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Clemson 31, Ohio State 0: 4th Quarter Film Review

Garbage time in a Playoff game? Yes please.

Playstation Fiesta Bowl - Ohio State v Clemson Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Tony Elliott and Brent Venables kicked Ohio State in the butt from start to finish. Elliott brought diversity in the run game (particularly the fake toss QB counter) and some inverted veer looks. Watson enjoyed running room before Gallman broke off chunk plays in the 4th quarter. Through the air, there were plenty of slants and rubs to free receivers in tight man coverage. There were few, if any, questionable play calls and Clemson enjoyed 2nd & short situations all night.

For Venables, I could go on and on about breaking tendencies by dropping 8 into coverage, but when a defensive line has this kind of performance there are few calls that don’t work. There isn’t much more to be said for Venables than a shutout.



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, Clemson 10 yard line, 24-0 Clemson lead

3rd & 19, 11 shotgun vs nickel, rollout counter draw to Gallman, OSU somehow wasn’t prepared for it and Gallman gains 20, 1st down...

Anyone who has watched Clemson had to know this play was coming. Ohio State didn’t, seeing how they bailed into coverage so quickly.

Empty shotgun vs nickel, IV jet to Gallman gains another easy 18 yards...

11 shotgun vs nickel, triple option keeper (screen Renfrow was “pitch man” but the corner jumped it), Watson gains 2...11 shotgun (trips right) vs nickel man cover 1, screen to McCloud gains 2...empty shotgun vs nickel cover 4, quick curl to Fuller in front of the safety who closed well and stuffed Fuller just enough for the 1st...

11 shotgun vs nickel, QB counter draw, Anchrum loses his seal and Gallman can’t lead block to the edge, no gain...11 shotgun vs nickel cover 4, deep go route to Cain overthrown...11 shotgun vs nickel man cover 1 Mike/NB overload blitz, Watson takes a huge hit but escapes to throw the ball away...

Ohio State ball, 11:51, Ohio State 20, 24-0 Clemson lead

21 shotgun vs 4-3 power triple option dive to Samuel, breaks a tackle and cuts back, Johnson chases him down the sideline and save the shutout, gain of 64...

False start, 11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 0 Mike/Will bullet, quick out route overthrown and incomplete...11 shotgun vs 4-3, ZR keeper, Wilkins bursts through immediately and attacks the mesh point, Barrett erroneously keeps and has no chance to avoid 42, loss of 2...

11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, Barrett doesn’t have time to reach his second read before the stunt and Watkins eats him, this is too much fun for children to watch, loss of 10...

4th & 27 because sure why not, 10 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, pressure gets there again and Barrett launches a prayer which is intercepted by Van Smith and returned it almost 100 yards, just laughter all around.

3 funnies: Johnson’s reaction when Smith “stole” the pick; everybody just running past a motionless Pagano; Boulware trucking Barrett on the runback.

Clemson ball, 9:25, Ohio State 8, 24-0 Clemson lead

11 shotgun vs 4-3, QB sweep RPO run out of bounds for no gain...13 ace vs 4-3, TEs shift left, McCloud motions from right to left, weakside toss right to Gallman who simply has to race to the corner, TOUCHDOWN.

I pointed out in the scouting report that motion against man could be used to leverage the run game. Creativity in the run game and proper scouting. My only problem is I would’ve loved to save this for Bama.

Garbage time.

Ohio State ball, 8:47, Ohio State 28, 31-0 Clemson lead

Empty shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, pass to Samuel incomplete, Mullen on the coverage...11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, quick dumpoff to Samuel wrapped up after a gain of 4...empty shotgun vs 4-3, QB power gains the 5 needed yards...

11 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, Albert Huggins with the great swim move to blow past the center and rush Barrett put can’t quite close the sack, late comeback route complete for 9...empty shotgun vs 4-3 cover 3 Mike/Will blitz, quick slant to Samuel thrown right behind it, gain of 17...

10 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, no pass rush at all, Huggins actually stops trying, drag route wide open behind the linebackers but the touchdown is dropped...10 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, Huggins comes free on the stunt but fails to close the sack again, dumpoff to Weber gains 2 yards...10 shotgun vs 4-3 cover 4, quick curl to Samuel complete for 7...11 shotgun vs 4-3 under, strongside jailbreak blitz attacks the ZR mesh and forces the dive, which Pagano eats up in the backfield, TURNOVER ON DOWNS.

I leave you with this GIF of Schuessler running: