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Clemson vs Syracuse 1st Quarter Film Review

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NCAA Football: Clemson at Syracuse Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

I’ll leave the hand-wringing around the offense to everyone else; 600 yards for a “struggling” offense and another dominant defensive performance bodes better for this Clemson team than if the offense were near-perfect yet the defense showed it’s growing pains like most expected. It’s the third week of the season, the offense will be elite once it cleans up. Take solace in what Brent Venables has done yet again while bear in mind this is nowhere near the final product we’ll enjoy late in the season.

Clemson ball, 15:00, Clemson 25

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel Flanker tunnel screen to Ross gains 2. Ross had the edge but was tripped up.
(OFFSIDE) 2nd & 3 11 shotgun vs nickel RPO flare to Chalk batted down incomplete. Correct read, Syracuse is crashing the run after their performance last week. Chalk was open for the 1st.
3rd & 3 10 shotgun vs nickel Quick out to Ross underthrown in the dirt. Just a bad throw.

Syracuse ball, 13:49, Syracuse 25

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 10 shotgun vs dime IZ gains 5 Simmons flew in from middle safety.
2nd & 5 10 shotgun vs dime Deep go vs Tampa 2, Turner is there step for step. Perfect coverage even with his back turned. Got his head around just in time to not interfere and is credited with the PBU.
3rd & 5 Empty shotgun vs dime Skinny post vs cover 3 fire zone, pass dropped. Smith had the hook zone but ran too far toward the middle of the field, vacating the space.

Clemson ball, 13:13, Clemson 21

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel Power to Etienne gains 5 Syracuse is still crashing the run so hard, the late developing inside run was a good call with pressure flying from each edge so quickly.
PI, 1st &10 11 pistol vs nickel RPO dig to Higgins tipped at the line again. Cuse had 8 dudes crash the run action again, Lawrence is making the right reads. Just lacking execution.
FALSE START, 2nd & 15 11 shotgun vs nickel RPO out to Higgins gains 16. The SS is in the box all day and crashes every run action, easy yards.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel Quick out to Higgins vs soft cover 3, gain of 7. With Cuse playing so aggressively up front they have to play conservatively in the back, Clemson starting to make them pay.
2nd & 3 11 shotgun vs nickel RPO curl to Rodgers vs cover 4 shell, Rodgers breaks nickel and gains 16. Cuse busted cover 4 here with both linebackers crashing the run again. Nickel had to cover both Rodgers and Chalk underneath with safeties dropping deep.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel ZR keeper gains 9. Teams have come around to keying on Etienne above all else, Trevor is the counter to it both with his arm and now even his legs.
2nd & 1 11 shotgun vs nickel Fake flanker screen, seam to Rodgers wide open for the touchdown. I've wanted to see more shots downfield off fake screens for what feels like years and this is it chief. Rodgers sold the block action then slipped free down the seam.
Syracuse ball, 10:28, Syracuse 40

Syracuse ball

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs dime IZ gains 4. Simmons is there to fill again, so steady.
2nd & 8 11 shotgun vs dime IZ gains 1. Cuse has to try and run against dime but the light front is doing surprisingly well.
3rd & 8 11 shotgun vs dime Man cover 2, Devito is flushed and Simmons comes in on a green dog to make the sack. The first of many, and this one is coverage.

Clemson ball, 8:46, Clemson 22, 7-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 pistol vs nickel OZ to Etienne gains 3. Cervenka couldn't carry his block quite long enough and Etienne is brought down by the backside DT.
2nd & 7 11 shotgun vs nickel Deep fade to Ngata incomplete vs man cover 1 Good coverage, Ngata wasn't open.
3rd & 7 11 shotgun vs nickel Man cover 1 LB bullets, Lawrence is flushed and hits Higgins on a deep corner route, gain of 35. It looked like a prayer on the broadcast but from the fly cam you can see Higgins is actually open thanks to an 8 inch height advantage
1st & 10 11 pistol vs nickel IZ to Etienne gains 7. All 7 yards were Etienne; Cuse is still crashing the run and Etienne has to battle for everything.
2nd & 3 11 shotgun vs nickel Bucksweep to Etienne gains 6. Again, all Etienne kniving around penetration and shaking tackles for hard yards.
1st & 10 11 pistol vs nickel IZ to Etienne gains 9. Looked like a touchdown with Etienne getting through the line at full speed but he's tripped at full speed, hit hard in the head.
2nd & 1 11 shotgun vs 4-4 IZ to Dixon stood up, no gain. No push on Syracuse, woof.
3rd & 1 12 shotgun vs 4-4 ZR keeper, untouched. LOOK AT MY QB GETTING SASSY

Syracuse ball, 5:34, Syracuse 25, 14-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 10 shotgun vs dime Slant vs man cover 1 gains 9. Venables is starting to send pressure, that time both LBs came off the edge but Devito made the right read and executed.
2nd & 1 11 shotgun vs dime IZ zone vs DEEP SAFETY BULLET LMAO, Simmons makes the stuff in the backfield. When did Simmons get this good? Is there a position he can't play, a thing he can't do?
3rd & 4 10 shotgun vs dime 2 man rush fire zone (only Simmons and Smith) Devito eventually flushed and finds an opening in the flat, gain of 11. 9 man drop, Clemson got pressure with 3 Cuse linemen standing around. Unfortunately all the underneath coverage was in the interior, not the flats.
1st & 10 10 shotgun vs dime Dropback vs cover 3 fire zone, Skalski is free and makes first contact for the sack, loss of 8. With so much speed on the field Venables can disguise all his coverages and pressure from anywhere. He's finished probing and is attacking.
2nd & 18 10 shotgun vs dime Screen pass knocked down by Henry, incomplete Could've been a big play if not for Henry's hands.
3rd & 18 10 shotgun vs dime Dropback vs blended cover 4, Devito checks down for a gain of 8. I do not envy Devito, this new dime look is a disguise nightmare.

Clemson ball, 2:52, Clemson 3, 14-0 Clemson lead

Clemson ball, 2:52, Clemson 3, 14-0 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel IZ gains 1. Cuse is overwhelming the Clemson OL with numbers but it's nonetheless discouraging.
2nd & 9 11 shotgun vs nickel Quick out to Ross gains 5. Corner bailed so Ross had room but he flew in hard to prevent Ross doing anything after the catch.
3rd & 5 11 shotgun vs nickel Quick drag to Higgins gains 9. Good design, Chalk cleared out and Etienne in the backfield left Higgins with only a linebacker to beat underneath.
1st & 10 11 shotgun vs nickel IZ to Etienne gains 6. Etienne bouncing outside is always good.
2nd & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel RPO skinny post vs man cover 1 to Ngata incomplete Not on the same page, Ngata was not ready for the pass.
3rd & 4 11 shotgun vs nickel Man cover 1 LB bullets, Lawrence throws deep to Ladson, he's knocked down, no flag. Definitely pissed PI here.