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Clemson vs NC State Film Review: 4th Quarter & Overtime

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Everything is fine, somehow.

North Carolina State v Clemson Photo by Todd Bennett/Getty Images

Thank you Dave Doeren for blowing this game in the final minute. You had a fantastic gameplan and a much better team than any of us expected. Sure, Clemson had a mountain of errors, but they always do; your team capitalized on and even forced a few of those errors. You deserved to win, but you choked. Not your kicker, you. You had an amazing running back in Matt Dayes and two timeouts to work towards an actual chip-shot field goal, but you blew it. You panicked in your first moment in the spotlight, and we feel for your team and fans despite our relief.

And thank you again Marcus Edmond. You are the man.

Shorthand

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.

Format

  • 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

NC State ball, 15:00, State 43, 17-10 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs nickel cover 4, option pitch to Dayes, Boulware forced him towards the sideline but was too slow to force him out, Dayes picks up an easy 12 yards...

11 shotgun vs nickel Will fire man cover 1 robber, PA, looking for the go route to the boundary but it’s not there, Finley is sacked by Watkins and Bryant, loss of 4...

11 shotgun vs dime of doom man cover 1 robber, deep crossing route complete in front of K’Von Wallace, Jadar was underneath and Wallace had no help, gain of 15...

11 shotgun vs nickel Will fire man cover 1, orbit motion to Hines, looking deep again and Finely tucks, Smith misses the tackle in space (completely whiffs), gain of 12...

Dude...

Empty shotgun vs nickel double LB fire cover 0, tunnel screen blown up by Carter (perfect read on the route, quick enough to blow past the block) and almost intercepted on the deflection, ugh, a bit higher off the ground and Jadar could’ve nabbed it for a pick six, incomplete...11 shotgun vs nickel, stretch handoff, entire playside DL gets blown backward or sealed (this whole game was a dose of humility for our DL hopefully), Dayes has a huge lane up the middle, tripped up short of the goal line, gain of 10...

1st & 2, 11 pistol vs nickel, blast run, Dayes cuts back again and reaches across the line, TOUCHDOWN.

This is the worst defensive drive of the year, by far. State is owning the line of scrimmage and Finley is doing what he wants; we can’t use the “well it’s Lamar Jackson” or “we were so gassed” excuses like against Louisville for this calamity of a drive. The line was blown backwards and Smith whiffed in the open field against a QB transfer from Boise State. This was nauseating.

Clemson ball, 11:23, Clemson 28, 17-17 tie

11 shotgun vs nickel cover 2, swing pass to Fuller is read and destroyed immediately, loss of 5, the NB saw it all the way...11 shotgun vs nickel, draw to Fuller who inexplicably runs into the back of the scrum, loss of 1...11 shotgun vs 3-3-5 cover 4, post route to Williams complete in front of the safety, gain of 30, perfect throw...

Deshaun Watson isn’t “off” this year just because the deep ball isn’t working.

11 shotgun vs nickel, quick screen to Williams easily gains 12, Leggett blocked the only defender near the ball and Williams beat the slow Will down the sideline...

11 shotgun (trips to boundary) vs nickel, Watson flushed, improvised comeback route to Cain incomplete out of bounds...11 shotgun vs nickel cover 4, slant complete to Williams vs soft coverage for 8...11 shotgun vs nickel Will fire, out route complete to Renfrow for 3, diving catch for the 1st down...

11 shotgun vs nickel Will fire, Will gets a free rush off the end and Watson scrambles before he’s chased down from behind and sacked, loss of 2...11 shotgun vs nickel, screen pass complete to Renfrow but Leggett called for holding, he whiffed but the defender fell around him, weak holding call...2nd & 22, Fruh forgot his technique and lunged for an obvious hold, woof...2nd & 32, empty shotgun vs nickel man cover 2, corner route almost complete to a diving Renfrow but hitting his head on the ground knocks it out, Renfrow injured...3rd & 32, empty shotgun vs nickel, Hyatt beaten off the edge and Watson has to run, tries to check to Leggett but he released while being tackled so he missed, incomplete, PUNT. Oh guess what another 20 yard punt from Teasdall, what a surprise...

Clemson was hosed on the Leggett penalty but there’s no excuse for it to snowball from there. It’s time to stop talking about how good this offense could be, because the mistakes and failures simply won’t stop. It’s simply amazing Clemson has yet to lose despite it’s utter carelessness on offense. At this point we thought Clemson would get the ball back and perhaps get a chance to win in regulation, but oh no. Prepare for an ulcer if you read further...

NC State ball, 6:39, State 31, 17-17 tie

21 offset I-form vs 4-3, off-tackle to Dayes, no one sets the edge but Dayes inexplicably cuts back into Tank and Watkins, loss of 1...11 shotgun vs dime of doom man cover 1, speed option keeper, Finley cuts inside and finds 5 yards...11 shotgun vs dime of doom LB/FS fire in front of man cover 1, comeback route incomplete but Tank is called for holding, of course...

11 shotgun vs dime cover 4, Finley checks down for 7 yards...11 pistol vs nickel, IZ handoff gains 5...

11 shotgun vs nickel, IZ gains 5 again...11 pistol vs nickel, OZ, Ferrell sets the edge and Dayes cuts inside, Lawrence and Boulware clean up for a gain of 2...10 shotgun trips wide vs nickel man cover 1, Joseph thinks Dayes is staying in to block so he moves on a delayed green dog blitz, Dayes runs right past him and Finley gets the pass to him in time, 1st down...

This is on Kendall Joseph. Boulware is spying and immediately follow’s Finley’s eyes to defend the slant curl. Joseph loses Dayes on a delay (Joseph green dogged which means he blitzed since he thought his man was blocking) and the damage is done. At this point I was trying to cope with the imminent loss.

11 shotgun vs nickel, ZR handoff gains 4, Pagano was double teamed and Boulware was mauled by a guard, easy run...11 shotgun vs nickel, ZR handoff, one blocker takes out Boulware and Tank, Smith tries to fill but gets run over and is actually tackled by Dayes after a gain of 7...

Yeah this game is so over.

11 shotgun vs nickel BCB/NB fire, ZR handoff gains 2...11 shotgun vs nickel, speed option pitch gains 6...11 shotgun vs 4-3, Dayes fights through the scrum for the 1 needed yard...

Dejection.

20 I-form vs 5-3, PA fake and Finley runs for his life, loses 4, Doeren inexplicably lets the clock run all the way down to 2 seconds and refuses to win the game. Noob.

At this point I think all but the most pessimistic of us knew Clemson would now pull out the victory in overtime; if for no other reason, its advantage in the kicking game.

Overtime

Clemson ball, State 25, 17-17 tie

False start, 1st & 15...11 shotgun vs nickel ZR keeper gains 3 yards, Street had great speed to keep Watson from gaining more...quick slant to Scott gains 7, almost had more but couldn’t shake the defender off his foot...3rd & 5, Williams catches the slant while sliding, every part of him was past the first down marker except the ball...4th & 1 JUMBO PACKAGE THANK GOD, easy conversion every time...

1st & 10 from the 14, ZR handoff to Choice gains 1, State is intent on letting the running backs have that without Wayne Gallman to make something out of nothing, wanting to keep the ball out of Watson’s hands...out and up complete to Leggett at the 1, amazing catch with the safety right there to almost pry it away...

1st & goal from the 1, Watson drops the snap and recovers, loss of 9, gosh that was scary... 11 shotgun vs 4-3 now, Scott isolated with a safety in soft coverage, too easy, TOUCHDOWN.

Not to brag but I totally called this slant to Scott from my seat.

NC State ball, Clemson 25, 24-17 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs nickel BCB blitz man cover 1, play action, deep post in 1v1 coverage vs Edmond, receiver has a step but it’s underthrown, INTERCEPTED, GAME OVER.

Many State fans lament this call but it was brilliant; everything worked except the pass. 1 on 1 outside, all the help bit on the fake, and the receiver beat Edmond until the underthrow and Edmond’s closing speed placed him in perfect position to save the day once again.