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Clemson vs. Louisville: 3rd Quarter Film Review

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NCAA Football: Louisville at Clemson Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

Clemson Ball, Clemson 27, 14:55

1st and 10, 10 trips vs. 3-3, zone read Hearn drives his man off the ball, Guillermo can’t cut off the backside linebacker, Gallman gains 2 yards… 2nd and 8, 10 vs. 3-3, Louisville shows cover two pre snap, RRM3 gets open behind the nickel’s curl flat zone on a slant route before the ball pops out and into the diving hands of Chucky Williams… INTERCEPTION

Well, sometimes things just happen.

Louisville Ball, Clemson 36, 14:21

1st and 10, 11 vs. 4-2, Christian Wilkins is hit by two players and almost gets the sack, Wiggins and Ryan Carter tackle the bubble screen for a short gain…

All images via Tigertv (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K6RkrDcm3ac)

2nd and 8, 10 vs. 4-2, Clemson shows blitz before backing into quarters, Lamar Jackson gains 12 yards on an inverted veer keeper, Joseph chased the sweep and opened a hole…

1st and 10, 10 trips vs. 4-2, the stick concept is covered well but asking Joseph to cover an out route when he’s giving up leverage is almost always going to work for Louisville… 2nd and 3, 10 vs. 4-2, inside zone barely gains a first down, Wilkins was washed inside…

1st and goal, 20 vs. 4-2, Clemson is pressing the lone receiver and playing off the twins side, inverted veer keeper gets back to the line… 2nd and goal, 13 vs. 4-3 over, D’oD is washed inside but penetrates enough to stop the play in the backfield, if he doesn’t make the tackle this is a three yard gain…

3rd and goal, 11 vs. DOD, both linebackers and Jadar Johnson blitz up the middle, not sure why there are three defenders to the side of the field with just a tight end but there is no one to defend the skinny post .

Someone has to have #17 vertical

A pair of gains off of Joseph combined with great field position and a questionable third down play call gave an easy touchdown. Louisville is using tempo when it can and bringing in different personnel groupings when things slow down. Jackson is beginning to show that he is capable of beating a team with drop back passing on as big a stage as you could ask for.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 27, 11:15

1st and 10, unbalanced 11 vs. 3-3, Louisville is using linebacker Gary McRae as a rush end in what is essentially a 4-2 front, fake jet sweep, Gallman gets the handoff for a four yard gain on power, Fruhmorgen does a good job with a tough blocking assignment to open a hole, the offensive line as a whole does a good job getting tough yards…

2nd and 6, 11 vs. 3-3, Clemson runs Watson on QB outside zone and once again Louisville can’t set an edge to the strong side, good blocks by Gallman and Leggett get Clemson third and short… 3rd and 1, 11 vs. 3-3, multiple members of the secondary are in the box, QB power goes nowhere… PUNT

Choosing to bully Louisville’s strong side end twice in a row, but the third down run was doomed from the start. A bad snap did Watson no favors. Now the defense has to take the field again after two minutes of rest.

Louisville Ball, Louisville 32, 9:25

1st and 10, 12 vs. 4-2, Cordrea Tankersly is playing a nominal SAM role to the two tight end side, Louisville runs fades with the inside receiver and out routes to the outside, Lamar Jackson is tripped by his own offensive lineman for a coverage sack… 2nd and 13, 10 vs. 4-2, Clemson rolls cover three to the trips side and runs a tex stunt, Wilkins almost gets a sack, Wiggins, uh, I guess that’s defensive holding?

1st and 10, 10 vs. 4-2, Clemson is likely playing trips in solo coverage meaning Joseph was responsible for both the vertical release of a slot receiver (see how he aligns outside the tackle) and the b gap, he can’t do that and a zone read handoff gains a first down and then some…

Ferrell does no one any favors flying too far upfield

1st and 10, 10 vs. 4-2, Louisville attempts to isolate Boulware in the flats in Clemson’s base quarters scheme with an out route but the ball is dropped… 2nd and 10, 10 vs. 4-2 trips, Louisville has already ran 60 plays and the defensive line in particular is clearly tired, Lamar Jackson has a clean pocket and drops a deep corner route into Quick’s hands but Jadar Johnson knocks the ball down… 3rd and 10, 10 vs. DOD, Boulware is the only player able to get pressure, the Cardinals tight end is able to get open against Joseph, he’s been having a nice game…

1st and 10, 11 vs. 4-2, Tankersly and Wiggins both blitz, Edmond is lucky a fade route doesn’t lead to a touchdown but he started off giving up outside leverage and was able to contest the catch, 2nd and 10, 11 vs. 4-2, I have no idea why Yeargin chose to stunt into the B gap and this mistake gives Jackson the edge on the zone read, Johnson takes a poor angle, Wiggins tries to draw a flag instead of get off a block, luckily Edmonds makes the tackle…

This is sub optimal

1st and goal, 11 vs. 4-3, D’oD blitzes off the weak side edge and shuts down the inside zone dive, 2nd and goal, 11 vs. 4-3, the linebackers again rotate weak side and D’oD blitzes, this time Jackson is running the ball outside and an excellent tackle by Joseph saves a touchdown… 3rd and goal, 11 vs. 4-3, Boulware blows through the B gap to tackle the QB sweep in the backfield… FIELD GOAL

A mixture of bad run fits, a total lack of defensive line pressure and penalties enabled Louisville to drive down the field. Ninety plays would have been on the high end nationally for a game last year, reaching that mark in less than three quarters has exhausted the defense. The defensive linemen are setting late, linebackers are making little attempt to move around and cloud pre snap reads. Between a dropped ball turning into a turnover and a three and out Clemson’s offense has barely seen the field.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 24, 5:16

1st and 10, 10 vs. 3-3, Clemson is able to get Louisville’s weakside linebacker to leave the box with trips and should always get 4-5 yards on inside zone against a five man box, for the fourth play in a row Clemson winds up running the ball at the right b gap when Gallman cuts back… 2nd and 6, 11 vs. 2-4, Louisville sends five on a cover one blitz, Clemson runs a play action roll out pass with a lead blocker, Hearn olés his defender and Watson sails a ball to a wide open Artavis Scott… 3rd and 6, 10 vs. 2-4, the pocket collapses quickly on the outsides but no inside pressure, and more bafflingly no spy, allows Watson to step up in the b gap and scramble for an easy dozen years…

1st and 10, 10 vs. 4-2, zone read handoff and the left side of the offensive line blows the Louisville front six yards off the ball before Gallman is touched…

(apologies for quality, ESPN was running Michigan State-Indiana highlights in the other half of the screen)

2nd and 3, 10 vs. 3-3, bubble pass to Cain gets just enough for a first down, tough running by Cain…

1st and 10, 10 vs. 2-4, Clemson is pushing the pace looking for a touchdown here and Louisville’s defense is giving up yardage quickly, it’s only taken a minute to go forty plus yards, Clemson runs QB power by having the guard kick out and Gallman lead, Maverick Morris erased the end man on the line of scrimmage, that and a good down block by Hyatt are enough to get Watson another dozen yards…

1st and 10, 12 bunch vs. 3-4, Gallman missing the blitzing linebacker almost lets this fake reverse be blown up, Leggett runs a fantastic route, gets open and you’ve got to be f-

Clemson is having a lot of success washing down Louisville’s defensive ends (aligned head up or in the b gap) and running the ball off tackle. That and a mix of solid blocking from the guards on the move is enough to move the ball up the field quickly. When ScElliot are mixing Gallman and Watson runs the offense is much harder to stop. With all that said, twice this quarter promising passes have wound up falling out of the hand of Clemson receivers into Cardinal hands. That Clemson was able to hang on after that is a testament to the first half.

Louisville Ball, Louisville 22, 3:27

1st and 10, 12 vs. 4-3 under, pitch strong side, D’oD and Yeargin can’t set the edge, Yeargin in particular is getting thrown out of the paint, good pursuit by Boulware to keep this just a first down…

1st and 10, 12 vs. 4-3 under, Joseph does a great job scraping across the top and tackling the dive… 2nd and 8, 12 vs. 4-3, Boulware fires through the hole and hits the running back before inside zone can get anywhere, the line isn’t being driven off the ball as much after a few minutes off the field… 3rd and 7, 11 vs. 4-2, Boulware and Joseph fire on a blitz leaving Christian Wilkins to cover the curl route on the wide side of the field, Wilkins is an amazing athlete but most linebackers can’t do that much less converted tackles…

1st and 10, 11 vs. 4-2, Clemson is showing one high safety and keeping extra men in the box, Ferrell and Ryan Carter (aligned over the tight end like an outside linebacker) both overplay the dive and only Van Smith saves a touchdown…

1st and goal, 11 vs. 4-3, Boulware blitzes and gets washed down, the tight end seals off Wilkins, it looks like this was a called inside zone dive and Jackson just saw a massive hole… TOUCHDOWN

Louisville isn’t getting much done between the tackles, which is nice. Lamar Jackson is ridiculously dangerous keeping the ball on zone reads, he’s halfway to a first down before the defense realizes where the ball is sometimes. That combined with a coverage assignment no one could accomplish are enough to let an offense as good as Louisville’s score. Two turnovers and a three and out helped Louisville run off 16 unanswered points.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 22, 0:39

1st and 10, 11 vs. 3-3, faked jet sweep, inside zone handoff to Gallman, he cuts off tackle again and finds a crease…

1st and 10, 11 vs. 3-3, jet sweep to RRM3 is lucky to get a few yards…

Well that was a fun quarter, wasn’t it?