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Clemson Dismantles Syracuse: 2nd Quarter Film Review

The Tiger’s shutout Syracuse in front of the all purple crowd for Military Appreciation Day

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

Finally, we were able to see the boys play in normal form. Saturday we got something that shockingly has been rare this year, Clemson blowing out an opponent. We expected this game to go as it did, Clemson was dominating on both sides of the ball and we saw many backups get plenty of reps. The only drama we really saw at all was QB Deshaun Watson going down with a shoulder injury (he’s fine, relax) and Ben Boulware suplexing that poor kid into my “Vine of the year” collection.

Below are links, as usual, to both videos:

Full Game- Tiger TV’s link

30 Min Game- RTSportsUploads’s link

The second quarter was fun to watch, the team played with great poise, had little to no mistakes, and most of all made the plays necessary to score points:


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

The second quarter began with a final Syracuse play on 3rd & 22. The ball was thrown away and they punted the ball to Scott.

Clemson ball, 14:24 Clem 5

122 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, zone read handoff to Gallman, gain of 25…

113 Pistol vs 4-3, spur on the right side, Watson pass complete to Deon Cain for the touchdown…TOUCHDOWN

Extra Point was missed

Syracuse ball, 14:06, Cuse 25

122 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, handoff through B-Gap, gain of six yards…122 Shotgun vs 4-2, handoff right of guard, gain of two yards…122 single back right vs 4-3, screen pass right, gain of 8 yards…

104 Shotgun vs 4-3, play action pass incomplete to the right…113 vs 3-2, Clemson with 7 in the secondary (actually only had 10 men on the field), screen pass to RB, gain of 2 yards…113 Pistol right vs 3-2, pass incomplete, FLAG on the play (Intentional Grounding)…PUNT

Clemson ball, 12:16, Clem 11

104 Pistol Right vs 4-3, read option right, FLAG (Holding)…113 Pistol right vs 4-3, Watson pass incomplete to Mike Williams…113 Pistol right vs 4-3, read option run by Watson, gain of 13 yards…Spread 5 wide vs 4-1 Dime, screen pass left to Scott, gain of 7 yards…

104 Pistol left vs4-2 Nickel, handoff right, off tackle to Feaster gain of 4…104 Shotgun vs 4-3, reverse to Cain, loss of 5 yards…Spread 5 Wide vs Quarter zone, pass complete over the middle to Cain, gain of 14 yards…

113 Pistol left vs 4-3, quick pass to the right to Scott, gain of 8 yards…113 Pistol left vs 4-3, Watson keeps the ball, gain of 3 yards…

113 Pistol vs 4-2 Nickel, handoff right off tackle to Feaster, gain of 13 yards…

122 Pistol left, 4-2 Nickel, Watson handoff to Feaster through the 5 hole, gain of 7 yards…113 Pistol right vs 4-2 Nickel, read option, quarterback keeper gain of 4 yards…

Fun idea for future teams playing Clemson...Pissing off the best quarterback in the country (while you’re in the process of being blown out) usually doesn’t end well..AKA see the next play.

113 Pistol right vs 4-2, NB blitz, pass complete to Mike Williams, 14 yard touchdown…TOUCHDOWN

Extra Point was made this time…

After another obnoxious lack of special teams awareness, Syracuse runs the ball all the way into Clemson territory to start their drive.

Syracuse ball, 7:04, Clem 32

113 Pistol right vs 4-3, handoff through the 5 hole, gain of 3 yards...122 Shotgun vs 3-2, rushed out by Lawrence, pass thrown right, intercepted by Tankerlsey…TURNOVER (INT)

Clemson ball, 6:30, Clem 14

113 Pistol right vs 4-2 Nickel, read option, Watson keeps the ball, no gain on the play…113 Shotgun vs 4-3, Watson pass right complete to Leggett, gain of 8 yards…113 Pistol left vs 4-2 Nickel, Watson pass to the flats complete to Choice gain of 8…

113 Pistol left vs 4-2 Nickel, handoff to Choice off tackle, gain of 1 yard…113 Pistol left vs 4-3, pass complete over the middle to Scott for 18 yards…

Wild Cat (Kelly Bryant at QB/Watson at WR)113 Pistol left vs 4-3, blitz coming from the right side, handoff to Fuller, gain of 1 yard…Wild Cat 113 Pistol left vs 4-2 Nickel, handoff to Fuller, loss of 1 yard…104 Shotgun vs 4-2, LB’s spread out, Watson rolls out, keeps the ball and runs for 13 yards…122 Pistol right vs 4-3, Thompson motions left to right, Watson pass incomplete to Leggett…

Watson left the game with shoulder pain and was replaced first by Kelly Bryant, veteran backup Nick Schuessler would also come into the game during the drive, eventually throwing a touchdown pass.

5 Spread wide vs 4-3, screen pass to Scott, gain of 6 yards…104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, Schuessler pass incomplete over the middle…104 Pistol vs 4-1 Dime, 5 at the line, pass complete to Leggett, gain of 12 yards…

113 Pistol left vs 4-4, loaded box, pass thrown to Cain, incomplete…122 Shotgun vs 4-4, 9 in the box Overload, pass complete to Scott for the touchdown…TOUCHDOWN

The ensuing Syracuse drive was so rough, I didn’t bother to cover it, 3 straight incomplete passes and a punt is all that came from their offense stepping on the field…

Clemson ball, :33, Clem 22

104 Shotgun vs 4-3, LB’s back about 8 yards from line of scrimmage, pass complete to Williams, gain of 26 yards…QB Spike…104 Shotgun vs 4-3, pass complete to Williams…

QB Spike…104 Shotgun vs 4-2 Nickel, pass incomplete to Williams…FIELD GOAL