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Clemson vs Furman Film Review: 1st Quarter

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Furman v Clemson Photo by Mike Comer/Getty Images

A slow start Saturday against Furman did not look as bad upon closer review. The first quarter belonged to Kelly Bryant and, unfortunately, he did little to impress early; none of his throws were on target save for the touchdown to Rodgers, but the go route was already the only deep ball he threw with any sort of consistency. It is of course worth mentioning Bryant was far better in the 3rd quarter and did enough to keep rational minds from claiming they’ve seen enough to name Trevor Lawrence the full time starter.

Clemson ball, 15:00, Clemson 25

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 PA rollout vs cover 3, deep out intended for Renfrow incomplete. Horribly underthrown, would've been an easy interception if the linebacker weren't chasing Renfrow from behind. Shaky.
2nd & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR mesh is fumbled, recovered by Bryant who runs for 3. Etienne ran through the ball when Bryant decided pre-snap to get the ball out to Renfrow quickly.
3rd & 7 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Comeback route to Higgins vs cover 4 complete for 8 yards. Correct read and throw, but again a shaky pass. Little velocity or accuracy, Higgins bailed Bryant out with a diving catch.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel Power option pitch to Etienne gains 9. Etienne on the edge is so much fun, he relishes bowling into DBs. Pollard at full steam on his pull was great too, serious athletic upgrade over Crowder.
2nd & 1 11 shotgun vs nickel Go route to Higgins vs cover 4, overthrown incomplete. Again I'm disappointed in the throw. With no safety help (literally no deep safety in cover 4) and Higgins working inside the DB, Bryant needs to get this over the middle to allow Higgins easy separation. Instead a few yards overthrown.
3rd & 1 11 shotgun vs 4-3 IZ to Etienne, WLB fire comes free and Etienne has to fight for no gain. Rodgers' jet motion, in theory, "blocks" the linebacker but Furman wasn't buying the motion, flew straight to Etienne.
4th & 1 12 shotgun vs 4-3 IZ to Etienne, bounces outside and gains 4. Cannon Smith sealed 2 Furman defenders and cleared a lane, great in-line blocking by a tight end.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel Jet sweep pop pass to Rodgers gains 6. Etienne with a pancacke on the edge, that was fun.
2nd & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel Bubble screen to Renfrow blown up by Trapp, no gain. Renfrow had to wait for the ball for an eternity and Trapp but Rodgers on his rear, ouch.
3rd & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel Drag route to Powell underneath cover 3 incomplete. Yet to see a competent throw from Bryant, once again underthrown.
4th & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel Deep fade to Powell vs man cover 1 LBs fire, incomplete. Perfect coverage by Furman, nothing to be done for it.

Furman ball, 11:36, Furman 39

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 31 wishbone vs 4-3 TO dive gains 1. Furman tried to double team Wilkins, Bryant flowed in for the stop.
2nd & 14 30 wishbone vs 4-3 (false start) TO dive completely stoned by Lawrence, yes please. Lawrence at 0 tech isn't fair. He shoved 2 linemen backward and bear hugged the fullback for a loss.
3rd & 15 21 shotgun vs 4-3 TO dive gains 1. Wilkins in the backfield immediately for an easy stop.

Clemson ball, 9:09, Clemson 43

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Bubble screen to Thompson gains 4. Great perimeter blocking from Higgins.
2nd & 6 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Quick out to Higgins gains 8. Corner bailing into his deep third left an opening before the linebacker could jump into the flat.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 ZR keeper, Bryant flips the ball out to Rodgers at the last minute, gain of 4. Thompson didn't block for Rodgers because he was running inside to block for Bryant.
2nd & 6 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Go route to Rodgers vs cover 4, quick pump pulls the safety in and Rodgers beats the corner in single coverage, touchdown. Here's the risk in tight cover 4 when there are mismatches out wide, good throw from Bryant but it's better to see him trust his receivers to make plays on the ball.
I’d be pretty unhappy with my safety here...

Furman ball, 7:50, Furman 25, 7-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 31 wishbone vs 4-3 Snap fumbled but recovered for a loss of 3. I'd be scared too.
2nd & 13 30 wishbone vs 4-3 PA rollout, corner route overthrown incomplete. Tight cover 4 completely bracketed the route.
3rd & 13 11 shotgun vs 4-3 QB draw vs doube LB bullets, completely overrun the draw and there's a big lane, gain of 20. Joseph was in position but whiffed an arm tackle. Furman expected the blitz and beat it with a draw.
1st & 10 31 wishbone vs 4-3 Fake option pass, corner route vs Muse in cover 4 underthrown, drew PI. Muse panicked a bit with the ball in the air and needed to turn around, but the underthrow made it a tough adjustment.
1st & 10 21 shotgun vs 4-3 TO keeper hit for a loss by Mullen. It's fun when a corner blitz is a run blitz.
2nd & 12 11 shotgun vs 4-3 QB draw vs Sam fire, Ferrell from the backside and Simmons from the playside each overrun, Wallace sets the edge and flips the QB, gain of 2. That's twice now we've seen the D run too far upfield in the rush. I'd rather Furman provide these teachable moments than A&M
3rd & 10 10 shotgun vs 4-3 The snap flies over the QBs head and it's a loss of about 30. That'll help the run defense stat, punt.

Clemson ball, 3:59, Furman 20, 7-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Power draw to Choice stopped for no gain. Pollard and Anchrum got a push 5 yards downfield but Smith whiffed on his arc block, Simpson couldn't hold his.
2nd & 10 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Bryant wants a quick fade to Powell vs cover 2 but it's covered, tucks and gains 2. Downfield routes were bracketed and there was nothing underneath, smart tuck.
3rd & 8 11 shotgun vs 4-3 Comeback to Chase is completely covered and should've been picked. Not sure I want Bryant throwing into 8 man zones in the red zone. Field goal good.

Furman ball, 2:45, Furman 25, 10-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 30 wishbone vs 4-3 TO dive gains 2. Davis filled and stuffed beautifully.
2nd & 8 30 wishbone vs 4-3 Rocket sweep to the strong side gains 6 Simmons flew the alley to set the edge but allowed the cut back; Wallace cleaned up.
3rd & 2 30 wishbone vs 4-3 Lead option keeper slips past Joseph and Davis for 3, 1st down. Joseph and Davis each filled the same lane and when Davis' arm tackle failed he knocked down Joseph.
1st & 10 21 I form vs 4-3 TO dive gains 1. Albert Huggins sidestepped the center and met the fullback in the hole for a massive collision, swallowed the runner. QB had to have made the wrong read and left his fullback out to dry.
2nd & 10 31 wishbone vs 4-3 PA wheel route slips behind cover 2 zone, gain of 20. Terrell had the flat and took the rocket motion, Simmons had a hook zone but needed to be farther toward the flat; was too close to Joseph's middle hook zone. Wallace cleaned up from his deep half.

End of quarter.