Friday Email Bag

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Friday Email Bag

Each Friday I publish your comments and answer your questions. To submit a comment or questions please email me at


I noticed something that Clemson defense was doing against NC State that bothered me. If State used two wideouts, Clemson would put two defensive backs on those two wideouts and then move the other two defensive backs to the line of scrimmage. So, you have a seven-man line with two linebackers. Now, if the play is a pass, they have in essence a blitz on. However, if the play is a run, that is another story. Numerous times State ran the ball from this format and made major yardage. The entire Clemson defense is within three yards of the line of scrimmage. If the ball carrier gets through the line and one of the two linebackers misses, which did happen, there is absolutely nobody there to make the tackle. Clemson was burned numerous times because there was no one home to make the tackle. They were also burned when Ben Boulware was late picking up the back coming out of the backfield and missed the tackle on the sideline. Once Boulware missed the tackle, the State back was home free. Now I have never coached a down in my life. However, common sense tells me you always need a safety as a last line of defense. What are your thoughts on this one-shot hit or miss defensive style. I would rather miss the chance of a sack than to give up and easy touchdown because somebody missed a tackle or was out of position.



We have seen that often look from Venables. He is aggressive. He likes to use his secondary in run support and pressure packages. Jayron Kearse and TJ Green are big safeties and play well in this look, but it does give the offense a better shot at a big play. Later in the game you saw Clemson go to more of a traditional look and less aggressive package. This helped limit the big play. Boulware is a run stopper. He will have a hard time in man coverage against a fast back. Its just not his strong point. Its hard to ask him to keep up with Samuels. Clemson did adjust later and took the safeties off of the line and more of a traditional look. Everyone likes stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback, but it comes with a risk.


After reading your "NC State Review" I believe all we can hope is that the Tigers learn from the experience and that opponents do not turn the game into a blueprint for winning.

Kindest Regards,



Believe me, the staff had their attention on Monday. Blueprints are nice, but players win games. FSU has the talent to beat Clemson. NC State did not. Blueprints are only good as the people who use them.


You have been cautious and not wanted to speculate about schedules of various teams and their Playoff hopes but I would guess that has now changed. Clearly the final poll will be vastly different than the first because there are upcoming games between ranked teams. I know every year is different but based on the exclusion of TCU and Baylor last year, it would appear that unless Clemson stays undefeated the ACC has no shot at the Final Four and that is broadcast loud and clear by a one loss North Carolina being out of the top 25.

There is no doubt that Florida State needed no more motivation for the game at Clemson this week, but they sure have it now with the Tigers ranked #1. Because Florida State has games left against top 10 teams Clemson and Florida, they are a huge player in who makes the finals and they have got to feel they control their own destiny.

So just for fun. The 1st poll has 11 undefeated teams, how many do you think the final poll will have? Based on games yet to be played, would a one loss Notre Dame make the Final Four? Again because of upcoming games and the prospect of the final poll having maybe only 2 or less unbeaten teams would an undefeated Memphis with wins over 3 teams in first poll make the Final Four? The fun is just starting and now each week's game is truly the most important of the year for a huge number of teams.



I think Clemson can go undefeated if it wins this week. I think the winner of Ohio State and Michigan State can go undefeated. Iowa will go undefeated until the Big 10 title game. TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma State can have one undefeated among them, but I am not sure that will happen considering they play each other and Oklahoma. Toledo got beat Tuesday. Either Houston or Memphis could go undefeated, but I doubt they are a factor. LSU could, but I think they drop one. So I think if Clemson wins the Tigers will go undefeated and one Big Ten team or one Big 12 team will be the only other undefeated.


What a great day to be a TIGER and for our brand. I was a freshman the last time we were #1. We should enjoy the day and understand we deserve the ranking. Even if we win out, there is a real possibility we could be on the outside looking in due to our strength of schedule. Given the back loaded scheduling and what is ahead for November, we could slip not because we are any worse, but others have won against better competition. We simply need to win and let the rest take care of itself. Starting as out as #1 is the best place to be and we should enjoy the moment. We are doing what Spurrier could never do at USC, which makes it even sweeter.



You are right in saying Clemson can be jumped, but I cannot see a scenario where Clemson runs the table and doesn't make it to the four-team playoff. Is it just me or does the name Steve Spurrier seem like it has been out of people's minds for a long time.

The Brad Hughes All-State Insurance Agency

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