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Auburn Film Review: Q2

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Auburn v Clemson Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

Up to this point of the game Auburn has been able to dominate time of possession (to the point where Clemson possessed the ball for only two minutes of the first quarter) due to Clemson’s inability to get first downs or do much of anything on offense.

Stats and graphic via espn

The defense opens the quarter up on the field, backed up near the goal line.

Auburn Ball, Clemson 6, Auburn 3-0, 15:00

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
3rd and 5 10 vs. 4-2 Clemson is playing what looks like Solo, leaving the corner to the one receiver side one on one to rotate both safeties to the trips side. Wilkins and Lawrence are able to collapse the pocket before anything develops Having two guys who easily could be top fifteen picks line up next to each other is just unfair.
The ends did well too, both kept contain and forced Stidham to step up into pressure

Auburn Field Goal, Auburn 6-0

Despite only being down 6-0 Clemson looks in danger of being run off the field if the offense can’t show signs of life.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 25, 14:17

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2 Jet sweep motion, inside zone read, Falcinelli and Hyatt do a nice job blocking at the second level and Adam Choice makes a nice cutback for a six yard gain Auburn would play a 1 technique and an extremely wide defensive end to the weak side of the line (away from the tight end) early on in the game which led to a few easy gains on cutbacks.
2nd and 6 20 vs. 4-2 DJ Greenlee lines up as the H back and is supposed to seal the end for the buck sweep, Mullen tries to crack block and gets stonewalled, both guards pull to wind up blocking no one and Pollard gets thrown on his ass on the backside We were lucky to get back to the line of scrimmage, which is a shame, it's a well designed play. Auburn has been playing a lot of cover one with the safety helping strong side. ScElliot are attacking the safety rotating away from the sweep, if either guard were able to block the corner it could have been a touchdown.
Carlton Davis was stopping big plays left and right

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
3rd and 2 11 vs. 4-2, one linebacker walked down with a hand on the ground, essentially a 5-1 Jet sweep power read, Pollard literally looks like he's pass blocking at the point of attack, and Hearn can't pull around him. The linebacker Hearn is supposed to block winds up making the tackle. Right tackle might be a problem.
Auburn’s defense is great and Clemson is having execution problems on basic plays. Auburn is loading the box and Clemson hasn’t had answers.


Auburn Ball, Auburn 17, 12:12

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 21, tight end and fullback to one side, twin wide receivers to the other, vs. 4-3 over Inside zone read, handoff to Pettway who is able to fall forward under a pile of Clemson defenders Clemson is winning up front and the AU line is consistently struggling to block the second level
2nd and 7 21 vs. 4-3 under D'oD blitzes and the DL slants towards the tight end, Jabril Robinson blows the right tackle back and Wilkins (alligned as a standup end) absolutely manhandles the tight end lead blocking, combined with backside pursuit there's nowhere to go Jabril Robinson has been showing out, especially on early downs, as someone who can at least stuff the run going forward.
3rd and 8 10 trips vs. 4-2 (D'oD as one of the ILB's) Five man rush, ILB blitz, out route to Ryan Davis tackled immediately by K'von Wallace Clemson is in one high, with Muse deep, the corners pressed on the outside receivers and Wallace and Carter playing off of the slots. The pressure was enough to force the ball out before deeper developing routes could come open
Using O’Danial as an ILB allows Clemson to be in a hybrid nickel/dime front


Clemson Ball, Clemson 46, 10:14

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2 Inside zone, tight end kicking out the backside end, attacking the backside cutback because Crowder keeps blowing the one tech off the ball Choice ran hard behind solid blocking, Crowder was a preseason all ACC guard for a reason
2nd and 4 11 vs. 4-2 Snag route, Richards releases to run the post, McCloud on the slant and the RB out of the backfield. McCloud gets open, thrown to and tackled almost immediately out of his routes break Bryant read the play right but if Richards (or Greenlee) isn't a fast enough player to threaten teams on that post route there's not going to be nearly as much room underneath for one of Clemson's favorite concepts.
3rd and 2 11 vs. 4-2, nickel showing blitz, one safety pressing the slot receiver, both corners in press man Five man rush, sprint out pass, Renfrow catches it for a short gain and is wrestled down after a couple yards Because the corner on McCloud presses McCloud so close to the line said corner runs himself right into the guy covering Renfrow. Renfrow is able to get free. Totally legal, naturally occuring pick.
It took nearly six minutes into the second quarter but we manufactured a second first down

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 Empty vs. 4-2 Four man rush, Bryant drops back and is facing immediate pressure off both edges and is hit as he threw. Incomplete Both tackles are struggling against speed rushes.
2nd and 10 10 vs. 4-2 Bryant drop back, Richards blocking on the perimeter and Renfrow gets the ball on a delayed screen The interior OL managed to block well in space and these short outside throws are starting to give Clemson a pulse on offense. Bryant goes down on this play
3rd and 1 11 vs. 4-3 under, one end standing, basically a 3-4 Inside zone and Choice is able to fall just enough forward to get a first down With the backup QB in pretty much everyone in the stadium knew that was going to be a handoff
1st and 10 Empty vs. 4-2 Jet sweep, power read, Cooper makes the wrong read and is tackled almost immediately in the backfield I was surprised to see Clemson even put Cooper in empty.
2nd and 10 10 trips vs. 4-2 Cover one, five man rush, Cain is the receiver to the single receiver side and Cooper mostly puts him in a position to make a play on the fade route I understand forcing teams to prove they can cover Cain one on one early but with only two catches for twenty seven yards it seems fair to say Carlton Davis, Jamel Dean and co. locked Cain down.
3rd and 10 Empty vs. 3-2 dime Five man rush, linebackers cross, quick pass to Choice opens up underneath but tackled far short of a first down It wasn't much but under duress Cooper managed to avoid pressure and get enough yardage to put Huegel in position to make a kick.

Field Goal No Good.

Auburn Ball, Auburn 29, 6:47

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 21 vs. 4-3 over, TE/FB to the boundary, twin WR's to the field O'Danial blitz off the edge (he's being sent almost every time AU puts the tight end and fullback to the same side), play action receiver screen, Chad Smith beats a block and is able to make the tackle in space A lot of Auburn's offense is slow developing which can come to burn them against faster defenses.
2nd and 11 10 trips vs. 4-2, O'Danial as the second ILB and walked out over the trips receiver Five man rush, hot route to Hastings over the middle, tackled almost immediately When Auburn is in trips this 4-2 variety operates more like a dime, giving Venables a lot of schematic flexibility
3rd and 1 21 vs. 4-3 over Jet sweep motion to the fullback side, power handoff and the 235 lb Pettway is able to fall forward to gain enough. The fullback and running back offset to the same side could both serve as lead blockers for the jet sweep and force Clemson to respect the fake before coming downhill
The WR nearest the graphic goes in motion

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 20 vs. 4-2 Six man rush, MSU style zone blitz, with Joseph and Muse both rushing. Stidham able to get a pass off but incomplete Michigan State's defense is known for zone blitzes where the two underneath defenders try to match routes over the middle of the field and two corners and a safety play cover three and try not to get burnt. It's why Mullen continues dropping back even though the receiver to his side isn't a vertical threat.

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
2nd and 10 11 trips vs. 4-2 Jet sweep motion, quick fade route out and almost intercepted by Fields Auburn is trying to get Kyle Davis matched up on the much shorter Fields but Fields covers him perfectly
3rd and 10 10 vs. 4-2 Dropback, quick screen, tackle almost made by Ryan Carter coming upfield, Austin Bryant gets to the sideline and cleans it up Clemson's defensive pursuit prevents a lot of big plays.


Clemson Ball, Clemson 12, 4:00

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 Empty vs. 4-2 (Bryant returned) Both DE's attempting to play wide and contain Bryant, fade/out thrown short to Richards, Richards look like he has the catch but it's knocked out in traffic If Clemson can't get anything from the tight ends in the passing game it puts a dramatically lower ceiling on this offense.
2nd and 10 10 vs. 4-2 Fade/out to one side, double slants to the other, Bryant is deciding which of the two to throw pre snap and only reading one defender. Quick slant to Ray-Ray McCloud. Defenders with outside leverage struggle to slants, defenders with inside leverage struggle to cover fades and outs. From there it's just matchups.
3rd and 2 10 vs. 4-2 Five man blitz, cover one, Feaster does a good job picking up a free rusher, Cain goes up and beats his man on a fade route Even if he only had two catches, Cain's gonna get something.
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2 Max protect, three verticals, no one open downfield and Bryant is able to make someone miss, pick up almost a first and get out of bounds Bryant can make something out of nothing with his feet.
2nd and 1 11 vs. 4-2 Inside zone read, Bryant keep, the safety comes downhill immediately to meet Bryant several yards behind the line Auburn knows how to play the run out quarters and their safeties know they can probably afford to be aggressive.
3rd and 4 10 vs. 4-1 Fade/out + slants, quick throw to Renfrow to the boundary, tackled almost immediately by Davis The defender covering Renfrow to the flats in this version of cover four is the linebacker. The linebacker is beat by alignment as long as Bryant is able to both recognize it and throw the ball before the corner can arrive. Running concepts like this means Bryant only has to read half the field.

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 Empty vs. 4-2 Bryant dropback, complete over the middle to Renfrow between the linebackers Bryant is passing well enough Auburn has started to run a lot more zone coverages
1st and 10 10 vs. 4-2 Dropback pass, Anchrum looked slow out of his stance and Bryant dodges the pressure, running out of the pocket and throwing out of bounds Right now right tackle is the weakest part of the offensive line.
2nd and 10 10 trips vs. 4-2 C0, six man rush, pass out immediately to Greenlee but slightly underthrown and dropped Clemson really can't afford to wind up in passing downs because of dropped passes
3rd and 10 10 vs. 4-2 Both linebackers on the line, C0, six man rush, Bryant throws a fade route where McCloud can get it and McCloud makes the catch for thirty plus yard gain. CJ Fuller did a fantastic job pass blocking to keep the play alive, Bryant recognized he had one on one coverage to the outside and gave his receiver a chance to make a play.
1st and Goal 10 trips bunch vs. 4-2, one linebacker on the line of scrimmage, 5-1 bear front Sprint out to the bunch side, Renfrow comes open on an out route and is tackled almost immediately Clearly this is something of a go to play
2nd and Goal 20 vs. 4-3 under Jet sweep motion, QB counter behind a pulling guard and tight end, TOUCHDOWN Both the end and linebacker jump outside to make sure Bryant doesn't pitch the ball to the running back, which opens up a lane inside for Bryant to run behind lead blockers.
The fake pitch gives Bryant time for his blocking to set up as well

Clemson 7, Auburn 6

Auburn Ball, Auburn 21, 0:43

Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
Down & Distance Formation Play Anaylsis
1st and 10 10 trips vs. 4-2 Four man rush, quarters, everyone covered downfield so Stidham runs and slides just short of a first down Nine yards is worth the time it takes AU to get back to the line of scrimmage.
2nd and 1 10 trips vs. 4-2 Stidham forced out of the pocket, nothing open downfield, runs to the sideline and is eventually pushed out by Austin Bryant Hard for routes to open up without pass blocking
3rd and 2 20 vs. 4-2 Power handoff to Pettway, tackled by Ferrell and that takes us to halftime