Folks, a win on the road at Bobby Dodd deserves celebration. I think we forget just how cursed we have been at Bobby Dodd stadium (by which I mean, how inexplicably poor we have played at key moments over the years). Not bad for a “Redneck Skool,” eh bees.
Clemson fans showed up at GT. Kudos to the fans. Orange was visible throughout the stadium and Clemson fans were louder than GT for much of the game.
First half, I seriously have very little to complain about or critique. We got up early, which is key against Tech. I loved the offensive gameplan. We saw a glimpse of more creative playcalling and opening up the playbook, which we will need to do fully against Louisville. More motion, jet sweeps, and tempo early against GT got the offense rolling.
The only thing I was truly upset with was Greg Huegel missing a chip shot and the kickoff out of bounds, which is killer against an option team. We could get picky and critique Mike Williams for not maintaining his in-bounds position (the ball was catchable in-bounds and I liked the throw and spot from Deshaun Watson) or the Oline for not blowing anyone off the ball, but overall it was a great team effort.
Second half is a different story and I thought we came out a bit flat. I saw guys on special teams and overall not play with much intensity. If Tech doesn’t have the freak Safety and are able to mount another drive, you have a ballgame (possibly a one possession game), which never should have happened. That is a lot of ifs and buts though. The defense stepped up and got the needed stops and got the interception (I think that was an awful play call from PJ that cost them the game. Yes, you want to score quickly but that back had no business throwing a ball. I had freak flashbacks of the ridiculous ducks Sammy Watkins used to throw).
One thing we will need to monitor is the health of RayRay McCloud who seemed to tweak his knee after a punt return in the second quarter. I told you guys he was real good...
And before Louisville fans get all bent out of shape about Deshaun Watson’s L’s—Atlanta rapper Shawty Lo passed away this week.
Not going to say much here. I thought the spots and PI calls were lopsided, but that is probably the fan in me speaking. The call of McCloud fumbling instead of calling the play an incomplete pass was gross incompetence. Not sure how a very similar play from GT where the pass appeared to go backwards and Clemson had a clear and immediate recovery from O’Daniel wasn’t reviewed at all.
We should cut a check for a cool $100,000 to Brent Venables every time we dominate GT like we did this year. Never leave us Brent. You know it is a great night when BV has a huge Skeletor grin from ear to ear. I think Tech has a chance to win the Coastal depending on the health of 6’7 #71 giant RG Shamire Devine. This is a good offensive team. Our coaches and our players really stepped up on defense minus a few missed assignments in the second half.
GT had 22 yards of offense in the first half and the majority of that came on the last play.
Since Paul Johnson has been at GT Dorian O’Daniel has produced the best LB play against the triple option that we have ever seen at Clemson. Do any of you complaining about this game remember the play of Steele’s LB’s against PJ? Do you remember Quandon Christian playing like a decapitated armless chicken??
We played with enormous discipline in the first half. Even the subs played with great discipline. Huggins got quality reps. Yeargin and Register played well.
My hat is off to Ryan Carter. He played very physical and didn’t get blocked out of plays on the edge.
We adjusted nicely to the loss of Jalen Williams (hopefully it is just an MCL sprain and he will come back strongly because Brent loves his scheme versatility).
Heading into Louisville, I don’t think this game really answers many of our overall question marks on defense. The Van Smith PI was very questionable, but there were times that he and Jadar got out of position. GT had some wide open shots in the middle of the field if Thomas had more time to plant and throw. I think Safety play in run support is fine, but must be solid and disciplined with the dual threat of Jackson coming to Death Valley. Pass rush consistency must also improve for Louisville.
Deshaun Watson missed some throws he needs to make against Louisville, but he wasn’t bad at all. He played a great game overall. Somehow everyone wants him to be Lamar Jackson every game—media and fans. He didn’t set his feet on some throws and he and Mike Williams had a miscommunication on a bad interception, but other than that he played fine. The third quarter struggles are what happen when you play an option team that can put together a plodding, methodical drive. It happens. He shouldn’t have missed the Overton throw in the fourth.
The offensive line was where I think improvements still need to be made. I did not think that GT’s defensive line, defensive tackles in particular, were very good at all. GT didn’t show a consistent pass rush on offense. Fruhmorgan continues to struggle blocking in space at times and the interior line isn’t getting push. Falcinelli had a toro moment where he let the DT lined up right over him completely free with a shot at DW. Yikes. We played a lot of guys (not John Simpson though), which messed up continuity at times. Louisville will be much better all along the Dline and they will come with a variety of looks and blitzes. Oline must be ready.
McCloud carried the team. I really hope that knee is ok.
Cain needs to stop these silly drops. DW and MW need to get clicking again. Leggett showed up and hopefully that translates to the Louisville game.
On the third offensive possession of the game, DW moves up in the pocket and throws a low dart to Cornell Powell. Powell just scoops it right up with no problem. Dabo mentioned Powell as the unsung hero of the night. Completely agree and his role will be very important with Renfrow out and if McCloud is at all limited. Guess ol’ QT saw something in Powell (who I projected early on in his recruitment would play this year and have an impact) that Tom Luginbill’s expertise missed.
I repeat: a win is a win is a win.