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Clemson vs Georgia Southern 4th Quarter Film Review

Georgia Southern v Clemson Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

4th quarter reviews this season may not always prove necessary depending on when Clemson reaches garbage time, but disappointingly it did not arrive until past midway through the 4th against Georgia Southern. Bill Connelly’s S&P metric considers garbage time anything beyond a 16 point game in the 4th quarter, but for the sake of these reviews I consider garbage time beginning when the walk-ons and reserves enter the game. As such, there will presumably (hopefully) be plenty of weeks with minimal or even no 4th quarter film review.

Sadly, this was not one of them. Clemson was sloppy in the 1st quarter before getting it together in the 2nd, only to falter through the 3rd quarter and beginning of the 4th. Georgia Southern was finally able to capitalize on Clemson’s mishaps with a trick play following a turnover, and while it can’t be overlooked Clemson has been overwhelmingly vanilla and rotated an unbelievable amount of players to build depth, the Tigers have not looked crisp in 2018 and their drop in the rankings is more than justified. In fact I’d have Oklahoma and Ohio State ahead of Clemson right now, not just Alabama and UGA. The hype around the defensive line was the basis for the #2 ranking, but I’d argue every other position group (emphasis on group) has had shaky or even alarming moments.

On the quarter’s opening snap, Nyles Pinckney forced and recovered a fumble on a well-played zone read dive to Southern’s defensive tackle/running back:

Clemson ball, 14:51, Southern 49, 24-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 pistol vs 3-4 Deep go route to Higgins vs cover 4 incomplete. Both players were making contact but the corner never looked for the ball, likelyy should've been interference.
2nd & 10 11 shotgun vs 3-4 Quick hitch to Richard vs cover 4 tipped and intercepted at the line, turnover. Unfortunate first career interception for Lawrence. Not his fault, the linebacker blitz was unblocked off the edge and he made an athletic play.

Southern ball, 14:38, Clemson 46, 24-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 30 wishbone vs 4-3 WR pass to the upback gets behind Wallace, Muse recognized it from the backside but wasn't deep enough to recover, gain of 40. Looks like cover 3 with a Will blitz to me, blown by Wallace. He was supposed to have deep coverage but flew to the alley on what he first thought was a screen. Muse, to his credit since he was incorrectly blamed by many live, was the first to recognize the bust left his hook zone to try and save Wallace.
1st & 6 21 shotgun vs 4-3 TO keeper untoched for the score. Lamar and Joseph were sucked inside, Muse took the pitch man and nobody was there to account for the QB. Joseph had the QB but hesitated on the read mesh and the QB made him pay.

Clemson ball, 13:54, Clemson 25, 24-7 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 3-4 Power handoff to Etienne stuffed for a loss of 2. Mike bullet got past Pollard, Etienne didn't have a chance.
2nd & 12 10 shotgun vs 3-4 Pocket collapses vs cover 4, Lawrence steps up and scrambles for 3. A scary collision between two linebackers but Lawrence bounced right up...
3rd & 9 11 shotgun vs 3-4 Dropback vs cover 4, Lawrence zips a post to Renfrow between deep linebackers zones but it's just out of reach, PUNT. I know it was off by a foot but this was an NFL throw, albeit a risky one against better competition.

Southern ball, 12:33, Southern 42, 24-7 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 20 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR dive gains 3. Joseph was the read and sat on the QB this time, Lamar filled to make the stop.
2nd & 7 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Inverted veer keeper gains 5. The DL was washed out but Lamar and Muse each filled the gaps on either side of the lead block
3rd & 2 21 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR TO keeper into a double CB blitz gains 3. Terrell took away the pitch on his blitz but the QB cut inside Joseph and got the yardage before Lamar arrived from inside.
1st & 10 10 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR keeper swarmed for no gain. Pinckney shed his block immediately to take away the dive and the rest of the DL was on the QB.
2nd & 10 21 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR TO keeper gains 2. This time Joseph came out of his blitz and took the QB on by himself, working around a lead block and wrapping up, good redemption play after a sloppy start to his 4th quarter.
3rd & 8 12 shotgun vs 4-3 Dropback vs LB bullets in front of cover 3, slant complete for 9 against soft/non-existent underneath coverage. I like the play call despite the conversion, pressuring an offense unused to throwing into pressure is a low percentage play for Southern but they hit it this time in front of Wallace. It's the downside to soft cover 3 with only 2 underneath defenders, the rush has to get home.
1st & 10 21 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR TO dive gains 3. Pinckney was doubled and Lamar ran himself to the wrong side of the play, fortunate the runner tripped or else he may have scored.
False start, 2nd & 12 21 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR TO dive stuffed for a loss of 4. The starters are back in and make themselves known immediately. Wilkins swam past the guard and met Ferrell at the runner, no chance.
3rd & 16 10 shotgun vs 4-3 Dropback vs man cover 1 overload blitz, Bryant is unblocked and makes the sack, boom. The Southern right tackle saw inside pressure and had to pinch in to remove the supposedly more immediate threat. Trouble is the was no protection to help against Bryant.

Ferrell follows up with a sack of his own on 4th & 22, and two plays later Etienne closes the door with his 40 yard burst on an inside zone. With jet motion! Finally reached garbage time.