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Clemson vs Miami Film Review: 2nd Half

Looking at how Clemson sealed the game

NCAA Football: Miami at Clemson Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Ball, 15:00, Miami 20, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 15 (offsides) 11 sniffer vs. 3-3-5 Outside zone handoff to Harris gains four yards Henry gets sealed off by the tackle, Spector and Kendrick drag Harris down at the sideline
2nd and 11 10 vs. 3-3-5 Five man rush, cover one, Skalski and Jones Jr. blitz, slant complete against Nolan Turner and tackled immediately Jones Jr. gets a free rush on a play so popular it is referred to by some coaches as "America's blitz" but King gets the pass out faster. Nice tackle by Turner in space
It’s also known to some as “the NCAA blitz” because every college runs it. Teams tend to run cover three or cover one behind it.
The hope for the defense is to turn this into a 3 on 2 between the tackle/guard and the E/M/S positions


Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
3rd and 5 01 te sniffer vs. 3-3-5 Clemson showing six man blitz here, King motions Harris in from the slot, Clemson backs out of the blitz, power read keeper tackled in the backfield. Spector and Jones Jr. had themselves a great first series

Miami put themselves behind the eight ball on the first play of the second half. They had already gone about ten yards by second down, but the offsides killed them. Baylon Spector and Mike Jones, Jr., have been flying around the field.

Clemson Ball, 13:20, Clemson 28, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 trips bunch vs. 4-2-5 Flare "screen" to Etienne that's really just having Lawrence throw power toss instead of pitch it, Galloway misses the block and Miami's Sam gets the tackle in the backfield Miami's "Striker" (a position created out of an excess of safeties in 2018, very similar to Clemson's Sam from what I can tell) Gilbert Frierson has been Miami's best linebacker by far.
2nd and 14 11 vs. 4-2-5 Max protect play-action pass to Rodgers broken up, a referee gets run over for good measure Both inside linebackers bite on the play fake but Frierson is there to make a play again.
3rd and 14 10 trips vs. dime Lots of post snap rotations by Miami, Lawrence forced to scramble after McFadden gets beat by Jaelen Phillips, ball pops out and the Hurricanes recover on the Clemson 40 Can't be getting into passing situations against Miami's defensive ends. Lawrence did himself no favors by carrying the ball one handed in a hurricane. If things had broken differently this could have let Miami back into the game

It’s common for quarterbacks to struggle with ball security compared to running backs because the way you hold a football to throw it is much easier to punch out than when you cradle it against your body. There’s a reason that “tuck it” is the first part of “tuck it and run.”

Miami Ball, Clemson 40, 12:34, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 01 sniffer vs. 3-3-5 Jet motion, pop pass to Jaylan Knighton, Turner beats a block on the edge and makes the tackle in the backfield Same exact play as the 3rd and five, give to the RB motioning from the slot goes nowhere.
2nd and 11 11 te sniffer vs. 3-3-5 Zanders rotates into the box, six man blitz, cover three fire zone, nothing doing for Miami on the comeback route against Booth Ball is well underthrown and Miami's receiver just can't find a way to come across Booth's body to either make the catch or draw a PI
3rd and 11 11 te sniffer vs. 3-3-5 Clemson LB's show pressure, Harris motions out of the backfield, QB power away from an overload blitz on the weak side, King finds a crease between Spector and Bresee and squirts out for 15 yards. Thank God Clemson was able to shut down the Miami running backs, D'Eriq King could get almost anything he wanted on the ground at times.
1st and 10 10 trips bunch vs. 3-3-5 Four man rush (Skalski delayed blitz), four verts, bunch formation runs switch, King launches a fade route to the backside receiver, Sheridan Jones comes back against the receiver for the INT in the end zone. Miami is using the trips bunch to get Dee Wiggins matched up on Jones, who is three inches shorter than him.

It’s pretty common for quarters teams to leave their corner in man coverage to the backside of the formation against trips, and Jones makes a fantastic play. This interception erases what is essentially a red zone possession in an 11 point game. You can see why King liked the matchup, but you’d rather miss long than short here for exactly this reason.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 20, 11:25, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2-5 Motion, Rodgers in to crack block, buck sweep gets to the edge, good tackle in space by Miami's corner Always nice to see the old Malzahn wing-t influence show up. Didn't happen here but Etienne one on one with a corner is usually a win for the offense.
2nd and 7 11 vs. 4-2-5 Cover 4, 5 man protection, Lawrence steps up and scrambles, Miami's linebackers have their attention turned to underneath receivers, Lawrence able to slide after running well past the first down marker. Both Hurricanes safeties are reading the slot receivers, the linebackers are focused on underneath routes and once Lawrence escapes the defensive line he's untouched for ten yards.
1st and 10 11 trips to te side vs. 4-2-5 Miami's strongside linebacker bites on an inside zone RPO, quick out to Rodgers open but incomplete Bubba Bolden led the Hurricanes with ten tackles and he makes the play here with an instant open field hit.
2nd and 10 10 vs. 4-2-5 Fake screen to Ladson, Lawrence comes back to try to throw to Etienne, UM's ends are waiting on him, pass incomplete. Totally understand going back to what's been working, especially when it's getting the ball to #9, but the Hurricanes have caught onto this play.
3rd and 10 10 vs. 4-2-5 3 man rush, two Miami defenders fake blitz then trail Etienne, tight coverage outside, comeback to Rodgers complete short of the first down. Not totally sure what the thought process is on throwing six yards when you need ten.

Miami Ball, Miami 20, 9:33, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and ??? 2nd and ??? I got nothing I have no idea why neither of these plays is in the film I have, my apologies.
3rd ans 12th. 11 trips away from te vs. 3-2-6 Six man pressure, cover three, Clemson forces King to throw under pressure, complete but tackled short of the chains. Turner can cover a lot of ground in underneath zone coverage.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 28, 8:08, 21-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 Pistol unbalanced 12 formation vs. 4-2-5 UM's strong safety walks into the box, counter weakside, great block by Allen Davis (#84) in the hole and Etienne is off to the races Running towards the backside of an unbalanced formation left Etienne with only the corner to beat, once he clears #8 there's no hope of a defender tracking him down. Well executed play, well schemed play, and the Tigers have a touchdown.

Miami Ball, Miami 25, 7:56, 28-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2-5 Cover 0 linebacker bullets, quick out underneath broken up by Jaylyn Phillips Phillips was second on the team in tackles Saturday, nearly matching his previous career total. He's someone to keep an eye on going forward.
2nd and 10 10 vs. 3-2-6 Four man rush, cover four, quick out underneath complete but tackled after a short completion. Brevin Jordan is on the sideline, this isn't the same UM offense without him and he isn't going to return. Textbook quarters coverage here, let them throw the quick out then rally to the ball.
3rd and 6 10 vs. 3-2-6 3 man rush, invert cover two, Jones Jr. as the spy, steps up and forces King to throw, pass to the crossing TE tackled short of a first down Skalski is trying to get deep to keep the offense from being able to run a post or a dig behind him, which opens up the crossing route underneath. Good job rallying to the ball and forcing fourth down.
4th and 1 3-3-5 vs 12 trips Inside zone dive met immediately in the backfield by Tyler Davis and Skalski for a TFL Clemson's defensive line against Miami's offensive line was a clear mismatch and Clemson was able to take advantage here.

I really like OC Rhett Lashlee’s scheme, but we’ve seen what happens to “power spread” teams when they can’t run between the tackles. The Hurricanes do not have the offensive line talent to pass forty times a game without some sort of run action helping them, and can’t run well enough to stay out of passing situations.

An inherent problem with schemes based around picking at how the defense react to your base plays (between the tackle runs here) is that if the defense can shut them down they can take quite a bit of your offense off the table. Tempo isn’t going to save you if you’re running three plays and giving the ball back either.

Clemson Ball, Miami 21, 6:56, 28-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 10 (stacked receivers) vs. 4-2-5 PA to Dixon, jailbreak screen to the boundary for Ladson, tackled from behind by the defensive tackle. First, defensive line pursuit can make or break plays on the perimeter, there was no one else to make this tackle. Second, gotta hand it to the Hurricanes. It's pretty fun that their starting defensive lines numbers are 15, 96, 1, and 2. More big men in single digit jerseys please, college defenses.
2nd and 9 11 (DJ at QB) vs. 4-2-5 Miami has the Sam walked into the box, direct snap to Uiagalelei, QB counter gains three yards. We've got Polynesian Tim Tebow (look up how he was used as a freshman) to run our wildcat package in case the Clemson offense didn't look scary enough.
3rd and 6 11 vs. 4-2-5 Six man rush, cover zero, good blitz pickup by Dixon, post route to Powell incomplete I have no idea why Rodgers is run (?) blocking on this play. I can't even say he set a pick, there's no one in the area for Lawrence to throw the ball to if Amari hits the linebacker.

Field goal blocked by Bubba Bolden, his second of the game. The Hurricanes got two defenders matched up on one blocker and Bolden explodes through the line for the ball.

On the plus side, the rest of the line held their blocks. On the downside that young man got left in a bad situation and then got annihilated.

Miami Ball, Miami 20, 5:20, 28-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 vs. 3-3-5 Cover four, deep route down the seam draws a PI on Nolan Turner who is essentially in man coverage with the slot receiver Turner couldn't flip his hips to keep up with the slot receiver once he broke outside, good job giving up 15 yards on a PI instead of a completion. Not ideal but I'll live with it.
1st and 10 11 vs. 3-3-5 Six man rush, cover 0, Jones Jr. gets through and Jones steps up once King scrambles out of the pocket, ball thrown out of bounds. It's interesting to see Venables evolving into running more and more of an odd front. He'd already been using his defensive ends a lot like linebackers while running a nominal 4-2-5.
2nd and 10 20 vs. 3-3-5 Four man rush, cover three, Kendrick is left in essentially man coverage on a split tight end and makes a fantastic play to jam him, flip his hips and intercept an underthrown pass Five star athlete making five star plays. This is the second time tonight King has had an interception on an underthrown pass.

Clemson’s defense has enveloped Miami’s receivers, without the threat of run action (and Brevin Jordan banged up) the Hurricanes can’t get open. The Hurricanes’ running backs finished the game with eleven carries for five yards. King has had to do everything and can’t afford to make a mistake. It’s not going well.

Clemson Ball, Clemson 40, 5:03, 28-10 Clemson lead

Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
Down & Distance Formation Play Analysis
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2-5 Counter handoff, Dixon is able to shake some detritrus at the line of scrimmage and scamper forward for eight yards. Miami has their "striker" in the box full time now, leaving a safety and corner matched up one on one with both receivers on the perimeter. If Dixon had beaten the deep safety he could have had a touchdown.
2nd and 1 11 vs. 4-2-5 Inside zone read, Dixon cuts back, Lawrence shoulder checks the read key and takes him out of the play It's subtle, but at the college level QB's have taken to using their back or shoulder to "chip" the defensive end they're reading. Lawrence, being himself, is a little more physical than he needs to be.
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2-5 Inside zone play-action, all Miami linebackers bite, throw to Spector open but incomplete Miami has sold out against the run, knowing that they need to get the ball back quickly if they want to have a chance to get back into this game. Play-action and screen routes, maybe a screen and go, should be there all day. Penalty on the play, targeting.
1st and 10 11 vs. 4-2-5 Power toss to Etienne, good for a gain of nine With Miami pinching their Sam linebacker down, the slot has a good angle to seal him outside. Good perimeter blocking and McFadden manhandling someone opens a hole.
2nd and 11 11 vs. 4-2-5 Inside zone read, Etienne bursts through the line of scrimmage, hurdles a defender and is finally dragged down near the goal line. One of the dangers of selling out to tackle a running back in or around the line of scrimmage is if said back finds a crease, there's not a ton of defenders between him and the end zone.
1st and Goal 11 vs. 4-2-5 Inside zone read tackled in the backfield Both guards got stood up, without any push there's nowhere for Etienne to go.
2nd and Goal 12 unbalanced vs. Goal line Inside zone read, Lawrence keeps and scampers around two tight ends for the touchdown. This formation puts so much stress on one side of the defense, forcing them to account for two tight end runs as well as trips passes to the field side of the formation. Your QB doesn't actually have to keep the ball that often to make the zone read work either, Clemson tends to break QB runs out for third down or goal line situations.

I’m going to end the film review here because I’m a little behind schedule, and the Tigers just took a 25-point lead. Some key takeaways I had: One, I’m impressed with how the younger members of the secondary are coming along. Two, Etienne is the engine that makes this offense go. Be it in the running or the passing game, the attention he demands sets the table for everything else we run. Spector and Jones, Jr., are fast and instinctive. I’m higher on our linebackers in pass coverage than I’ve been in a while. This was one of the more creative offensive game plans we’ve seen in some time. It’ll be worth monitoring whether some plays/packages, such as DJ Uiagalelei’s QB package, are going to be featured against the Georgia Techs of the world or if they’re kept on ice for big games.