot help there.

CU from 25 - ZR option pass, thrown late behind Sammy. That should've been a lost yardage play...Chucks one too deep for Sammy Watkins...Stop route well short of the sticks to Ford for 3. Punt.

Should've run the Counter again, its killing their LBs.

NCSU from CU 49 - Tobais Palmer 49 yd TD on basically a 9 route. 14-13 NC State.

Now this was C2, and Breeland should've had help from Meeks. Meeks came down on a crossing route. However, you CANNOT GIVE THE INSIDE RELEASE like this.

CU from 25 -FL screen for 8. Need to see Sam Copper do better blocking...Counter for 3. Shit blocking by both lead blockers, Shatley and Smith... Counter, backside hole wasn't filled. They dove right into the backfield as Timothy/Shatley pulled across. Loss of 2...Boyd scrambles for 8...Slant thrown too far ahead of Sammy, may have been Sammy just getting off slow too, as this is a timing route. Punt. 5 plays 17 yards, 01:54

Ran the counter again, and couldn't block it.

NCSU from 19 - Palmer wide open for 26, weakass soft zone coverage on a flag route. Safety should eat that...Too hard incomplete...Draw for 3..Checkdown gets 10 in front of the underneath coverage...Thrown a little too early, or just a wrong route incomplete down the sideline. .Jarrett hits Glennon, he dumps it to Thornton, and gets 9. 10 Tigers can't get the sumbitch on the ground because of shit tackling...IZ for 9 right up the B-gap. Hall gets dragged for 2 of them...IZ for 6 cut outside...Vic Beasley hits Glennon as he releases to Smith for 18 yard TD. 21-13 NC State. 9 plays 81 yards.

So Venables said we were in control after the game?

Brewer stumbled a little, and the middle of the field is wide open. No one is back there.

CU from 25- Thrown behind Nuk on a stop...Swing route to Ford for 3...Boyd underthrows a ball over the middle and a little late to Sammy on a deep Post. Intercepted and returned to our 34.

Post is there, threw it late and behind. 2 seconds earlier and 3 feet deeper and its 6. INT is on Tajh, not Sammy.

NCSU from CU 34 - Out cut for 14. No one close...Glennon throws a fade/back shoulder and the WR ran a hitch. Brewer drops the INT inside our 10...Draw isolation for 6. Start 2nd QTR. Toss outside for loss of 1. 32 yd FG good. 24-13 NC State. 5 plays 19 yards 1:24

24 unanswered. However we've adjusted the coverages and there is a deep safety all the time.

CU from 22- Keep for 12. Another pass option, he has one read or take it himself...FL screen for 7...Power for 4...Power, cut it back for 20...FL screen, Ford didn't block, ball knocked out of SW's hands...IZ for 24, Hot Rod on a cutback...AH fly sweep for 4...Bootleg dumpoff to Ford, carries it in from 7.

Clemson goes for 2, ball is late underneath to Ford, Bishop knocks it away. 24-19 Clemson. 8 plays 78 yards 1:25.

I do NOT like going for 2 here with it 24-19. I think this was the dumbest call of the day.

NC State from 50 - 3 & out, NC State went for 4th & 1 and didnt get it. Nice penetration on this drive, particularly at DT.

CU from 41 - Power, nothing initially and AE breaks it outside for 24..FL screen for 8...Quick pass to Sammy tipped at line, nearly intercepted off the tip...FL screen to Sammy for the 27 yd TD.

Clemson has to go for 2 and converts. Same little half-roll flip out to Brandon Ford that we hit the TD on. 27-24 Clemson. 4 plays 59 yards 0:33.

They jumped it and Sammy made them pay, but with good blocks by Ford and the other WR.

NCSU from 25 - False start...Blitz, hits the checkdown drag and he runs for 20. Too many guys not looking for the ball..Same thing from other side for 3...Out cut incomplete, thrown wide...Evades pass rush somehow, throws a half yard pass to Thornton and he goes 23. Again, too many guys not looking for the ball....Pass thrown to the goal line in double coverage, Hall in perfect position to pick it, can't do it. Underthrown ball...IZ for 2...Thrown away, intentional grounding. Punt. 7 plays 35 yards, 01:44

Our DBs get lucky sometimes. Its a wonder anyone makes the tackles when no one turns around and looks for the damn football.

CU from 11 - Stop for 4...called Draw, loss of 2...Deep post to sammy for 27. Linebacker trying to cover SW?..IZ for 4...Nuk on a post, through his hands...Draw for no gain. Punt. 6 plays 33 yards, 02:16

We should've stuck with the running game here to rest the defense a little, its not like they are stopping it.

NCSU from 8 - IZ for 4...Good penetration forces incompletion. RB ran wrong route too...Post route for 28, no one near him. Blanks did not make a strong collision in zone, Meeks was supposed to RESPECT THE POST...IZ for 5...Brewer great play to knock a deep throw away....Out cut against Blanks for 9 and Hall standing over the top of it watching...Glennon throws to nowhere...Bucksweep for 2, played it perfectly really...Pass completed over Shuey running up the seam for 35. Its good coverage, but he should have help instead of being there by himself 35 yards downfield...Zone no gain...Blitz, pass underthrown and picked by Rashard Hall. 11 plays 83 yards, 02:43

Blitz forced the bad throw, saved us on this drive because no one in the back 7 had a clue.

CU from 20 - Fl screen for 4..IZ for 1..deep hitch for 13...Another hitch to Nuk, Amerson jumps it and its almost picked...Nuk jukes Amerson on a hitch & go, and goes 62. 34-24 Clemson 5 plays 80 yards, 01:23

Called a hitch, Amerson jumped it, then nailed him with a hitch & go.

NC State from 36 - Malliciah Goodman swats Glennon's arm as he releases, fumble recovered by Corey Crawford at the 32.

CU at NCSU 32 - Fl screen for 4....Ford sneaks past the underneath coverage for 19...IZ for no gain...Blitz, Boyd sees Cover 0 and walks in from 9 yards. 41-24 Clemson 4 plays 32 yards, 01:00

Too easy when you see they leave the middle wide open pre-snap.

NCSU from 25 - IZ for 1..iZ for 2...TO CU..OZ for 4..TO CU. Punt.

Now why in the Hell did they run the ball against our defense with 3 timeouts and 1:14 on the clock?

O'Brien lost the game right here. Their coaching staff punted.

Clemson kneels on it after we muffed the punt.


61 plays 441 yards for Clemson. 33 pass 28 rush.

Tobais Palmer and Shadrach Thornton can play ball. Thornton is worth following in the future. He killed us on checkdowns all day.

NC State is having some success defensively by jumping the underneath routes. As those who read these reviews know, Clemson makes a living off screens and hitch/stop routes. Thats our bread & butter. If anyone can take them away, they can hold the offense in check.

Our kick coverage was terrible, will someone please teach Pinion how to take a proper angle and tackle? He looks like Shuey from 2 years ago running out there.

Start 3rd Quarter.

NCSU from 25 -Hitch for 7...Power G/sweep for 13...Again for 6...TE goes right up the seam for 13. Willard didnt do shit to stop him. Somebody has to chuck that guy coming up the seam...bootleg thrown away...checkdown to RB for 4...Vic Beasley comes into the B-gap nearly untouched for sack. 49 yd FG MISSED. 7 plays 44 yards, 02:58

We had one extra coming off the edge, the LT should've taken the OLB and the Guard taken VB, and both of them looked confused on the slide.

CU from 32 -AE OZ for 13....Power O for 7...Jet sweep for 8, AH...MartaviS Bryant 49 yd TD, just outran everybody and no safety picked him up. 48-24 Clemson. 4 plays 68 yards 1:02.

NCSU from 33 -Toss sweep for 6...IZ for no gain. Nice play by Shuey, called run blitz on key...Blitz, hits Thornton on the checkdown again and no one around him, goes for 16...IZ for 4...Drag route thrown behind Underwood...Carter beats Christian inside for 9. Christian didn't make contact, gave him free release inside...IZ for 2..Crosser completed for 7, but not bad coverage there...IZ, Grady Jarrett came right through the line for a 2 yard loss. Killed that Center...4th & 3 Blitz, Willard batted pass down. 10 plays 42 yards, 03:49

CU from 25 -WR screen, not much of a block outside for AH by Bryant and Ford...IZ for 14..Throwback screen for 27. Same play we ran against Florida State. OL freezes, only one defender stayed home...OZ for 3...ZR keep for 5...QB Iso for 1...4th & 1, Blitz, Boyd takes it up the gut on the QB Power...Bucksweep Howard for 10...Option pass to AH, no gain...Boyd takes it on a QB Power outside for 9 yd TD. 55-24 Clemson. 10 plays 74 yards 2:58.

Kickoff Returned 81 yards to our 16, after an offsides call on the kickoff team. Terrible angles and lane discipline.

Would someone like to explain why Breeland, our ONLY COVER CORNER in a DEPLETED SECONDARY, is on the kickoff team?

NC State from 16 - Power G, Thornton walks by 3 orange jerseys for a TD.55-31 Clemson.


CU from 25 - IZ, stumbled on a cutback attempt and lost 4..Draw, no gain...Tajh bonehead throw intercepted at our 25. Boyd didn't even see him.

Returned to the Clemson 6

NCSU from our 6 - Throwback to Carter for TD. 55-38 Clemson.

TE on a late drag over the middle away from the bootleg flow, Linebacker didn't pick him up. Looks to me that it is Tig Willard's responsibility in Cover 0 on the goal line.

4 1-play TD drives.

CU from 25 -Counter H, no gain. Too much penetration behind the down blocks, and Thomas didn't make a great block...Swing route to AE for 6...Brandon Ford just cuts a slant inside and the Safety missed the tackle, Cover 0, goes for 69. 62-38 Clemson, 3 plays 75 yards 0:59

They had no one deep. Safety was on Ford flexed out. I can't believe he outran them to the pylon. He ties schoo

Nice that the offense answered NC State again and again.

Kick returned 44 yards. Breeland injured on the tackle attempt.

NCSU from 44 - TE checkdown for 9. Draw for about 7...Incomplete on a flag route, hit as he threw by Reader...OZ for 4...Completed Out cut at the sticks for 5...Start 4th QTR...Scramble for 2..Overthrown floater, threw to wrong shoulder...Thrown off the mark outside, pressure was coming...Crossing route dropped, Brewer was there to force it...Tobais Palmer runs right up the seam untouched for a TD. Shuey was over and didn't collision the route, and Meeks was nowhere nearby to help. 62-45 Clemson. 10 plays 56 yards 2:19

Our safeties are atrocious. One mistake after another. Looked like Blanks had the guy initially, then blitzed, and Shuey expected someone to be back there. Meeks had already come down underneath.

Possible that Blanks should've checked out of the blitz and stuck with the receiver.

CU at 25 -IZ for 11..IZ for 1...FL screen to Peake for 3...Bryant sitting on a stop route at the sticks, makes one miss and goes 22..IZ for 1..Counter H for 2...Thrown deep 9 route to Nuk, Amerson faceguarded him and never turned for that ball in the end zone. Punt. 7 plays 40 yards 3:13

I think that is Pass Interference since Amerson never turned for it and made plenty of contact.

NC State at 14 - Delay, how do you get delay after a TV timeout?...TO CU. Looked like we were not lined up properly...Draw for 10..FB checkdown for 2. Willard nailed him as soon as he caught it...Another checkdown to TE for 9...IZ for 11...Swing route for 10...Checkdown to FB for 6...Dropped pass by TE...Vic Beasley comes free outside and sacks Glennon. Ball knocked loose and NCST recovers...TE left wide open on a post route over the middle for 28. Steward bit down and left his man...Smith runs a post and its barely missed in the end zone. WR couldnt pull it down...Blitz, forces early throw incomplete...Key blitz, thrown short outside. 40 yd FG good. 62-48 Clemson. 13 plays 63 yards 3:32.

Fucking pitiful defense. Our deep coverage is shit, our underneath coverage is too soft to be any use.

CU at 25 - Power for 9..IZ, no gain...Power for 6, and that was basically all Andre...IZ, Andre cuts outside and gets about 30, but Jaron Brown held the CB and it only goes for plus 7. I think that penalty was iffy...IZ for 4...TO NCST...ZR keep for 8..QB Power for 3...IZ for 2...TO NCST...ZR keep outside for 5..ZR keep for 4...QB Power..TO CU, Stoudt comes in...IZ for 2..Boyd comes back in? Why? IZ for no gain...4th & 4, TO CU...End around to AH for the 1st down. Clock runs down.

Best drive of the whole day. We take the ball with 7:25 on the clock and ice it. I don't understand why Boyd came back in there with it under 2:00.


Animated Drive Chart brought to you by Gameday Depot.

Summarizing Thoughts

Defensively, a complete disaster. We didn't defend the run well, and did even worse against the pass. Our safeties constantly bite on PA, and today the Wolfies were sending underneath routes right at them and they'd collapse on top of them, only to leave your #1 responsibility wide open. How it is that our Safeties, who are upperclassmen, can forget that you always respect the Post route and protect the seam, is just beyond me. Even if the CB has the deep coverage job in C3, he has to know to play safe because he's the last line of defense. Let the underneath guy take the chances on jumping routes.

But our underneath coverage is so pitifully soft that they could dink & dunk all the way down the field with checkdowns to the TE and RB/FB. TE is open all day because no LB has enough sense to JAM THE GUY on the release. WRs can come open downfield because nobody JAMS THE GUY on the release. If you want to play zone, at least play it physical and collision the releases of the receivers. You don't have to hold or interfere to knock the shit out of somebody and prevent him from continuing his momentum through a cut. Its just damn pathetic.

Tobais Palmer had 496 all-purpose yards. One little guy who is no bigger than a gnat and we give up 500 yards? We gave up 500 yards to them in total offense too. Nobody should put up 500 yards on Clemson, ever.

I'd have Harbison out of town the day after SC. I don't know what the issue is, but its time for a change.

The only positives I could see is the pressure reaching Glennon at times and forcing bad throws, and good play by the DTs for the most part. I think Venables made the only adjustment he could make with the shitty back 4 play. He blitzed and kept one guy deep all the time after the 1st quarter, and it helped at least a little. Several times, as detailed above, the pressure forced bad throws or early releases.

Glennon is an NFL QB, and you'll see him on Sundays. He's not like his brother. And we'll be watching Thornton in the future. Clemson should've pursued Shadrach.

Nothing much you can say about the offense other than that it was the best game in terms of output yardage in 30 years. NC State played tough initially by trying to jump our hitches and screens, but they didn't have the horses to also run downfield with us, hence the big plays.

The OL did alright except for a few plays on the right side, and some interior push. NC State had a few choice run blitzes called and it stopped us a few times. If you noticed the number of Counters, it was because their LBs are overaggressive. Chad saw as much on film that told him to run those a lot and we'd have success. Typical Tenuta LB play.

I wouldn't say Nuk had his best game. I thought he disappeared, and it was probably because Amerson keyed him like glue. Amerson was physical and got his plays in.

The Chad

Whole game