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Louisville Game 1st Quarter Film Review

Sloppy Offense Alert!

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

Alex Craft had his real job take him away from film review this week, so you will get the poor man’s Craft this week. Apparently quarter 1 was all the AP voters bothered to pay attention to, so the Tigers dropped yet another spot. The offense, particularly Trevor Lawrence, had plenty of issues which marred an otherwise good start from Travis Etienne. It was a crazy first quarter with 4 combined turnovers and nearly another in the endzone. Let’s take a look at what happened.


Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 -25 12 personnel: pistol vs. 4-3 outside zone stuffed for -1 Simmons sets the edge, Foster turns him into the inside pursuit
2nd and 11 -26 11 p offset pistol vs. 4-3 p/a boot slot drag vs. double bullets complete to Atwell for 6 good recovery by Smith and Muse to keep this to a medium gain
3rd and 6 -29 11 p offset pistol vs. Dime (Simmons at Mike) 3 man rush with Simmons spying; corner route complete to Fitzpatrick in front of cover 2 for the first down Muse gets too deep in his drop with no verticle threat on his hash, big window behind Terrell
1st and 10 -43 12 p pistol vs. 4-3 Zone read gets 5 Rudolph got washed out by the RT giving Hawkins room
2nd and 5 -48 11 p pistol vs. Nickel Out to Dawkins vs. C1 Kendrick was playing soft C1 and was too far off to stop the timing route
1st and 10 +46 11 p motion into offset pistol vs. 4-3 Stretch for Hawkins gets 5 Tigers shifted into a bear front with Henry moving inside and Smith moving up to end, but massive Becton too much for Chad on the edge allowing Hawkins to get the corner before Skalski can knock him out of bounds.
2nd and 5 +41 12 p offset pistol vs. 4-3 p/a slot post vs. corner blitz in front of C1 with C. Smith spying; slight overthrow through Atwell's hands and picked by Wallace for a touchback Henry just misses the sack as Cunningham steps up, but moving him perhaps helped cause the slight overthrow. Clemson had both Wallace and Simmons there but Atwell did have inside position with a half step on Simmons (playing man on the slot!) A little fortunate Atwell is small and couldn't haul it in, but Wallace in the right place and the right time to kill a solid opening drive for the Cardinals.
Louisville drive 1 2019


Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 -20 11 p vs. 3-4 Inside zone to Etienne gets 48 Carman and Simpson dominate at the point of attack, Etienne suprisingly doesn't take it all the way
1st and 10 +32 11 p vs. nickel bucksweep to Dixon gains 7 Carman and Simpson pull around and clear the way. Dixon only had the safety to beat or it would have been a TD.
2nd and 3 +25 10 p motions to empty vs. 4-3 Cards drop 7 in zone, Lawrence steps up and misses Chalk over the middle, nearly picked off the deflection First poor play by Trevor. He had Dixon wide open initially, then Chalk but didn't set to throw when he could have and missed him. Could have easily run for the first down too.
3rd and 3 +25 11 p vs. nickel Zone read gets 5 Cervenka false starts. A disturbing trend developing with the otherwise very good OL
3rd and 8 +33 10 p vs. dime Louisville blitzes the Will/Nickel, looks like a blended coverage, Trevor steps up and takes a sack Credit Louisville for a coverage that ate up the routes. Trevor's might have had Amari short of the sticks to the field but never looked that way. Potter comes out and drills a 51 yarder!
Clemson drive 1 Louisville 19

Not sure why Elliot went away from the run after Dixon’s carry. The OL was blowing the Cardinals off the ball and we tried to pass anyway. Probably scripted but sometimes you have to go off script when you see you are killing somebody IMHO. Good to see Potter step up after last week.


Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
3-0 Clemson: 1st and 10 -25 12 personnel: offset pistol vs. 4-3 stretch for Hall gets 7 vs. Mike fire Once again, the Tigers get washed and can't set the edge. Skalski's blitz kept him from scraping outside. Wallace had to track over for the stop.
2nd and 3 -32 11 p motions to offset pistol vs. 4-3 RPO swing to Atwell gets 9 Dabo was mad here but the throw was behind the LOS so the downfield blocking is legal.
1st and 10 -41 12 pistol vs. 4-3 Stretch for Hawkins stoned for a loss of 2 Tyler Davis has had enough of this play. Blows up the LG to help set the edge and allow Pinckney to clean up.
2nd and 12 -39 11 p pistol vs. 4-3 p/a fade vs. Cover 2 Will Fire incomplete for Fitzpatrick Would have taken a perfect throw between Kendrick and Muse, who got over in a major hurry.
3rd and 12 -39 11 p pistol vs. Nickel Offsides on Foster Dabo was hot about this but the replay looks like this was a legit call.
3rd and 7 -44 10 p vs. Dime (Simmons at Mike/ Skalski at Will) Slant incomplete to Fitzpatrick vs. double bullets Skalski comes clean forcing a quick and inaccurate throw. Louisville continues the Ray Guy tradition vs. Clemson and blasts a punt that Kendrick muffs inside the 5 trying to do way too much. Ngata saves the day by recovering it in the endzone. Whew!
Louisville drive 2 19


Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
3-0 Clemson; 1st and 10 -20 12 p vs. nickel Zone read to Etienne gets 9 I think Travis missed the cutback here but he spun out of a tackle and stiff armed his way to 9 anyway.
2nd and 1 -29 12 p ACE vs. nickel p/a out to Ross gains 7 vs. soft cover 1 Easy pitch and catch, but the Cards are in nickel against our 12 and can't sub if we don't. Not sure why we didn't keep running it here.
1st and 10 -36 11 p vs. 4-2-5 p/a fade to Ross vs. a delay SAM fire incomplete 50/50 Clemson likes to get with the 9 man but the ball was a little behind considering where the corner was.
2nd and 10 -36 11 p vs. 3-4 Zone read keeper gets 19 for Lawrence Perfect read of the unblocked blitzer by TL, who had a huge hole where the blitzer vacated. This kind of running makes you wonder why we bothered to throw at all in the first quarter.
1st and 10 +45 11 p vs. nickel Swing to Etienne gains 3 Louisville was showing blitz but dropped out of it, otherwise this was a perfect call and would have been much bigger.
2nd and 7 +42 11 p vs. 4-3 RPO give to Etienne gets 20 Clemson's left side OL can murder people in the run game. Pollard also gets a great block leaving the safeties as the last hope to stop a TD.
1st and 10 +22 11 p vs. 4-3 Zone read to Dixon gets 2 Louisville finally brings an 8th defender into the box on this one and outnumber the playside.
2nd and 8 +20 11 p vs. 4-3 Tunnel screen to Ross loses 2 Not a bad call but Ross didn't cut it up where the blocks were and ran himself right into the pursuit. Should have had a good gain but instead loses 2.
3rd and 10 +22 11 p vs. Dime slot post to Rodgers, overthrown and picked This wasn't as bad a read as I first thought, as Rodgers had a big window in front of the safeties, but he took his route too far upfield and Trevor made a terrible throw to boot. If Amari sits down in the zone it is an easy first down inside the 10.
Clemson drive 2 Louisville 19

Poor execution doomed another promising drive after it approached the red zone.

UL drive 3 2019

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
3-0 Clemson: 1st and 10 -12 12 p pistol vs. 4-3 inside zone to Hall gets 7. Jet sweep fake holds Simmons just long enough to get Hall through.
2nd and 3 -19 12 p offset pistol vs. 4-3 Zone read keep for Cunningham thrown for a 6 yard loss by Simmons No doubt Cunningham thought he could outrun Simmons to the edge. He found out that Simmons is not from this earth.
3rd and 9 -13 10 p shotgun vs. nickel Delay of game Card staff late with getting the check in
3rd and 14 -8 10 p shotgun vs. dime, Wallace at SAM, Simmons in the deep middle Deep fade to Fitzpatrick complete vs. cover 2; gain of 38 Tigers rush 3 and drop 8, but Turner cheated inside and left Terrell hanging on the sideline. 3 man rush gave this play time to develop. Really poor job by the usually reliable Turner. Nice play by Fitzpatrick because the throw wasn't great and Terrell got there to contest.
1st and 10 -46 12 p pistol vs. 4-3 Inside zone to Hall gets 1 DL does a nice job stoning the OL, Jordan Williams cleans it up.
2nd and 9 -47 12 p pistol vs. 4-3 p/a vs. double bullets, Foster hits Cunningham forcing a fumble that Nyles Pinckney snatches out of the air and returns to the 41. How outside media and such can watch this defense and continue to undervalue Clemson is beyond me. First of several huge plays from Foster in this game.
Louisville drive 3 19

CU drive 3 vs. UL 2019

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
3-0 Clemson; 1st and 10 +40 12 p vs. 4-3 Zone read to Etienne gets 1 Carman got beat inside on the backside of the play, and Etienne had to fight just to avoid a TFL
2nd and 9 +39 11 p vs. 3-3-5 Deep post to Higgins intercepted in the end zone Higgins got taken out which probably should have been a flag. Nevertheless, Lawrence was too greedy vs. an 8 man drop and 3 deep zone. Checkdown to Etienne would have likely gotten the first down with ease. End of quarter and gasoline thrown on the hater twitter fire.

Clemson largely dominated this first quarter but the two interceptions in the end zone and the poor throw to Chalk on the first drive led to just 3 points. Louisville made a couple of plays with Fitzpatrick on the outside against some poorly executed cover 2 and missed a chance with Atwell, but they can’t really get their run game going which spells trouble for them as we will see going forward. Once again Brent Venables’ unit answers the bell and allows the offense to get it together without falling behind. That’s a good offense that sliced up Notre Dame in the first half of their game to start the season, so what the Tiger defense did Saturday is notable.