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Clemson vs. Virginia Tech: 4th Quarter Film Review

NCAA Football: Clemson at Virginia Tech Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

After a tepid 3rd quarter things go exciting in the 4th quarter. The final quarter of the game started with a 2nd and 17 after Mitch Hyatt gave up a speed rush sack to end the 3rd deep in Clemson territory.

The drive ended 2 plays later following a bad run play and an incomplete pass. Then Will Spiers line drives a punt that VT is able to play Beamer Ball with.

Clemson Ball, CU 12, 15:00

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
2nd and 17 11 vs Nickel QB Power sweep with Falicelli and Richard pulling to lead KB through the hole, VT has all of their defenders within 8 yards of the LOS selling out to stop the run Pollard gets bullied back by Settle after trying to down block, effectively ruining the play, but VT knows were about to go turtle mode so they're selling out on the run
3rd and 17 11 vs 33 Nickel Trips left with Richard in the slot, VT runs a bail Cover 0 on D and KB throws the backshoulder fade to Cain short of the sticks but it's incomplete VT sent pressure and the safety stayed in deep center field, the LB/DT/DE played a twist game that completely lost Hearn in pass pro forcing the quick backshoulder throw to Cain

An excellent punt return leaves VT with a pretty simple conversion for their first TD of the night off of an excellent playcall by VT.

VT Ball, CU 2, 14:03

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and Goal 20 personnel vs goaline 43 Twin RB to the left with twin receivers right both on the LOS, VT runs the single receiver on the jet sweep for an easy TD Phillips was covered on the LOS but ran inside like a quick slant and Fields not recognizing the formation and following Phillips inside instead of staying on the edge gives VT the easy lane for the TD

Clemson gets the ball after yet another touchback by VT’s kicker. And things look a bit interesting with a first down from DPI, but some good defense by VT stops the drive before it amounts to much.

CU Ball, CU 25, 14:00

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Nickel ZR reading the OLB who was walked up making a 5 man front, handoff to Feaster who goes for 3 Even though VT has scored a TD, it's clear that Clemson still trusts it's D enough to stay in turtle mode
2nd and 7 11 Personnel vs Nickel Both Feaster and Richard are lined up to the left with Cain the single receiver, PA skinny post to Cain vs C1 Robber, PI on the CB on Cain Good time to use PA as VT sucked in the safety and LB to the run fake and Cain beat his man inside to draw the PI
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Nickel Trips right with Richard in the slot, Feaster set right as well, Quick pitch option vs a 2 "high" (only 7-8 yards off the LOS) safety look, Feaster gets it and cuts back for 3 or 4 Bryant makes the right read and the safety overruns the fill, but good flow and lack of seals by the Clemson OL and Richard allows the calvalry to come in and make the stop
2nd and 7 11 Personnel vs Nickel Feaster motions from KBs left to right, PA TE slip to the right and the safety comes down and takes out Richard's legs immediately after the catch Good read and react by the safety here in C1, I think eventually we'll see this PA to a no look screen to the RB which will probably end in disaster
3rd and 4 11 Personnel vs Nickel We split Richard out wide with Cain to make a 2x2 set and run a half field read with Cain going deep to clear and Richard running the quick out but it's covered well, Bryant takes off but is drilled just past the LOS VT came out and went with a C2 zone, Bryant had a decent pocket with no pressure, he should have waited and seen if someone could have broken open on a improv route

Will Spiers at least puts some hangtime on the punt even if he wasn’t able to pin VT deep in their own territory. And then the fun begins....

VT Ball, VT 20, 11:21

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 VT sends the TE in a sprint out motion but runs the twin WRs in and tries to open the TE up on a wheel route, Jackson instead throws to Phillips in the 1 on 1 downfield vs Fields, incomplete Good coverage all around by the Tiger D here, no bust on the TE wheel (a VT staple this year) and great job by Fields to get his head around during the handfighting, otherwise it's a potential PI
2nd and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 VT runs quick hitchs to all their receivers, the ball bounces off the VT WR into O'Daniels lap and he takes it to the house Play call by VT was right, they just didn't execute correctly and O'Daniel makes them pay with the dagger

A beautiful job by DOD here on the pick six and this pretty much ended the game. VT tried to make some noise, but it wasn’t going to happen. And now VT gets the ball back. Spoiler alert, things don’t end well for them.

VT Ball, VT 35, 11:08

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 VT splits the TE to the left slot making a 2x2 wide formation, Clemson flexes Xavier Kelly from SDE to the slot TE. Quick option to the TE and it's flipped to the RB for a short gain Kelly does a decent job not letting the TE set the edge and Huggins flew into the backfield to force the pitch. Good to see the backups playing well
2nd and 9 11 Personnel vs 43 Trips right for VT, PA 4 verts that's covered well by the C2 defense and VT flips it out to the RB who is met immediately by Fields and O'Daniel Great read and recognition here by both Fields and O'Daniel. As soon as Jackson shifted his eyes they flowed to the football
3rd and 12 10 Personnel vs 43 Clemson shows a 5 man rush with Ferrel and JD Davis on the ends but bails into C4, and VT throws a screen for solid yards O'Daniel had the play read but a good shifty move by the VT back gets him into space to make up most of the yardage
4th and 4 11 Personnel vs 43 Clemson again shows a blitz look but only rushes 3, dropping into C4 and Jackson almost immediately tucks it and barely gains the 1st Jackson takes advantage of the super wide rush by Register to step up and through the hole to gain the first
1st and 10 10 Personnel vs 43 VT has everyone out in a 5 wide package and runs a curl go combo with their slots and outside WRs against a C3 from Clemson, Jackson breaks the pocket and flips it over Ferrel in the flats to the RB who was in the slot Clemson again was looking to take the quick passes to the outside away with the DE in coverage, but Jackson breaks contain, Ferrell elects to come attack, and Jackson flips it over him to the RB for a nice gain
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 VT runs a sprint out to the right, covered well initially by Clemson and Jackson somehow gets away with throwing late and across his body and makes a short completion Good coverage by the defense, Jackson just get's lucky here with O'Daniel drifting a bit too far back in coverage
2nd and 5 11 Personnel vs 43 VT tries to run a flare screen to the RB and Bryant reads is beautifully and almost picks it off but still forces the RB out for a loss You could tell that Bryant was mad he missed his opportunity for the pick here, but does well to stick with the play and fling the RB out with ease for the loss
3rd and 9 10 Personnel vs 43 Mesh concept ran by VT here against another 3 man rush in front of a C2 and Phillips gets open and runs for the 1st I liked the varied looks by Clemson here by not sending our typical blitzes, but with JD Davis and Jalen Williams in, it may be a better idea to send the heat than to leave those guys in coverage
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 VT runs a PA quick screen to the WR and Bryant read it beautifully and makes and insane one handed INT on the ball Great read by Bryant here to snag the ball out of the air, pretty amazing play and shows off his athleticism. If he can keep his feet here, it's 6 as well.

Bryant’s interception may be the most athletic play I’ve seen from Clemson this year. Amazing control but more importantly an amazing read by Bryant to line up in the right spot to even be able to make a pick. Now it is Clemson’s ball.

CU ball, CU 45, 7:31

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Nickel Bell in at TE and split into the slot, IZ to Fuller who has a 1 on 1 with a LB but elects to plow into him rather than make a move Maybe he was thinking he was Etienne and could just bounce off people?
2nd and 7 11 Personnel vs Nickel Bucksweep to Fuller with Falcinelli as the lead blocker, VT runs it down from the inside for no gain Bell is in at TE and Simpson at LG, and between the two of their failed seal blocks, VT was able to clean this play up with ease
3rd and 6 11 Personnel vs Nickel After a TO, we come out with Etienne set right of KB with Richard at wing TE to the right, run a rollout draw and Crowder gets whipped and Etienne hit for a loss Etienne probably could have cut under Crowder's lousy block, but it still would have been tough going from there as VTs LBs had already come in and filled the open gaps

This was not a great series from Clemson. Poor playcalling and poor execution doomed this drive. Credit to VT because they are still in it, but they’ll need a miracle.

VT Ball, VT 28, 5:13

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Flexed 43 Referring to the DE standing in the flats now as the "flexed 43", VT runs a HB dive at the 3 down linemen and gains about 4 VT finally gets some form of push against a 3 man front, Chad Smith and JD Davis take on Olinemen nicely to stop the play from gaining more yards
2nd and 5 Can't Tell, ESPN Doing Other Stuff Looks like some kind of either bucksweep or jet sweep that gets cut back into the middle for solid yards ESPN invites us to this play a little late, but it looks like Sterling Johnson fights upfield too far rather than feeling his block and allowing for the cutback lane
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Flexed 43 VT hits the quick curl in front of the C4 to the wide side. Fields comes in quickly for the tackle VT just taking what the coverage gives them here
2nd and 5 11 Personnel vs 43 VT runs a fake HB dive, jet sweep to the slot man who finds the alley and gains good yardage Chad Smith and Justin Foster got pinned inside and Jalen Williams got kicked out by the pulling guard, Terrell and Wallace late to close the alley
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs Flexed 43 VT runs a delayed handoff where the TE loops from the left wing and leads to the hole on the right, shutdown by Pinckney and the LBs for a short gain Sterling Johnson does a decent job to get upfield to force the play inside (he has a tendency to get too far upfield though) and Pinckney does a nice job of slipping his block to make first contact
2nd and 8 11 Personnel vs 43 Williams out wide on the trips left, we send a Sam fire blitz off RT, VT runs a delayed RB screen to the left but it's eaten alive by Chad Smith Smith does an excellent job of getting off the block by the WR and slipping past the OL convoy to make the pop on the RB for the TFL
3rd and 12 11 Personnel vs Flexed 43 VT runs a delayed RB power off the right side against the Flex 43 C3, Smith gets blocked by the pulling guard (maybe a hold on the end of the block) and the RB hits a crease for the 1st down Smith get's caught up in the pulling guards block, Wallace was playing center field in the C3 and takes a bad angle on the ball, and Williams was so concerned about bailing to the flats in coverage that he didn't even have his eyes in the backfield until the play was almost past him
1st and 10 11 Personnel vs 43 Corner blitz from the boundary forces Jackson up in the pocket on a PA play where Kelly and Johson almost get the sack Good blitz here to force Jackson up in the pocket and not allow him to break contain
2nd and 9 11 Personnel vs 43 C4 look again here with our FCB playing back, VT hits the curl in front of the coverage for a what should have been a quick gain but it's dropped Xavier Kelly was up in a 2 point stance off of LT and rushed from there and did not seem he had a lot of burst. Really more of a note than something that affected the play, but if he's rushing, I'd prefer him going from a 3 point stance
3rd and 9 11 Personnel vs 43 VT puts the TE in a loose wing off of LT to make trips left to set up a 1 on 1 to the boundary, the run 3 verts and Wallace sticks in the hip pocket of the boundary receiver, Jackson forces it to this matchup and Simmons drops a sure INT Bad throw and bad read by Jackson here but he lives to play another down as Simmons drops what should have been about his 4th INT on the season (he has none, all sure fire drops)
4h and 9 10 Personnel vs 43 Looks to be a C2 look from Clemson, VT has trips left and runs the slot receiver on a wheel, the center on post and the outside man on a deep skinny post the deep skinny post man is free for the TD Wallace's eyes were affected by the short post and this draws him up for the skinny post to be open behind him

This was the last score of the game. Clemson has the backups in the rest of the way and this one closes out relatively easily for another Clemson victory.