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Game Film Review: Virginia

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Not going to do a full PBP on the defensive side later in this game, because we really tightened up during the 2nd quarter. Also not going garbage time with the backup offense.

ESPN play-by-play

CU at 25 - WR screen for 7, good effort by AH on the block. Face mask tacked on...OZ for loss of 3, thanks to Gifford Timothy getting his ass kicked on an inside move by a 5-tech...WR screen to SW for 6...Dig route to Martavis Bryant for 17, finally hit a crossing route downfield...Sammy beats the CB for 33 yard TD. Perfect throw. 7-0 Clemson. 5 plays 75 yards, 1:27.

Post route that Sammy cut back like a corner route on the throw.

UVA at 30 - IZ up the A-gap for 5...Dig route pass too high to the TE, he was open 15 downfield...Checkdown to the TE for 5. Good coverage though...Penetration stuffs an OZ for loss of 1...QB Draw and Shuey/Crawford get him. Should really be a sack but they call it a run...Blitz, Breeland makes the tackle on an Out route just shy of the sticks. Punt. 6 plays 19 yards, 3:02.

Lot of Under front, press coverage outside. Sending Quan Christian a lot here.

CU at 11 - Bucksweep for 5, both guards actually hit somebody...Stop route for Bryant, tackled immediately for 2...QB Counter and they blitzed, loss of 4. Punt. 3 plays 3 yards. 1:27.

This image is immediately after the snap. We are pulling the Center and Cooper is coming across the formation to kickout someone outside. Tenuta called a blitz, and its a good defensive call.



You see Cooper already coming across there and he obviously sees the LB, and DECIDES NOT TO BLOCK AN IMMEDIATE THREAT, letting his QB get hammered for a loss. He throws a shoulder into him instead of squaring up and taking the threat.


UVA from 46 - Blitz, swing pass for 3...Power for 2...Quick hook route for 7 to the TE. Caught us with a bunch formation. Good tackle immediately though...Waggle incomplete. Wiggins blitzing to force the early throw...Counter Trey for no gain...Blitz, Comeback route for 18. Robinson stumbled on the miss tackle...Watford scrambles for 9, juked the hell out of Stephone Anthony...IZ for 6. Big hole on left side B-gap, looked like DeShawn Williams just got squashed, but Quan Christian was not in his gap because he didn't read the keys...IZ for 3...ZR and Watford beat Beasley outside for the TD. 7-7, 10 plays 54 yards, 4:04.

Really surprised Beasley didn't get him, fell down chasing him.

I don't think they score if not for the short field.

CU at 25 - Touch pass to Sammy for 6. I wish we'd run this more...RB screen and McDowell tackled immediately. LB made a great play, nice read...Checkdown to McDowell again and he goes 27. They dropped everyone in M2M coverage and the same LB appeared to have blown his assignment...Bryant for 37, perfect outside shoulder throw...IZ for 3. We had pretty good push there...Counter H for TD. 14-7 Clemson. 6 plays, 75 yards, 2:01.

B.J. Goodson made a perfect form tackle on the kickoff return.

UVA at 11 - IZ for 9, missed tackle Shuey. Anthony out of his gap and got blocked...Draw for no gain, Robinson good tackle...QB follows RB into hole on ZR, we had a CB blitz on and Barnes got him in backfield. Punt.

CU at UVA 45 - Tajh throws one up to Bryant, who was completely covered. No reason to throw that football. He had the Dig route underneath that he should've hit...Reverse Toss, McDowell gets 2 because he hesitated to cut it back N-S. Hopper had a good enough block with inside leverage. Should've had 4...Tajh throws to Sammy Watkins on a Post, who was double-covered, and one of them picks it off at the 7.

He had a Corner route open on the right that probably would've gone 20+ yards because the Safety went with Sammy. He never once looked off Sammy, if he does that then the Safety probably hesitates or comes down to try playing the Corner route.

Bonehead drive by Boyd. Two balls that should not have been thrown but he was greedy and wanted the big play. He decided to throw them both before the snap.

UVA at 7 - They dropped a 1st down on one play, the TE can't catch one that hits him on the next but we give them 15 on a personal foul by Blanks for unnecessary roughness. Hit the TE immediately after the incompletion. Ed Cunningham won't shut up for 15 minutes about it...Coverage forces punt. 5 plays 18 yards, 1:12.

CU at 37 - IZ for 2...Quick Slant, CB made a good play to swat it....Coverage and pressure forces Boyd to pull it for a 1 yd run. Punt. 3 plays 3 yards, 1:10.

Probably saw the safety playing off on the slant, if Sammy catches that he likely goes a long way.

UVA at 11 - 3 & out. Reader sack.

CU at UVA 49 - Quick pass to Bryant for 4...Bucksweep for 2. Didn't get blocking back inside, they set the edge well..Pass too tall for AH in the flat. Boyd missed him. 3 plays 6 yards, 0:53.

UVA from 14 - 3 & out.

Breeland would've been vulnerable to a hitch & go with the way he's jumping routes.

CU at 46 - Bucksweep for 2, poor block by Davis and no movement generated by Shatley...Blitz, Ryan Norton completely destroyed, Tajh sacked...Swing pass to Howard for 21, mostly because they played 3 deep with a blitz. ..4th & 3, Swing pass to Howard again and they stop him for no gain. Too much pressure on right side and Tajh barely got to look downfield, but the throw was a little off.

Great field position on two drives and can't get anything.

UVA at 47 - 3 & out. Jayron Kearse makes a great interception and returns it 37 yards.

CU at UVA 33 - IZ for 3. Love watching our OL just stand up straight...WR screen to SW for 8...Power for 7, Shaq Anthony made a very good block there...IZ loses 3, Mcdowell killed because Jordan Leggett gave some sorry ass effort on a block...Leggett sneaks out on a wheel for 8...QB keep for no gain. No movement...RB screen for the TD. Good touch on the throw. 21-7 Clemson. 7 plays 33 yards, 2:12.

UVA at 25 - RB Screen for 4...RB stumbles, no gain. He had plenty of space to run...Good throw and catch on a slant, beats Breeland for 10...Swing pass for 9, Anthony just a bit late over there...IZ, Kearse forces a fumble on the hit. DeShawn Williams recovers. 5 plays 25 yards, 1:35.

CU at UVA 50 - Boyd throws into triple coverage to Bryant downfield. Stupid. Never looked underneath...IZ for 16. LB wasn't in his B-gap on left side...Swing pass to Ghop, nice stiffarm gets him 8...Power for 1. Right side stunk...IZ, McDowell steps out of the immediate tackle and goes 25. 28-7 Clemson. 5 plays 50 yards, 1:14.

Looks like Pinion misses the ball on the kickoff and it goes 30.

UVA at 35 - 3 & out.

Good coverage, we're just right on top of these guys in Cover 1 & 2 Press.

CU at 14 with 0:55 - Quick out to Mike Williams for 11...Again to GHop for 7...Sammy comeback on the sideline for 10..Timothy beat outside, Boyd takes it for 1..Corner route to Williams for 19, Smash pattern basically...Bryant out route for 12...AH on a post and a perfect throw gets 25..TO CU..TO UVA...QB Power for the TD, Shatley & Norton good block. 35-7 Clemson, 8 plays 86 yards, 0:42.

One of the best drives all season. We took what the defense gave us. Their safeties were playing way off in C2 Zone and we hit them underneath over and over. If Tajh does that all through the first half we're up 50-7.

Pinion pooched this kickoff. WTF does Dabo tell him to do that.

UVA at 27 - OZ for 10, Power for 7 to end the half.


47 plays for 325 in the 1st half. Virginia 43 plays for 131.

UVA is giving us C2 and playing C3 behind the blitzes a lot, so we've got the numbers to run we just don't.

Clemson is playing press coverage because we dont respect them, and we're blitzing a lot more than usual it seems.

Start 3rd QTR

UVA at 30 - Jump ball for 17 against Breeland, who had taken his eyes off the WR on a comeback... Reader gets a TFL on a OZ for blowing up the blocker...RB screen for 9, just lost our discipline up front. Everyone was coming hard and lost the back, we were offsides and UVA did not take the penalty that would've made it 2nd & 16 instead of 3rd & 12, why?...Shuey misses an initial tackle on WR screen and he gets 7. 5 plays 17 yards, 2:39.

CU at 9 - Low throw to Sammy in flats, gets 3...Kalon Davis forgets how to pass block, allows Tajh to get sacked. He was run blocking and they had a blitz...Sammy goes 96. 42-7 Clemson. 3 plays 91 yards, 1:23.


UVA at 25 - WR screen, Smith comes up unblocked and makes a great form TFL...Slant to Mizzell for 27, Wiggins was way too far off and had no inside leverage, there was no safety help...WR screen, Robinson nice TFL...Parks for 27 on an IZ, Blanks blitzed and missed the tackle at the LOS, Smith missed one downfield...WR screen incomplete thanks to Wiggins...Pass too low to the TE on a Dig, dropped but should've caught that against Smith...Wiggins all over his man downfield to force the 40 yd FG. 42-10 Clemson. 8 plays 52 yards, 2:03.

CU at 25 - Cole Stoudt in at QB. Touch pass to GHop, immediately TFL of 6. No blocking on that side and they read it...Seckinger in the flats for 12...Hopper on a slant, tipped but seems catchable. Punt.

UVA at 37 - 3 & out. Good discipline by Tavaris Barnes on a swing pass TFL of 7.

CU at 22 - IZ, Davidson goes 22...Again for loss of 1, McCullough got stood up and backed into him...Stoudt had Mike Williams on a deep corner and missed him...Blitz, Stoudt runs for 5. Punt. 4 plays 26 yards, 1:28.

Too many drives get messed up because a TE has forgotten how to block.

UVA at 21 - 3 & out.

CU at 39 - Stoudt hits Leggett flaring out in the face of a blitz, gets 2...Mike Williams out/hitch for 9...Draw for 13...iZ for 4...Leggett wheel route for 14...Stoudt looks for Leggett at back of endzone, deflected at the last second...Blitz, Reid Webster at LG gets whipped, Stoudt has to pull it and runs for 5...McCullough drops quick hitch, but LB was all over him. Lakip misses 31 yd FG. 8 plays 47 yards.

8 plays, 2 called runs.

UVA at 20 - Power for 7 on 1st play, LB overflowed and wasn't in gap...Steward nice play on a stretch play...Iso for 4. Left side got knocked backwards 3 yards...Pass to the flats incomplete, too tall. Start 4th QTR. Iso for a couple...Pass badly misses WR, probably ran wrong route. Punt. 6 plays 13 yards.

CU at 28 - Chad Kelly in. Bucksweep for 5...Zone for 9...WR screen for 5...Hot Rod breaks 3-4 tackles for 13 yd gain...McCullough flare for 2, tackled immediately...Chad Kelly takes a Draw 38 yards for a TD. 49-10 Clemson. 6 plays 72 yards, 1:38.


I think we'll hear in the offseason that his knee is not 100%, you can see it. He's faster than he was on this run.

UVA went 3 & out on the next three drives, but drove to our 30 on their final drive.

Clemson got the ball back on the next drive and Kelly basically ran it himself to a 41 yd FG to make it 52-10. Korrin Wiggins intercepted a pass and returned it to the UVA 10 where DJ Howard ran it in on one play to make it 59-10.

Summarizing Thoughts

I was harder on the defense than I should've been postgame, they really only had a few bad plays where some guys were not in their gaps. We didn't miss but a few tackles as well. UVAs offense looks much like our own, with less window dressing, so I think it was easier for the defense to prepare this week.

If anything I thought the pass rush was weaker than it should've been. We should've been able to eat up their QB and both UVA tackles did well in pass protection. UVA went with a ton of quick passes and short drops to prevent the sacks as well as going max protect. Yes we were held some but the DEs just didn't beat their guys.

Our CBs showed up so much because we were playing so much press. Robinson and Breeland were right there on anything outside. Korrin Wiggins is getting better pretty consistently now. Jayron Kearse made a couple big plays and really put the defense in a groove after that pick.

I don't think UVA kept with the run game as they should've. They abandoned it and they don't have the playmakers at QB and WR to do that. They need to get a little more inventive in the run game.

Tajh had 3 really dumb throws and still locks on his target at the snap too often, but he made some really nice touch throws as well. Sometimes I think he forgets that if you take what the defense gives, and you have the players to do it, they'll eventually give you the game. He does not need the home run all the time.

I'm not convinced that Bryant will ever learn how to get himself open consistently. I don't think some others got themselves open underneath either. Usually when these guys (besides Sammy) get a catch, its when they really are wide open. I'd really like to see a threat emerge over the very middle so that we can hit the C2 in its weak spot more often.

If we had TEs that could block, this offense would probably look much better and we wouldn't have as many 3 & outs. We use them too much in this system for them to whiff one block every other possession. Its pathetic how they look sometimes, other than Smith who is a pretty consistent blocker.