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NC State vs Clemson Film Review: 2nd Quarter

Another gut-wrenching game that the Tigers somehow sneak their way out of.

NCAA Football: North Carolina State at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Well Saturday hurt to say the least. It would appear that Clemson has stolen Tennessee’s lucky horseshoe, and hopefully won’t need it again. Saturday’s game against NC State was plagued with turnovers, poor blocking, and dumb penalties that practically cost Clemson the game. You could even make the argument that a few poor coaching decisions in the final minute of regulation, on the NC State side, kept them from winning the game.

The Clemson faithful have seen a few too many of these close games, and we can only hope that this game has taught them a valuable lesson. With the bye week and Florida State game coming up, Clemson has to put the enormous amount of talent they have to work. With that being said let’s fight through another film review:

If you want to follow along I’ve provided two links to watch the game:

  • 30-Minute Version
  • Full-Game Version


Alley = area between the OT and WR. BCB = Boundary Cornerback, Bullet = ILB A or B gap blitz. C0, C1, C2, C3, C4 (quarters) or C6 = coverage scheme by the secondary. DIME OF DOOM = 3rd down 3-2-6 havoc formation. FCB = Wide side or field cornerback. Fire = S, NB, LB blitz from the outside. Green Dog = man blitz when your man stays in to block or is not in the formation. IV= inverted veer. IZ = Inside Zone or Zone blocked play inside the tackles.Jailbreak = 7 or more blitz. LOS = Line of Scrimmage. Man = man to man coverage.OZ = outside zone run or zone blocked play off-tackle. PA = Play Action. PBU = Pass broken up. Red Dog (overload) = LB and S/NB blitz on the same side. Robber = S or LB moves to take away crossing routes. C3 Sky = SS moves up two yards, takes flat, CBs and FS take deep thirds. Soft= CBs/NB playing well off the WR until he gets to the 1st down line. Stretch= zone blocked run just inside the last offensive player on that side. Stack = the 3 LBs are stacked directly behind DL. Stalk = WR blocks DB in front of him. Sweep = RB/QB run, often FB/ H-B lead play to the D gap. TO = Triple Option. ZR = Zone read option play.


  • Thoughts within a play are separated by a comma. (,)
  • Each play is separated by an ellipsis. (...)
  • First downs are separated by a paragraph.
  • Comments on a drive are in italics.

Offensive personnel listed as a 2 digit number: # of RBs, # of TEs, # of WRs; 11 = 1 RB, 1 TE, 3 receivers; 22 = 2 RB, 2 TE, 1 receiver, etc.

Play by Play

Score: North Carolina State-0, Clemson-3

NC State ball, 15:00, Clem 47

104 Pistol vs 4-3, read-option play action pass, hook route, pass incomplete…203 Shotgun vs 3-2 Quarter, two wideouts stacked on right side of the line, wideout-right motions to the left side, Clemson db’s are 14-yards deep, pass intercepted by K’Von Wallace…TURNOVER

Clemson ball, 14:43, Clem 43

113 Pistol vs 4-3, Watson rolls out right, pass incomplete (dropped) to Mike Williams…104 vs 4-2 Nickel, OLB covering Leggett, delayed hand off to Fuller through the A-Gap, gain of 8 yards…104 vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson screen pass complete to Williams, loss of 3 yards…PUNT

NC State ball, 13:18, NC State 18

212 Pistol vs 4-3, Boulware shows blitz on the right side, handoff through the 5 hole, gain of 1 yard…104 Shotgun vs 4-3, short 5 yard pass incomplete…104 Shotgun vs 3-2 Nickel, pass over the middle incomplete…PUNT

Clemson ball, 12:26, Clem 35

104 Pistol vs 4-3, sweep left to Choice, gain of 7 on play…104 Pistol vs 4-3, defense drops into soft zone, 5 yard curl route, pass complete to Renfrow, gain of 5… 203 Pistol vs 4-3, handoff through the A-Gap to Fuller, gain of 1 yard…Clemson runs fake punt, Wilkins takes the direct snap, gain of 7 yards...

113 Pistol vs 4-3, Watson checkdown pass to Fuller falls at his feet incomplete, defense was in zone…113 Pistol vs 4-2, read-option, Watson keeps the ball and runs left, gain of 4…104 Pistol vs 4-3, defense showing blitz from the right side, Leggett and Williams stack close together on the left side, Watson finds Williams on a drag route across the middle, gain of 20…

113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, Nickelback and Safety 7-9 yards deep, play action pass complete to Williams over the middle, gain of 15…

113 Pistol vs 4-3, Watson quick pass attempt to Mike Williams, incomplete…122 Pistol vs 4-3, 7 in the box, read-option run up the middle for Fuller gain of 4…Watson on read-option keeper, no gain on the play…122 Pistol vs 5-4 stacked box, Watson keeps the ball, runs left, stuffed for loss of 3…TURNOVER

NC State ball, 7:55, NC State 1

302 Ace vs 4-3 stacked line, Boulware serving as a Spur, QB keeper, gain of 1…104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, 5-in pass complete, gain of 7…311 vs 4-3, play action pass complete for gain of 9…

203 Pistol vs 4-3, one safety over the top, 15-yard flag route, pass broken up by Mark Fields…113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, QB keeper gain of 3 yards…201 Pistol vs 3-3, play action pass, curl route pass complete for gain of 12 yards…

104 Shotgun vs 4-2, go route pass complete, gain of 18 yards…

104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, pocket collapses thanks to Lawrence, ball thrown away…104 Pistol vs 3-3 Nickel, 5 yard slant route, pass incomplete…104 Shotgun vs 3-3, heavy blitz on the right side, screen pass complete gain of 23 yards…

Not proud that we gave up that big of a play, but on a brighter note, look at the hustle Boulware missed the tackle, got up, and finish the play 10 yards down field. This is the type of play that gets you drafted.

113 Pistol vs 3-3, spur left side, run through the B-Gap, gain of 1…122 Pistol vs 4-3, RB motions out to the right, pass complete in the flats, met in the backfield by Ryan Carter, loss of 5…212 Pistol vs 3-2 Dime, pass complete over the middle, FLAG (holding)…203 Pistol vs 3-3 Nickel, pass complete for gain of 10…FIELD GOAL

Score: North Carolina State-3, Clemson-3

Clemson ball, 2:03, Clemson 25

104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, defense drops into zone, pass complete to Renfrow, gain of 8…104 vs 4-2, pass complete to McCloud, gain of 12…

104 vs 4-3, ILB covering Renfrow, Spur on the right side of the line, quick out route, pass complete to Leggett, gain of 3…104 vs 4-2 Nickel, defense in zone, Watson pass complete down the middle of the field to Renfrow for gain of 21 yards…

113 Shotgun vs 4-2, only two down linemen, pass complete to McCloud out to the right, gain of 5…104 Pistol vs 3-3, Spur on the left side, blitz comes through the A-Gap, loss of 9…104 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson pass incomplete to Scott…104 Pistol vs4-2 Nickel, stacked line, pass complete to McCloud, gain of 15…

104 Shotgun vs 4-3, stacked line, Watson pass complete to McCloud, gain of 4…104 Shotgun vs 6 flat Nickel, Watson pass to Mike Williams…TOUCHDOWN

Score: North Carolina State-3, Clemson-10

Overall this game was more painful than Troy, which I previously did not know was possible with a team of this stature. However, I think we learned a lot from our team this week. The biggest surprise so far has been the offensive line’s lack of effort. It seems that this group has lost the fight to play the way it shockingly did last season. Our O-Line may have been the most impressive group last year of any in the country, especially given their experience, so this year we had reason to believe they would provide more this season.

Last thought: Since we have had multiple games that we probably should have lost, I feel the need to complain just a little about the play-calling. We have the ability to use Dexter Lawrence II and Christian Wilkins on offense. The JUMBO package is 100 percent this season, so when we need less than 3 yards; why not run the ball with them in? Also has anyone else wondered why we don’t play with the same tempo we do in the final two minutes of the half? We consistently are marching down the field in two minutes with ease, looking similar to the old Oregon Duck style of offense. I feel like we should be playing with more drive and much more speed; we have the talent...

Either way I hope to see a renewed Clemson squad in Tallahassee in two weeks.