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Clemson vs Wake: 4th Quarter Film Review

NCAA Football: Clemson at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports


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

Clemson ball, 15:00, Wake 45, 28-13 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs 4-3, bucksweep to Gallman behind Hyatt and Guillermo, Crowder can’t seal the backside DT and lets him bring Gallman down from behind, loss of 1...11 pistol vs 4-3 PA RPO rollout, out route to Renfrow incomplete...11 shotgun vs nickel, Watson checks down late to Leggett in the flat, catches a low pass deftly and trucks a guy for the 1st down, huge conversion...

11 pistol vs 4-3, counter ZR keeper, Watson slides for 2 yards...11 shotgun vs 4-3, screen pass to Gallman gains 6...11 pistol vs 4-3, counter to Gallman gains only a yard, Wake’s Sam filled his lane in the backfield...4th & 1 and Clemson goes for it to try and rectify what doomed us against Pitt, 11 shotgun vs 4-3, fake screen to Scott, QB draw with power, Watson follows Gallman for 3 yards...

It may look simple, but this is the sort of diversity in the run game Clemson has lacked all year — supposedly due to poor offensive line play limiting the run calls. Yet I argue poor line play is exactly why Clemson needs wrinkles like this. Mere inside zone, zone read, and power runs haven’t gotten the job done. Wrinkles which force defenders out of position and use Watson (as decoy or carrier) create a numbers advantage, even when defenders aren’t chasing Scott out of the box like they did here. Let’s hope to see this play on standard downs as the postseason approaches.

11 shotgun vs 4-3, power handoff, Crowder seals the blitzing linebacker, Hearn struggles to pull in front of the blitz but recovers to make the crucial block, Gallman breaks a tackle in the hole and bounces outside for 19...

11 shotgun vs 4-3 from the 3, ZR handoff gains 2...IZ scores on the next play, touchdown.

Hooray run game!

Wake ball, 10:50, Wake 25, 35-13 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 3, swing pass out of the backfield, Joseph is blocked well and O’Daniel makes the tackle after 9...11 shotgun vs 4-3, IZ stuffed for no gain...12 ace vs 4-3, iso handoff picks up 6...

12 ace vs 4-3, counter handoff loses a yard, Huggins and Watkins blew up the interior...11 shotgun vs 4-3, IZ handoff gains 2, interior DL doing what they should to Wake...11 shotgun vs 4-3 double LB bullets, Joseph gets free for the emphatic sack, beautifully done, PUNT.

Line stunt opened a lane for the unblocked Joseph.

Clemson ball, 7:07, Clemson 34, 35-13 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs 4-3, IZ to Choice, two unblocked defenders in the backfield but Choice ducks both of them, escapes for 12 yards up the middle...Schuessler in, 11 shotgun vs 4-3, power handoff to Choice gains 2...11 shotgun vs 4-3 Sam fire, ZR handoff away from the blitz gains 5...false start...11 shotgun vs 4-3, rollout draw to Choice gains 6, PUNT.

Garbage time concludes the game. It was good to see Clemson run the ball well with backups here on this last drive; if not for a false start (induced by what I feel should’ve been offside) Clemson likely converts the third down and ends the game maintaining this possession. The run game showed signs of life and Clemson clinched the division with another playoff appearance in its grasp. Give thanks today everyone!