You probably don’t even want to read this article. The Clemson game was one of the worst displays of football we’ve seen under Paul Johnson, and there weren’t a ton of positives to take away from this game. I wasn’t able to get past the 3rd quarter due to time constraints on this one, so we’ll focus on the game up to that point. Trust me, it’s more than enough.
Q1 12:10 3rd and 3 - I’ve complained about this continuously for as long Ted Roof has been the DC here, but yet again we see a corner set up past the first down marker and proceed to backpedal at the snap. Easy conversion. Being cautious is one thing, but this is being soft.
Q1 1:05 1st and 10 - Rocket toss, and an interesting one from an Xs and Os standpoint. The offense is in overload to the play side, and Clemson shades a DE/OLB to the outside of the formation. This was one play in particular where I found CPJ’s play calling to be confusing. He asks Andrew Marshall to reach block the edge defender, and Marshall is unable to do it. This was just too difficult a block to ask Marshall to make against a player of this skill level. I don’t get the coaching decision on this one.
The Very Bad
Q1 5:56 3rd and 10 - The gif really says it all here. Watch Will Bryan in particular.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING
Q3 12:51 2nd and 3 - Will Bryan shoots forward! Past multiple defenders, including the one who made the play. This gained a first down, but had a real chance to go for 10 yards or more.
Ok That Wasn’t So Bad
Q2 13:12 3rd and 8 - Lamont Simmons breaks up a long pass while in trail technique. Simmons uses his body in coverage, using his length (6’2”) to give the receiver no chance. This tantalizing skill set has made me interested in seeing Simmons on the field since he first transferred to Georgia Tech. If you are going to run a zone scheme, big corners are important. Simmons didn’t have a perfect game by any means, but he’s a high-upside athlete that should be given more playing time.
Little Big Player of the Game - DE Rod Rook-Chungong
There weren’t many great individual performances in this game outside of Dedrick Mills, so Rod Rook-Chungong gets the nod here for being a player that has been underappreciated the past couple of years. RRC is regularly lambasted by this fan base for his lack of pass rush potential, and those criticisms are certainly warranted. However, he has been the best edge-setter on this team for the past couple of years. He stepped up big in the Florida State game last year, and was a major factor in neutralizing Dalvin Cook. RRC stepped up in the run game again, and was regularly in the face of Wayne Gallman. He deserves to be recognized.
- The Guard Position is a big liability right now. It’s not 1 guy, but everyone in this group has had a serious limitation that has hindered the team. This position needs to get cleaned up.
- This is the first game where I felt Mills looked natural and smooth running the ball. The talent was evident before, but he’s building confidence and skill with each passing day. He’s going to be a fun one.
- The defense played well, but they were lucky that Clemson kept going to the deep ball, when Watson clearly wasn’t on his game in that department. The underneath stuff was still largely undefended.
- Clemson’s DL talent is ridiculous. That level of size and speed is rare, yet somehow Clemson has stockpiled 3-4 of them. We won’t see anything like that again this year.