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Clemson vs BC Film Review: 1st Quarter

BC provided the Clemson offense plenty of teachable moments, which is good because no other defense outside the Playoff will.

NCAA Football: Clemson at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

It would seem I’ve reached the point where I’m bored and dissatisfied with a 20 point win on the road against a top 20 team, but Boston College played very well defensively and gave Trevor Lawrence plenty of different looks in an effort to confuse and overwhelm him. Considering the pressure BC found with its ends, the varying coverages against their known tendencies, and their intent to make Lawrence keep the ball on RPOs and zone reads, he played a strong game despite finding himself in some teachable moments in the film room this week.

There’s only so much more we can say about this Clemson defense. BC’s gameplan went out the window when they lost Anthony Brown, sure, but a dominant performance against a back like AJ Dillon cannot be discounted for any reason. Christian Wilkins was wired for his homecoming and was his normal terrorizing self. Dexter Lawrence hasn’t had many chances to flash his individual prowess this year but his arm TFL against AJ Dillon on the final play of the opening quarter was jaw-dropping.

Tanner Muse continues his tear and in my opinion has played himself into All-ACC candidacy. Remember when safety was a weakness? It’s the least talented unit on the roster, sure, but that’s not a knock when every other unit has 4 and 5 stars galore. Nolan Turner and Denzel Johnson provide solid depth now, and Muse has been a demon against the run and excellent against the pass. He’s been in position and flies to the ball. We’re running out of question marks/presumed weaknesses folks. Speaking of which, NEVER PUNT.

Clemson ball, 14:53, Clemson 29

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Power option keeper vs Mike bullet, gain of 4. Cervenka pulled cleanly but found no one to block, the Will worked around him and made first contact.
2nd & 6 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Jet motion counter handoff to Etienne gains 7. Williams cleared out two edge defendershimself to provide a cutback.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Hitch and go to Rodgers against cover 4 gains 41. Beautiful fake pulled the corner down and the safety couldn't get outside quickly enough, easy deep fade for big yards.
1st & 10 10 pistol vs 4-3 Stretch handoff to Etienne vs Mike fire, cuts inside for 4. The nose split Falcinelli and Cervenka which forced Etienne inside, and the end blew inside Anchrum, otherwise Etienne only had the safety to beat in the second level. Poor line play by the right side. Etienne may have scored off the edge as intended (Hyatt and Higgins had the left edge locked down) or up the middle if the right side hadn't been so beaten.
2nd & 6 11 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR dive to Etienne gains 2. The Mike was unblocked and filled the gap with ease.
3rd & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel Inverted cover 2 boundary corner blitz comes free, Lawrence barely gets rid of it before the sack, incomplete, field goal good. This is a brilliant call by Jim Reid. Inverted coverages are confusing anyway but a corner blitz from the blind side could've been an easy strip sack. Clemson was fortunate to throw it away here.

Clemson ball, 9:45, Clemson 13, 3-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Deep curl to Renfrow complete in front of man cover 2, gain of 13. The Sam was bailing deep and Renfrow stopped on a dime.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR dive to Etienne gains 3. Right into the teeth of a Mike/FS bullet.
2nd & 7 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Fake flare screen, opposite tunnel screen to Renfrow, no gain. Simpson couldn't quite get to the safety in time to prevent the TFL.
3rd & 7 10 shotgun vs dime Dropback vs cover 4, Anchrum was completely worked by the DE, Lawrence is flushed and runs out of bounds for a couple. Anchrum held and still gave up pressure. The DE's are BC's strength but this was alarmingly poor.

And on the ensuing punt, naturally everything imploded. The rugby punt was actually not bad and could serve better than whatever Spiers normally does. It’s not Chase’s fault the ball hit him in punt coverage. The lack of awareness when the returner takes off, on the other hand...inexcusable.

Clemson ball, 6:16, Clemson 30, 7-3 BC lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Quick slant vs soft cover 4 gains 6. The high throw and the Mike shifted towards the strong side prevented more YAC; BC was bailing.
2nd & 4 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Jet pass to Rodgers gains 7. The SS set the edge and forced Rodgers inside toward the defensive help or else this could've been big; Higgins and Renfrow both had outside leverage.
1st & 10 10 shotgun vs nickel Lawrence pulls out of the inside zone and hits Renfrow on the bubble, gain of 2. I think Lawrence made the wrong read here; the Mike was drifting out of the box at the snap and Clemson had a hat on a hat for the handoff.
2nd & 8 11 shotgun vs nickel Deep fade to Higgins vs cover 3 Mike/FS bullet, 1 on 1 for Higgins and he MOSSES the CB, gain of 35. This is what Clemson lacked on the boundary a year ago. Monstrous catch and run.

Drive continued

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 RPO ZR/Bubble screen to Rodgers blown up but he spins off the hit, gets to the sideline for 15. Not the best execution since the field corner wasn't even blocked, but Rodgers is really developing into a complete receiver. He has the same underneath physicality Artavis Scott presented but with far more speed and obviously a superior downfield threat.
1st & 7 11 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR keeper run out of bounds for no gain. BC squeezed the dive and Lawrence had to keep, was quickly overwhelmed and just had to get out of bounds.
2nd & 7 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Checkdown to Etienne vs Sam/SS overload, gain of 3. Good checkdown, Etienne got some momentum going on his cut but BC flew at him from all angles.
3rd & 4 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Counter to Etienne gains 3. Falcinelli missed his block on the pull and redirected the entire play. Etienne is an elite runner and was able to squeeze between Williams and Falcinelli's seal attempt, but BC was flying to him by then.
4th & 2 FRIDGE PACKAGE INJECT IT INTO MY VEINS PA lob to Richard in the back of the endzone open over the linebacker, touchdown. Forget 11 personnel this should be the new base.

BC ball, 1:21, BC 10, 10-7 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 12 shotgun vs 4-3 Outside zone to Dillon, Mullen flies in from the edge and Lamar finishes up, no gain. Smart by Mullen to hit low but Dillon is elite and kept his balance. Lamar deftly avoided the scrum and worked into the proper hole.
2nd & 10 12 ace vs 4-3 Toss to Dillon gets to the edge, Wallace cuts him low in space just short of the first down. Great tackle by Wallace on a runner 50 pounds heavier. Looked like an easy first down once BC blew up the edge.
3rd & 1 13 ace vs 4-3 Dive to Dillon completely demolished by Lawrence, holy hell. Lawrence split the double and was in the backfield in a heartbeat then ARM TACKLED A 250 POUND RUNNING BACK FOR A LOSS.