Topic: Sanity, perspective
Replies: 13   Last Post: Nov 13, 2016 4:24 PM by: randystigers®
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Sanity, perspective

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 1:21 PM


Sometimes you just lose. I had written earlier in the week that I was a little worried about the matchup with Pitt:

I didn't like the rock-paper-scissors matchup...and we indeed caught a Perfect Storm on all that; not only did we get the weakest of weak officiating crews, everything that could have broken for Pitt broke for Pitt and they played out of their minds...whereas we repeatedly let them hang in the game, as has been our repeated tendency, and didn't stick the knife in when we had the chance. I've written about that tendency too.

Bottom line is, we're not a perfect team. Our weaknesses at this juncture are pretty manifest:

*Deshaun Watson, obviously, throws too many picks, especially in the Red Zone, and Deshaun might be the single worst short-field QB in NCAA history. When gifted the ball on the opponent's side of the field, Watson is probably less than 25% completing passes and something like 0% at cashing in; when opportunity knocks, Deshaun is oddly...well, disinterested. No clue why. But whatever, that FINISH HIM meme keeps screaming through my head and I wish it would scream through Deshaun's too. He. Just. Does. Not. Finish. People. Off. Otherwise, he's a Heisman-winning QB...if he just smelled blood better. It's truly baffling.

*Tony Elliott, sorry, is kind of stodgy and unimaginative as a playcaller...again, when presented with unexpected opportunity, his play-calling is particularly predictable. How many times has he put us in 3rd-and-long by starting with Wayne Gallman inside zone, followed by tunnel-screen-to-Scott, followed by Please God Bail Us Out Deshaun? Getting old, Tony. Also, it's looking like he's missed on four straight four-star backs now...Tavien Feaster is the fourth straight 4-star guy he's failed (or failing, I guess is the right tense) to get much out of, and that's getting even older. When you see guy after guy after guy not developing under a specific coach, sorry, there's a coaching issue there...and a ton of Clemson's problems would have been alleviated if we had the punch we should have, on paper, in the backfield. Wayne Gallman is The Man and I love him, but he can't - and shouldn't have to - get it done on his lonesome. This is not a "Fire Tony Elliott" post, by the way - but I'd like to see less predictable and more incisive playcalling in the clutch, and we need to see more production from our tailbacks going forward. The proof is in the pudding and the pudding, sorry, is lacking at the moment.

*People are increasingly aware the way to beat Clemson - despite our wealth of riches at wide receiver - is to stuff our run game - which includes Deshaun Watson on the read-option - and make Deshaun beat them consistently through the air. Pitt assuredly did that yesterday, and while Deshaun did throw for an ACC-record 580 yards, he also "only" turned that into 42 points - which is great, except Pitt scored 43 - and repeatedly failed to convert on short fields while also throwing just 3 picks. For some reason we also seldom vertically attack the middle of the field, and I don't know why.

*We're great on the DL. We're not so great in the back seven. I love the instinctiveness and fire Boulware and Joseph play with but they're small, much quicker than actually fast, and are liabilities in coverage and people are figuring out how to get to them that way. Van Smith is active and instinctive at free safety but is nowhere near the athlete TJ Green was and that's showing up too much too. We're got about 4-5 decent corners, but no eraser, and as a group they're collectively a little grabby. We're particularly vulnerable to play-action and big tight ends and that showed up again last night too.

*Our OL remains a work in progress. We had two young true sophomore OT's who were talented but somewhat inexperienced, especially Fruhmorgen, and while you could see these guys being potential All-Americans in a couple years their inexperience showed at times. Ditto for LG Taylor Hearn, whose awful whiff on 4th-and-1 allowed Pitt to stuff Gallman on what was admittedly a very ill-advised toss sweep (we need a single yard, and we go for the toss?) last night. Now those two young true sophomore tackles are banged up...and we're down to true froshes in Anchrum and Pollard. These kids held up and did admirably when called upon...but you still really do not like being down to true freshman tackles going into the stretch run.

Now, if this sounds like condemnation, it really isn't. Deshaun has some flaws, but he's still an inch away from being a Heisman trophy winner and could still be the first QB off the boards next year if he can just be a little more incisive about sticking the knife in down the stretch. Again, dunno what his problem there is; he wasn't like that as freshman, when you'd see him fling enthusiastically away and rack up four, five, even six TD's in a game. Especially with such a young and beat-up OL, establishing the run game is going to be tough down the stretch, but the flip side is we aren't putting heavy miles on Wayne right now. And while our back seven can be gotten to, our DL also buys a lot of forgiveness.

So we're not perfect, but we still might - just might - be just good enough. While we can drop games like we lost yesterday, I still think we can beat anybody in our path too...and that includes Alabama. After Week 10, we're still sitting in position where we can legit aspire to the National Title...and sorry, that's pretty durn cool, and is not a thing to be minimized, or taken for granted. There's about 120 other teams in FCS that would cheerfully trade spots with us.

The bottom line is that just lining up and winning every week, especially when you're the hunted, is tough. Durn tough. You saw how jubilant Pitt was yesterday; this was their Super Bowl. That's how it is, when you're Elite, and Clemson assuredly is.

Three weeks left in the season. Three very important weeks. At Wake to clinch our berth in the ACC title game. Back at home to establish once again that this is our state and the Chickens just rent space in it. And then the ACC title game, and clinching our berth in the playoffs and another shot at the big trophy. And again, we may not be perfect...but everybody's got flaws, and we might be just good enough.


Re: Sanity, perspective

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 1:33 PM

Agree with everything said here

I'm kinda over the Hearn at LG

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 1:38 PM

He has whiffed too many times on short yardage and in run in general. I'd say put Simpson or heck even Maverick Morris in. Hearn is just not getting it done for me. Also on the 4th and 1 I'd like to see a run behind Crowder. Crowder is a road paver.

i remember it being the overall opinion

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 1:49 PM

on Tnet at the beginning of the season that John Simpson would replace Hearn by mid-season. that didn't happen.

Hey did you notice Pitt's defense played NOTHING

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 2:15 PM

..like you said they would? Played well off of us the entire game.

Re: Hey did you notice Pitt's defense played NOTHING

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 3:22 PM

> ..like you said they would? Played well off of us the
> entire game.

No they didn't. They tried to play press man for more than a half, ended up giving up close to 200 yards to Mike Williams before halftime. Then - for the first time all season, actually - they finally backed off. Actually I think that happened when that poor safety of theirs shattered their arm and one of their starting corners went down and they were down to the Towel Boy and the mascot at nickel back.

Didn't read all the post but we should be 50% over the

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 2:20 PM

last 2 years instead of 92% winning percentage based on the couple of paragraphs I read. Go Tigers!!!


Re: Sanity, perspective

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 2:27 PM

Well said! I wish the team would re-evaluate themselves or it will be more of the same.

it's really hard to go undefeated

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 2:30 PM

Alabama has only 1 undefeated season under Nick Saban

"We establish no religion in this country, we mandate no belief. Nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate." ~Ronald Reagan

frankly.. i think you are out of your mind

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 2:38 PM

you can go dig up all the stats and numbers you want... but DW has shown countless times the ability to finish teams off with long drives, or game winning drives... look no further than this year.

Ask coaches, players, pundits across the country... if, with the game on the line, who they would want handling the ball... the vast majority will tell you Watson.

you're crazy

Tony Elliot called a heck of a game. We put up 40+ points, and still put up record yards when they stopped the run. We're not Washington St... but we were able to move the ball virtually at will. Elliott put us in positions to win games.... PERIOD. You get two chances to get one yard to win the game... you line up and do it.

We couldn't stop them, and that's why we lost. That's not a condemnation of Venables at all. This is a team that can score a ton of points, and have all year. We have been much better than ANYONE expected on defense the last 2 years, so yea... we were due. The defense has won it's share of games for us.

This is a Pitt team that beat Penn St this year, only lost by a TD at OKST, lost by 1 to UNC and 3 to VT.... and they put up tons of points in all those games...

you lose, you man up, you move on... it's been a long time


2019 orange level member

Re: frankly.. i think you are out of your mind

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 3:19 PM

You mistake me.

Yeah, game on the line, 99 yards to go, who do I want? Watson. Watson, every time. He's clutch. Pure icewater. The problem is he doesn't take the freebies. Forty yards to go, short field courtesy of an INT or shanked punt? For whatever reason in THAT situation he's worse than Tribble Reese after a bender. No clue why. On a short easy field he's been dismal, and it's happened literally every time this year. When that happens, it starts being more than a blip, it's a trend.

I mentioned myself - in advance - that Pitt was a dangerous lurker and I didn't think we'd cover. Read the prior linked post.

And again, no, I won't "stop". This is a discussion board and it always kind of confuses me when some folks seem unbelievably hostile to people who actually discuss things on it, and come across like that mean old guy with a shotgun filled with rock salt waiting on his porch kids to cross his lawn. Not mentioning anyone in particular. ;)

Ignore him and please keep posting.....There are a few

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 3:34 PM

idiots on here who were the "what'd you say about my mama" crowd in elementary school, and bow up any time they hear someone not saying that the entire team represents the coming of the rapture.


think both you guys are correct... distressingly so...

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 4:19 PM

Snowtown's right - you score 42, an elite team better win. But that wouldn't have won the Natty last year either so something smells rotten in Denmark with our D. But sitting back in zone ain't going to fix it either.

As to the Q's post:
- OL can't run;
- LB's and safeties can't cover;
- Elliott with predictable play-calling;
- DW throwing too many picks;
- and for Gawd's sake we can't put a team down. Yes - this IS on DW - and Elliott and Dabo all.

It's all there for everyone to see - we're just not as good as we were last year, sad to say. If things break our way, we actually could make the Natty game again though because I see no one except maybe Louisville that I would be scared to play in the semis. And as for Louisville, I'd be more afraid of the revenge factor and their play-caller than their team or QB per se.

Lots of football to play yet - and we were due some tough breaks. I personally think DW is going to come back some. It ain't over until it's over!

OMG...Don't get personal with the players or staff***

Posted: Nov 13, 2016 4:20 PM


Message was edited by: randystigers®

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