clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Clemson Victorious in Tallahassee: 4th Quarter Film Review

New, 12 comments

Clemson is the best team in America in the clutch.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Florida State Glenn Beil-USA TODAY Sports

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

Clemson ball, 15:00, Clemson 30, 28-20 FSU lead

3rd & 5, empty shotgun vs nickel LB bullets man cover 1, slant to Williams complete for an easy 14 yards, Williams fought off the jam with his hands very well...

11 shotgun vs nickel Mike bullet man cover 1, slant to McCloud deflected at the line and Ray-Ray still got leveled, Walker wasn’t even trying to pass rush, just waiting to tip the ball on the expected short throw, Fruhmorgen has to occupy his hands...21 shotgun (McCloud in backfield) vs nickel, inverted veer keeper, Walker again made a great play by making the tackle on Watson as the read man, only a gain of 3...11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 2, Williams beats the jam at the line again and is open downfield, Watson lofts it over McFadden’s head for a big gain, plus a (correct) targeting call at the end of the play...

Crucial loss for FSU, who was already undermanned at safety. Clemson went on to score 17 points in the 4th quarter in the absence of Marshall.

Suddenly Clemson is back in the red zone...

11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 1 robber, Clemson wants to run a fake screen to Cain and subsequent wheel to Leggett (as I called for in the scouting report) but FSU doesn’t bust so Watson checks off and looks to the other side of the field before stepping up and finding 5 yards on the ground...11 shotgun vs nickel BCB blitz, IZ but Fruh completely falls down trying to block Walker, Gallman somehow gains a yard...11 shotgun vs nickel, BCB blitz again with man cover 2 behind it, Noles bust the coverage vs the bunch formation and Scott is wide open near the goal line, tackled at the 2...

I saw FSU bust on man switches vs bunch formations on film all season and it’s exactly what happened here. Two defenders follow Renfrow and Scott is free on the slant from the outside. This is excellent scouting and play-calling.

Gallman scores on the next play thanks to a wonderful second effort, TOUCHDOWN, 2 point conversion failed.

FSU ball, 11:30, FSU 25, 28-26 FSU lead

21 shotgun vs 4-3, counter handoff to Cook and nobody sets the edge, Cook finally forced out after like 50 yards but it’s called back because of an illegal block below the waist, correct call according to the rule but a huge break for Clemson since Smith wouldn’t have made the tackle...extra penalty on the FSU sideline, huge swing for Clemson...

1st & 25 from the 9, 11 shotgun vs nickel, counter to Cook forced back inside where Big Dex had penetrated, Cook forced further backwards where Ferrell cleans up, loss of 3...11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 1 robber, back shoulder fade against Fields incomplete, surprised it wasn’t interference given all the calls we saw earlier...11 shotgun vs dime, 3 man rush in front of man under cover 3, Ferrell gets immediate pressure off the edge, clear holding in the endzone but it’s not called (perhaps a make up), drag route complete but far short of the first down, PUNT.

The penalty on the Cook run was iffy, and it’s probably why we didn’t see a flag for holding in the endzone which would’ve tied the game. Either way it would’ve been shocking to see that flag fly; officials are instructed to have a minimal impact in the game and you’ll almost never see a flag result in points in a game of this magnitude. Both sides have plenty of reason to complain about officials in this game, but that’s the norm in the ACC.

Clemson ball, 8:53, Clemson 48, 28-26 FSU lead

11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 2, once again Walker sits back and tips a pass rather than rushing, Fruh has to engage him...11 shotgun vs nickel, ZR handoff to Gallman (Walker read), no hole but again Gallman creates yards himself, dragging a defender for a gain of 4 but it’s an illegal formation penalty, replay 2nd down...2nd & 15, 11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 1 spy, nothing open downfield and interior pressure forces Watson to take a sack, blatant facemaske penalty completely missed...11 shotgun vs nickel cover 4, Watson moves in the pocket and finds a sliding Renfrow just short of the marker, amazing catch...4th & 1, JUMBO PACKAGE THANK YOU GOD, toss sweep to Gallman looks like it’ll be stopped when FSU set the edge, but Gallman shakes a tackler after cutting inside and finds a surprisingly easy 12 yards...

11 shotgun vs nickel, IZ, Gallman quickly bounces it outside for 4 yards, Crowder stoned the Mike at the second level but the safety flew in and made contact, preventing a bigger gain...11 shotgun vs nickel, rollout RPO, nothing open and Watson is sacked before he can cut upfield...11 shotgun vs nickel cover 3 blitz, skinny post to Legget just barely incomplete, an inch off the fingertips...long field goal absolutely drilled, great kick...

FSU ball, 5:19, FSU 20, 29-28 Clemson lead

21 shotgun vs 4-3 FS blitz in front of cover 3, counter trey to Cook, Smith sets the edge, Joseph takes on a blocker and makes the stop, gain of 5...11 shotgun (bunch right) vs nickel, counter PA rollout pass complete in front of Wiggins, gain of 15...

21 shotgun vs 4-3 Sam fire in front of man under cover 1, PA wheel route to Cook wide open in man coverage vs Boulware, but Cook drops what would’ve been a touchdown...

Clemson didn’t want Boulware manned up a tight end (Wiggins’ responsibility here but when Izzo blocked, Wiggins played robber) so Boulware was instead manned up on...Cook. Yikes. Not sure why we would try man under when we’ve shown a clear weakness with linebackers in man coverage, especially against the most talented opponent on the schedule.

11 shotgun vs nickel, PA deep post against double coverage, Tank called for PI once again, really needs to clean up his technique, not getting away with anything like he did last year...

Maguire in for Francois, 21 shotgun vs 4-3, strong side OZ handoff to the FULLBACK, the line was shifted to the weak side and there’s nobody there to set the edge, left tackle and tight end are free to climb to the second level right at the snap, O’Daniel and Wiggins both get blocked to the ground, Boulware takes a bad angle and Smith has to save the day with a tackle inside the 10...

Why is Ferrell playing 3 tech? Who is supposed to set the edge effectively? Quite possibly the worst defensive snap of the season. The second half of this game as a whole was certainly the worst the unit has looked.

Cook bounces an iso handoff outside on the next play, scoring his fourth touchdown from 8 yards out. Wiggins missed a tackle and Fields couldn’t get off his block. Jimbo wastes a timeout on the 2 point conversion, fails anyway. Thank you Jimbo...

Clemson ball, 3:23, Clemson 25, 34-29 FSU lead

11 shotgun vs nickel cover 2 zone, Leggett once again burns it over the middle for a gain of 25...11 shotgun vs nickel, ZR handoff to Gallman gains 5, Crowder moved the line backward and climbed to the second level effectively...11 shotgun vs nickel, trying for the fake screen/wheel combo again but it’s covered, Watson throws it away...11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 1, pump fake to Scott underneath, Leggett open on the deep curl for a first down, gain of 11...11 shotgun vs nickel BCB blitz, corner route to Leggett wide open, FSU busted coverage again, Leggett dives and scores, 2 point conversion good.

Solid scouting and play-calling forces another bust.

FSU ball, 2:01, FSU 21, 37-34 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, Francois finds Rudolph on a crossing route between Joseph and Smith, crossing routes are a drawback with cover 4, picking up 10 yards after the catch is inexcusable though, gain of 20...

11 shotgun vs dime man cover 2, comeback route complete to the slot in front of Carter, gotta have tighter coverage there, gain of 13...

11 shotgun vs dime man cover 1 double LB bullets plus a green dog from Smith, go route to Rudolph in the boundary overthrown but honestly Tank probably interfered, shocked there was no flag considering how tight they had called interference up to this point...11 shotgun vs nickel double LB bullets, counter trey to Cook blown up in the backfield, Tank cleans up from the edge for a loss of 3, huge play...FSU called for holding on an incompletion and Clemson accepts, this led to plenty of debate here this week but I have no problem pushing them 10 yards farther away from field goal range, luckily we’re second-guessing after a win...3rd & 23, 11 shotgun vs dime double LB bullets in front of man cover 1, deep back shoulder fade complete in front of Tank for a gain of 25, first down...

Back to back false starts, back-breaking for FSU who was previously on the edge of field goal range, 1st & 20, 11 shotgun vs nickel cover 3 zone blitz, checkdown to the flat incomplete...11 shotgun vs dime 3 man rush cover 4, Fields loses Murray on the out and up, Francois barely overthrows him on down the sideline, insanely lucky break there...10 shotgun vs dime cover 4, 3 man rush gets to Francois before he can even go through a read, Wilkins and Lawrence share the sack because they’re superstars...

4th & 32, 10 shotgun vs dime double LB bullets, Boulware comes straight through and ends the game, amazingly simple yet brilliant blitz to keep FSU from having a chance from throwing downfield as opposed to sitting back in prevent, GAME OVER.