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Clemson vs. Louisville: 4th Quarter Film Review

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NCAA Football: Clemson at Louisville Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The 4th quarter started with Louisville driving, and scoring, on a drive that started in the 3rd quarter. After that Clemson continued to make things interesting into Runbalaya himself decided to announce his presence. The 4th quarter was notable for Etienne’s runs, Clemson’s 4th down stop using a 3rd string defense, and not much else. Here are a few highlights from the 4th quarter.

In this drive Clemson decided to make quick work of Louisville to answer the Cardinals touchdown. Bryant did a fantastic job scrambling here and keeping his eyes downfield to Overton. Those are the types of things he has to do to have success against the better defenses Clemson will see this year.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 21, 13:45

Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun vs Nickel JS fake to Rodgers and Bryant pulls down for short gain vs Will bullet Bryant should have given probably to not only avoid taking hits, but the WLB got quick penetration past Hearn but Bryant squirmed past for 1
2nd and 9 11 shotgun vs Nickel Bell motions from the slot to go inline behind RT, counter power to the left against cover 3 Crowder barely gets his block and Bell at least hits his guy as Choice shows some decent vision and patience to pick up the gain
3rd and 3 11 shotgun vs Nickel PA with a 2 man route read to the left against WLB bullet Cover 2 with a DT/DE twist to the right, turns into a scramble drill and Overton catches a huge gain Louisville does a good job jumping on the initial routes here, but Clemson picks up the pressure decently and Pollard rides his man to the inside and Choice helps seal the edge giving Bryant and escape route outside to hit a nice pass on the run to Overton on the scramble drill as Overton initially ran his route to the left before breaking back right
1st and 10 11 shotgun vs Nickel IZ to Choice with UL sending the NB on a fire blitz to stop the ZR The fake by Bryant to the edge holds the NB on the blitz, Falcinelli climbs and seals the LB as Hearn plants the DT, Choice actually finds the hole and after a good block by Overton races untouched to the endzone

Louisville gets the ball back and they finally get something going. But it may have involved a lot of Clemson backups. Brent Venables is going to rake a few guys over the coals for this drive, but honestly it is ok. I’d rather backups get tested against one of the best QBs in the league than against the QB of Kent State or The Citadel, or USCjr.

Louisville Ball, Louisville 15, 11:56

Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 Pistol vs Nickel Simmons rolls down into the box for cover 3 after the RB shifts to offseat shotgun, UL runs IV away from Simmons and reads Ferrell Ferrell is frozen by the inside run threat of Jackson and this gives the RB the corner and both Joseph and O'Daniel set hard edges opening a seam
1st and 10 11 Shotgun vs Nickel UL sends the outside receivers deep to clear out the slots for out routes but Clemson runs pattern match C4 The pattern match C4 takes away the throws and Skalski mush rushed and after Huggins whips the LG, Skalski is there to take away the LJ scramble and then Huggins/Skalski/Register clean up the mess
2nd and 12 11 Pistol vs Nickel Slant flare route combo to the right and curl slant combo to the left vs C3 The TE is open due to the fact that Simmons has to run 12 yards at the snap to cover the flats, but closes quickly to keep the gain minimal
3rd and 10 11 Pistol vs 4-3 Drive concept with deep square and post to the left vs a SAM fire blitz C3 All LBs gave a blitz look but only Williams came on the blitz, Joseph tried to bail 12 yards deep but the crossing route gave him enough pause to open the window on the post
1st and 10 11 Pistol vs 4-3 TE to the left with the twins creates one on one matchup with receiver to the left, CB on said receiver comes on a blitz with a C1 behind it Skalski does a good job to close the quick throwing lane and Simmons rolls down hard and almost has the pick if he plays his angles more correctly
2nd and 10 11 Pistol vs 4-3 ZR with the TE looping from the right to the left, handed ff to the RB who is met by a dual LB fire blitz with C4 behind it O'Daniel flies outsie to contain Jackson while Skalski gets a free run and Robinson whips the RG in order to meet the RB in the backfield
3rd and 14 11 Shotgun vs 4-3 The TE lines up to the twins and they all run option routes, single WR runs a vertical while Jackson hits the RB on the flair against a deep drop C4 With the LBs and DBs taking deep drops into the zones, the RB get's plenty of room to run and then makes a leap over AJ Terrell but Simmons pops him to stop forward progres
4th and 3 11 Shotgun (5 wide) vs 4-3 The trips to the bottom runs vertical, post, flats vs a C4 zone WLB blitz The slot get's Ferrell 1 on 1 in coverage on the zone blitz and even though he's tremendous, Ferrell can't cover a slot WR in coverage, big gain as the other 2 WR cleared the coverage
1st and 10 11 Shotgun (5 wide) vs 4-3 Trips now to the top, they run post/post/out combo vs a C4ish? You can see that UL is trying to see if shots are available down the field while trying to get their slot in space matched up on our LBs, Jackson throws to the inner post but Wallace lays out nicely for the PBU
2nd and 10 11 Pistol vs 4-3 Trips to the top, ZR to the TE on the left reading Ferrell, Jackson pulls Ferrell sits on the dive and Simmons crashes hard on the dive before course adjusting, Terrell does a good job on a 1 on 1 block with the TE to shed and not allow Jackson to turn the corner
3rd and 4 11 Shotgun (5 wide) vs 4-3 Trips to the top again, and the route combo is a slant/slant/flare vs some kind of odd 2 man rush where the WLB and MLB rush contain and the 4 DL drop into hook zones Initial coverage is good but with only a 2 man rush, Jackson escapes the pocket and the slot runs the scramble drill up the sideline and beats O'Daniel

Watching this drive in the stands was rather frustrating. It looked like we were doing everything in our power to screw around. And then Etienne took the ball. It was something special to see. If he turns out to be as good as advertised in 2 years we’ll see a lot of this clip as the moment he “announced” his presence in college football. And a damn good moment it was.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 25, 7:37

Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down and Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 shotgun vs Nickel IZ vs a base C4 Pretty vanilla here as anticipated but the line gets some push and Runbalaya manages to get 4 yards, Pollard appears to have only regressed in pass blocking as he had his man 4 yards downfield
2nd and 6 11 shotgun vs Nickel False start Pollard ...but mental lapses are still there
2nd and 11 11 shotgun vs Nickel False start Hearn 2 down, 3 to go
2nd and 16 11 shotgun vs Nickel ZR of the DE off RT vs a base C4 Initially looked the be shut down for a short gain and then all of the sudden, Runbalaya is off and running and oh man is he fast. That's elite burst right there. Tee Higgins with a good block on the CB to help spring him and Pollard and Crowder may not have touched anyone on the play but they were "sprinting" down the field once they saw that Etienne was off and running. Love that kind of effort late in a laugher

The rest of the game honestly doesn’t matter much. I will call attention to Clemson’s 4th and Goal stop of Louisville to officially seal the win. That Louisville couldn’t put the ball in against the 3rd string says a lot about the talent on defense. It may be raw and still need some seasoning, but things are going to continue to look good on defense with Brent Venables and company over there.