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Clemson vs. Syracuse Film Review: 2nd Quarter

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NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

This film review was done by a new contributor, tolleyjenkins, who has been a regular member of the site and frequent commenter. A big thanks to him for the work he put in on what was a depressing 2nd quarter.

The second quarter wasn’t much prettier than the first, at least to start. But Clemson did get some hope when Tanner Muse returned a fumble for a TD. Maybe that was the spark Clemson needed to actually show up and play. Then Kelly Bryant got concussed, we went to halftime, and well you know what happened.

Clemson has the ball to start the quarter and things go ok. Bryant looks fine when he scrambles, but this was also the last designed run called by the coaching staff in the half. That is inexcusable. We also saw some more failed blocking by the WRs and TEs. That more than anything could be why things went from bad to worse for Bryant. If the screen game isn’t working and he isn’t going to run it really limits potential playcalls.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 46, 14:45

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Bryant completes a throw to Diondre Overton for 6 yards Overton, Thompson, Amari in at WR. Choice at RB. We go 5 wide and Cuse blitzes Mike off the edge. Good job by KB to get it out to DO on the boundary curl. KB gets hit hard by the Mike.
2nd and 4 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Kelly Bryant throws incomplete to Rodgers PA screen pass to Amari overthrown. Wasn't going anywhere anyways. Thompson couldn't hold his block.
3rd and 4 11 shotgun v. nickel Bryant connects with Rodgers for a 13 yard pass Blitz picked up well and KB hits Amari on corner route. Nice throw and catch.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Rodgers runs for a loss of 6 yards Amari in backfield with Choice. Power RO sweep. Milan and Choice both go to block the LB giving the S a free shot at Amari and he makes a nice open field tackle. I think this is on Milan as usually the slot man has the S, but Milan was looking to seal the LB the entire time. Could have been a nice gain.
2nd and 16 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Choice gains those 6 yards back with a nice run Ray Ray, Cain, Hunter back in. Inside zone to Choice. Hyatt does a nice job of sealing DE going inside to create a lane. This was our last designed run of this quarter.
3rd and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Bryant runs for 4 yards here Had Renfrow wide open on the post against quarters but Anchrum couldn't hold his block and KB has to run. His ankle looked fine on the scramble.

We had hope for a little bit here. Tanner Muser provided it as Syracuse seemed set to drive for a TD here. But an excellent strip of Syracuse followed by Muse getting the ball and running for a TD flipped things a bit and gave Clemson an opportunity.

Syracuse Ball, Syracuse 6, 11:45

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey runs for no gain Fake jet sweep to field with QB power to boundary. Ferrell gets through and slows it down and Carter dives through to make the tackle. Nice play by Carter
2nd and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey completes a 20 yard pass to Pierce Defense isn't anywhere close to ready. Screen and Go and the TE is wide open down the sideline. Ferrell dropped into a zone, KJ didn't see the TE until it was too late, and I don�t know what Muse was doing.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey hits Custis for a 15 yard gain Muse walks into the box like he's spying Dungey? Mullen keeps outside leverage and the post is complete for 15. Mullen is down with a hurt shoulder.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Incomplete pass to Custis, but Terrell is called for Holding The fat TE #36 is in. Mullen's out and they go after Terrell; he's beat badly and just holds onto Custis.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey is just playing pitch and catch, this time for 11 yards to Phillips Presnap motion confused the D. Carter and Van were confused over who had inside slot.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey throws incomplete to Ishmael but Fields is called for DPI Fade route to Ishmael who Fields has 1 on 1. Fields called for holding but Ishmael just threw him down. BS call but we're about to get a make up call�
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Syracuse finally runs the ball with Neal going for 4 yards Dex got pushed 2 yards back by double team but came off to make the tackle.
2nd and 6 11 shotgun v. nickel Syracuse called for the false start here Austin Bryant had his hands up in the air expressing confusion.
2nd and 11 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey hit with a loss of 5 yards on this one. LG goes to second level immediately and leaves LT to block both Ferrell and DOD coming on the blitz. First time the Dline has looked like the Dline we know on this drive.
3rd and 16 11 shotgun v. nickel Syracuse is hit with OPI on Ishmael, who has been doing it all night Iffy call in my book because the ball was underthrown so Fields' momentum forward made it look like Ishmael pushed. Maybe he did. Either way, makes up for the prior DPI. Fields was in good position but he should be chewed out for that pathetic tackle attempt. He just gave up.
3rd and 31 12 v. DOD Clemson forces the fumble and Muse takes it all the way back for a TD The fat TE is in again. Awesome motor by Simmons who was blitzing off the edge on the other side but never stopped pursuit. Tanner Muse celebrates by cracking open a cold one, wiping his mouth, and getting flagged presumably because the refs thought it was a throat slit. Dabo lays into Muse on the sideline. Cuse gets the ball at the 40 as a result of the penalty.

Syracuse gets another opportunity to score and they mount a pretty nice drive. They most disappointing part of this is number of 3rd and 4th down conversions Clemson allows. Normally this defense is great at getting off the field, but not today. You can see the defense just doesn’t have the fight and holding Syracuse to a FG after they marched down the field is a bit of a miracle.

Syracuse Ball, Syracuse 40, 8:05

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey runs for 2 yards Same play & presnap motion that confused us on prior drive. This time DOD is in position to take the inside slot curl and Dungey has to run.
2nd and 8 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey keeps it again and runs for 3 yards Big Dexy recognizes the tunnel screen and cuts it off. Dungey has to eat it. We obviously prepped for the short stuff but can't say the same for the deep stuff.
3rd and 5 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey hits Philips to convert on 3rd down Credit to Dungey for a nice throw after escaping pressure to where only his man could catch it on the comeback. Good coverage by Carter but just a nice throw and catch. If anything went wrong it was AB running himself out of the play and not maintaining his lane. We'll see this from AB a lot more.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Strickland runs for 1 yard There's the clogged lanes we expected.
2nd and 9 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey throws incomplete to Philips with an excellent breakup by Simmons The entire defense has their hands on their hips but Cuse calls a timeout. Carter got his ankles broken by Phillips and fell down but Simmons was there to break it up.
3rd and 9 5 wide shotgun v. DOD Syracuse hit for a false start False start on 4 of 5 OL. "Several offensive line players" per the ref.
3rd and 15 5 wide shotgun v. DOD Wilkins gives it back with an offside call Center moved the ball but Wilkins is called offsides. Simulated the snap count per Mack Brown but Mack Brown is a babbling moron who should be living on a farm somewhere collecting antique cans.
3rd and 10 5 wide shotgun v. DOD Dungey hits Ishmael for 9 yards on some soft coverage On boundary side it's 3 against 2 so Van is frantically calling Muse to slide over for help. Dungey sees Muse sliding over and throws the comeback route field side to Ishmael. With the 6 man blitz Mullen was all alone field side and had to protect against the fade. Just a nice play by Dungey.
4th and 1 12 v. nickel Dungey keeps the ball and makes Clemson's defense look silly Cuse goes to 21 personnel but we stay in the nickel. Dungey keeps on the option and Mullen took the pitch. Easy first down.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey hits Pierce for an easy 28 yard gain Cuse goes to 11. Another screen and go boundary side. This time D was ready but Simmons bit hard on the screen and Van was protecting against post/fade field side. They can line up their TE #6 all over the place and it's giving us trouble.
1st and Goal 11 shotgun v. nickel Strickland takes the ball and runs for 6 yards D not even close to set. KJ misses the tackle but great job by Ferrell and Simmons to keep him out of the end zone. Dungey comes flying in and tries to push the pile but he only connects with Big Dexy's backside. Big Dexy is not happy about this and executes a sweet scissor leg takedown.
2nd and Goal 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey is stopped for no gain Wilkins knew it was coming, times it perfectly, and collides with Dungey coming high. Dungey hurt on the play and Mahoney comes in.
3rd and Goal 21 shotgun v. 50 Clemson gets a stop on 3rd down when Mahoney is stopped for a loss of 2 Cuse called a timeout but then got it back because �\_(?)_/�. Zone read and Cle tackles both the RB and QB because he can.
4th and Goal Murphy kicks a 21 yard FG Considering this was basically the 24th straight play for the D (excluding the PAT and kickoff after the Muse TD), and given the goal line stand, this was a great result.

Clemson finally gets the ball on offense again and the playcalling isn’t great. Granted Cain’s first down drop is a killer, but the lack of running plays really hurts given our defense and how tired they are. Add in this being the driver where Kelly re injures/exacerbates his injured ankle and it just wasn’t great news Bob.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 25, 3:45

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Bryant throws incomplete to Cain Good pass pro. Dig route and Cain drops it.
2nd and 10 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Bryant hits Milan Richard for a 12 yard completion Double comeback boundary side and Bryant hits Milan who rumbles for the first down.
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. 4-3 Bryant is sacked and called for intentional grounding. Just an ugly one here The Mike #4 times it perfectly and sails through the A gap. Falci might not have seen him at all, not that it would have mattered. Feaster was set up for the PA so he couldn't get to him. Neither could Milan. Now instead of sitting pretty in the pocket 5 yards behind the LOS KB is 8 yards deep and standing right where the speed rushing DE is heading. Hyatt holds onto the DE as best he can and KB tosses it OOB. KB is limping afterwards and this looks like he reinjured his ankle on this play.
2nd and 22 11 shotgun v. nickel Bryant throws an incompletion to Feaster 4 man rush but OL is setting up the screen so KB gets hammered just after getting the screen pass off to Feaster. KB doesn't get enough loft on the ball, although it's still catchable, but Feaster drops it. If KB gets more loft on it or Feaster catches it, it could have been big. KB hit again.
3rd and 22 10 v. dime Rodgers can't come up with the catch from Bryant KB escapes the pocket and his ankle is clearly hurting him. This was our first offensive series after the D played 24 straight snaps and we didn't run the ball once.

Syracuse gets the ball and even though it is a 3 and out the signs of what will doom Clemson on defense are here in this drive. Too much contact outside and a lack of discipline by our DL. Luckily Syracuse can’t execute on this particular drive.

Syracuse Ball, Syracuse 31, 2:53

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey throws incomplete to Philips Weird play by Syracuse. 3 seconds in the pocket wasted with a pump fake and a spin, all for a fade route. Carter bumps Phillips but the pass wasn't catchable. Phillips' flop would make Jake Bentley proud.
2nd and 10 11 shotgun v. nickel Dungey completes a short pass to Ishmael for 4 yards Hey Fields made a nice tackle there.
3rd and 6 5 wide shotgun v. nickel Dungey can't connect with Ishmael again and it is incomplete AB runs himself too deep again. Dungey escapes but can't hit Ishmael. AB's lack of discipline on his speed blitzes will kill us in the 3rd quarter.

Clemson gets the ball back and it is very obvious on this drive that Bryant is in pain and can’t move well. Even basic throws aren’t getting the velocity they need because Bryant can’t step into the throw, then an even worse injury occurs.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 45, 1:53

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 10 shotgun v. 4-3 Kelly Bryant throws incomplete to Renfrow Smash concept; KB overthrows Renfrow on the corner route. He was covered anyways. Stared him down the whole way. Cuse DT goes for KB's ankle and takes him down.
2nd and 10 10 shotgun v. 4-3 Bryant completes a 3yard pass to Cain, but holding on Hyatt KB can't even do a 3 step drop without limping. Screen to Cain delivered way too late. Moot because Hyatt held.
2nd and 20 10 shotgun v. nickel Bryant Completes a pass for 10 yards KB limping on drop back. Completes the pass. Cuse DT goes after KB's ankles again.
3rd and 10 10 shotgun v. nickel Bryant "runs" for no gain and is injured with a concussion At first I was mad that Dabo left KB in the game at this point. But after watching again, this was the 2nd series after KB reinjured his ankle, and the 1st series was brief. Not sure that yanking KB prior to this point is a decision most coaches would have made IMO.

Bryant is concussed on a play where it became obvious his ankle wasn’t in any shape to be playing football. The concussion took any playing time decision out of his hands as well as the coaching staff. Syracuse then gets the ball back and runs out the half