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Troy Film Review: 1st Quarter

NCAA Football: Troy at Clemson
The DEX STAR, one of the few bright spots to the start of 2016
Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports

It’s difficult to know what to say after what we saw Saturday. QT gave us the cold truth about as well as possible and I have few disagreements. Like he said, the issues are almost entirely failures to execute properly and should be correctible. This is a lack of focus likely derived from arrogance; an unusual trait for Dabo Swinney teams who consistently get up for its lesser opponents.

To prevent myself from getting #madonline, I have promised myself that I will treat Clemson’s futility with humor; I recommend you do the same or else we will be in for a world of schadenfreude when Louisville rolls into town. Some advice:

To avoid the dead horse we’ve beaten to death since about 12:35 on Saturday, I won’t add any takes to the beginning of this already light film review. I’m on business travel this week, and you can’t blame me for not exactly wanting to dive into this dumpster fire of a football game. Film previews and reviews will return to form for Georgia Tech!


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 (quarter, quarter, half) = coverage scheme by the secondary. DIME OF DOOM = 3rd down 3-2-6 havoc formation. FCB = Wideside 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. 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 = TB/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 is listed as a 2 digit number where it is listed: # of RBs, # of TEs, # of WRs like 21, which is 2 RB, 1 TE, 2 WR.

If you’re into masochism and self-hate, you can follow along with your own review using Tigerray’s link.

Troy ball, 15:00, Clemson 25

13 ace vs 4-3, iso, hole in the B gap and Boulware takes a thud, gain of 9...10 shotgun double stacked vs 4-3 (OD split out at safety depth), quick screen stoned by Watkins...3rd & 1, 13 ace vs 5-3, smash handoff stoned when Wilkins turns his blocker and leaves Lamar free to make contact in the backfield, PUNT.

Clemson ball, 12:43, Troy 11

11 shotgun vs 3-2-6 dime with a nose tackle, IZ, nose pushes Guillermo back and the hole in the B gap is filled when Hearn can’t get off the double team to attack the linebacker in the second level, Hyatt also gets abused like a rag doll and Gallman is stuck in the backfield, loss of 2...

Prepare for expletives. Nose tackles have always given Clemson trouble and this is no exception. The play failed because Hearn couldn’t climb to the second level since Guillermo was pushed backwards. And Hyatt, dude wake up.

2nd & 12, 11 shotgun vs 3-4 (Jack standing and rushing on weak side) c4, Leggett sits in the hook zone and catches a pass for 10 yards...3rd & 2, Watson scrambles for a 1st but Hyatt called for holding, 3rd & 12, 11 shotgun vs 4-1-6 dime Mike blitz in front of c4, Watson throws deep to Scott, overthrown by like 10 yards, typical, PUNT.

Offensive line sucks and Watson overthrows a fly route; it’s alarming that this is now normal.

Troy ball, 11:18, Clemson 47

Great field position courtesy of the offensive line and Teasdall...

1st & 10, 10 shotgun vs nickel (Carter NB) Mike blitz in front of man c1, slant curl route complete, Tank just missed the PBU from around the back and misses the tackle, called for defensive holding, gain of 16...

1st & 10, empty shotgun vs nickel, funky man blitz which splits Ferrell out to the sideline in coverage, weirdest man c1 LB double spy I’ve ever seen, Smith gets abused in coverage and slips when the receiver cuts on the out route, gain of 9...10 shotgun vs nickel, man c1, deep seam overthrown, Smith beaten in man coverage again...3rd & 1 pass in the flat overthrown but guess what the receiver was open on a pick play...FIELD GOAL GOOD.

Troy is lining up a slot receiver on the boundary side, bringing Van Smith into a nickel corner role where he is being abused. He slipped on a simple out route cut and then let his man run past him to the endzone on the next play. Depending on the coverage, a slot receiver on the boundary side will be covered by Boulware or Smith. Have I mentioned this is trouble on film and we’ll see plenty of it all year? Did I talk about my concerns with Smith since the spring game? QB inaccuracy kept 7 points off the board.

Clemson ball, 10:22, Troy 35, 3-0 Troy lead

11 shotgun vs 3-4, PA RPO, Watson tucks and darts around for 14 yards...

1st & 10, fake jet counter handoff, Leggett is turned by a blitzer who got through the backside A gap and can’t lead Gallman through the hole, who is then met and stuffed for no gain but pushes for 3 yards...

2nd & 7, empty shotgun vs 3-4, Watson rolls out of the pocket and throws it away, had Leggett open down the middle of the field but fled the pocket and ran away from all his receivers’ routes...3rd & 7 11 shotgun vs odd front nickel, corner route complete to Williams, dart of a pass...

1st & 10, quick outside screen to McCloud decently blocked but outnumbered, gain of 4...tunnel screen to Scott not well blocked but Scott is a monster with the ball, grinds out 13 yards on his own...

1st & 10, Gallman takes the IZ outside and almost breaks free but is brought down after a gain of 4...ZR handoff stuffed for gain of 1, Watson should’ve kept and would’ve at least had the first down, maybe could’ve scored...3rd & 5, slant route to Leggett overthrown, serious argument for holding or PI, defender held on for dear life when Leggett turned him but it’s not called...FIELD GOAL GOOD.

This was a solid drive undone by an incorrect zone read handoff and a no-call on the last throw.

Troy ball, 7:28, Clemson 25, 3-3 tie

20 split shotgun vs 4-3, IZ handoff gains 3, Huggins withstood the double team before shedding the blocker who remained on him...2nd & 7, 10 shotgun vs dime of doom (Wallace at box safety), quick curl route vs soft coverage gains 3, good closing speed and tackle by Jadar...3rd & 4, 10 shotgun vs dime of doom, jet sweep pop pass, Boulware recognizes it and sets the edge but Williams (back in at box safety) overruns it and finds himself outside of Boulware, big lane for a big gain...

Even if Williams hadn’t run himself out of position, he would’ve been blocked out

1st & 10, Pagano jumps offside, 1st & 5, 20 shotgun vs 4-3, orbit motion triple option handoff finds a hole where Boulware was (he fired off the edge), OD makes the tackle but takes the harder hit, gain of 5...2nd & inches, 20 shotgun vs 4-3, IZ, Huggins is unblocked and makes first contact in the backfield, no gain...3rd & inches, 31 wildcat vs 5-3, bad snap forces runner backward to collect ball and outside with ground to make up, Lamar should’ve had the TFL but took a bad angle, Wilkins and Smith clean up, loss of 7, PUNT.

Bailed out by a bad snap. Those who said Troy played well in hanging with Clemson were mistaken. Troy played hard; they did not play well. Had they played well Clemson would’ve lost. Honestly Troy played poorly enough to have 50 dropped on them, but Clemson didn’t play hard or well.

Clemson ball, 3:17, Clemson 18, 3-3 tie

11 pistol vs 3-4, handoff to Choice gets blown up when Hearn (or was it Falcinelli) FALLS DOWN ON HIS ASS and Fruh plays matador, lets the LB bullet run right past him, I assume it was a counter since it looked like Hearn/Falcinelli tried to pull but barely took a step -- or he simply fell down on his zone block...

2nd & 13, 11 shotgun vs 3-4 BCB blitz, PA rollout away from it, cut off, Watson throwaway...3rd & 13, 11 shotgun vs odd dime, good blitz pickup by the line, Watson has time and delivers the deep fly in stride to Cain who...drops it. PUNT

Good thing Tennessee can’t throw a forward pass because if anyone else tried to claim #WRU I’d let them have it.

Troy ball, 2:31, Troy 49, 3-3 tie

Another short punt means another short field for Troy...

21 shotgun vs 4-3 c2, corner/post combo, deep corner complete over Johnson, gain of 30...

20 shotgun vs 4-3, power handoff blown up by Joseph on the bullet, shot the gap left behind by the pulling guard, loss of 2...2nd & 12, 10 shotgun vs dime of doom (Williams box safety) quick slant just overthrown, tried to fit it between 3 defenders...3rd & 12, 10 shotgun vs dime of doom, draw play EATEN ALIVE by Dexter Lawrence, oh my...FIELD GOAL FAILED DUE TO BAD SNAP.

Again, Troy is not playing well; merely hard. Be thankful for this defensive coaching staff, once again putting a surprisingly dominant unit on the field despite turnover. The offensive staff, meanwhile, has to prove last year wasn’t a fluke ASAP...

Clemson ball, 0:23, Clemson 35, 3-3 tie

11 shotgun vs 3-2-6 dime BCB blitz, corner flushes Watson right but he can’t escape backside pressure from the DE, who didn’t even put a move on Hearn and left him standing around looking stupid, END OF QUARTER.

Hearn is the biggest culprit in the derailment of the offense today. We knew MacLain was the biggest loss this offseason but never imagined it would be this bad.

This was the backup left tackle last year, beaten by a 4 tech DE with nothing but a slight stutter-step. Film says it all so I’ll withhold further vitriol. Film says it all.