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Topic: When has our O ever been great in September?
Replies: 29   Last Post: Sep 16, 2019 8:23 PM by: 88Tiger88
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When has our O ever been great in September?

[71]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:32 AM
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Under Dabo, our offense never looks great in September...and this year is no exception.

There's a lot of reasons for that, but IMHO, the #1 reason is the usual one: we play a bunch of guys and it takes time to sort their roles out and develop the young ones. Last night we played eight receivers - Higgins, Rogers, Ross, Overton, Powell, Ladsen, Ngata, and Will Swinney - and four TE's - Chalk, Price, Lay, and Davis Allen. We played four RB's - Etienne, Dixon, Rencher, and Chez Mellusi. We played at least nine O-linemen.

Most of those guys saw significant snaps, during stretches of the game where the outcome was still very much in question.

How many catches did the young guys and reserves not quite make last night? Ngata is flashing mad tools but he still isn't making catches...but it's coming if we keep feeding him. Ladsen started cold as well (but finished hot!)...again, typical of a guy who's super-talented but green. And how many missed blocking assignments, false starts, and whatnot happened because we were playing so many OL's and TE's? I saw a few jump out and I haven't even really looked at the tape yet.

We're also trying a bunch of things that are not really in our veteran guys' comfort zones. I noticed Higgins and Ross being asked to drag and cross a lot more than they're used to doing; throughout high school (and even at Clemson) they've been pure vertical guys who lived outside the hashes, but they need to be able to run those routes or guys will squat on the back-shoulder fades (which one Syracuse CB did, and got a pick off of last night) and go routes, if that's all they can run.

We have to re-establish the TE position at Clemson, and we're obviously trying. We haven't had a really good pass-catcher since Jordan Leggett left, and I saw our young TE's being deliberately targeted downfield. JC Chalk made a great post route for a TD (that was called back), but it's an encouraging sign, and we saw good stuff from a true frosh David Allen last night too. Lawrence missed a wide-open Jaelyn Lay late because he was rolling left and pulled the trigger too slow; that won't be happening in November.

We know Lawrence can stand in the pocket and fling it; that's also not all of Clemson's offense. And he's shown progression on a lot of things he simply didn't show last year, albeit with mixed results thus far. He's showing off his running ability, and doing a lot of damage with his feet. He's visibly working on extending plays with his feet and firing on the move - which got him picked last night when he uncharacteristically missed a squatting safety...but then, he's never been a scampering QB before, either. He's manipulating safeties with play-action and even throw-action, getting them to bite down on what look like those short screens that are a staple of RPO, and then firing down the middle when they bite or even hesitate. Haven't seen that before either.

We're doing a lot of new things, whatever. And it'll pay off as the year develops.

We're also getting used to the Post-Renfrow era. Overton, sorry, is a good outside receiver, but he's not a fit in the slot. Our O looks a lot more natural with the likes of Amari Rogers or TJ Chase in the slot position...and the slot is going to be incredibly important to Clemson this year because it's apparent a lot of people are going to flood the box and bring heat and take their chances with Lawrence and our receivers rather than let Etienne run for 200 a game on them.

Other little things - Darien Rencher's still ahead of Mellusi and Dukes in the pecking order, undoubtedly because of his experience in the offense and reliability in pass-pro. Rencher also isn't near as explosive as Mellusi. Rencher, keep in mind, is a former walk-on and can get you that three or four yards and a cloud of dust, and there's no question he's well worth the scholie he earned, but Mellusi showed his afterburners on that last TD. But Mellusi isn't ready to displace Rencher yet and probably won't be for awhile, so when Etienne and Dixon are out, Clemson's deciding between those 3-4 yards a cloud of dust, and the good play/awful play you see out of new players.

We'll get our best rotation sorted out, and we'll get the young guys going. We always do...after the first month of the season or so. Which, again, happens when you play so many guys, and in different roles.

This is how Clemson does it, folks. This is how Dabo does it. Every year. We are not a sexy September team that makes mad style points early. Dabo builds his squads for November and December, and always has.

Oh, and BTW...Clemson's first three opponents all were Power 5 bowl teams last year (and Syracuse won 10 games and A&M 9!)...and A&M and 'Cuse were Top-25 to start 2019. Not exactly the Sisters of the Poor or cupcakes, and Clemson those three games by an average of 29 points. I'd be interested to see how many players the Tigers played against those 3 a game...my guess would be around 75. Which most teams don't manage playing South Kalamazoo State in a bodybag game.

FWIW.


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[1]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:39 AM
    Reply

Never

2019 white level member

Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[1]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:39 AM
    Reply

We are built for last season / playoff season


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[2]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:42 AM
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I agree with all of this.

I think Lawrence is testing new processes as well and trying new things that he may not have been comfortable with last year. That could be the reason he's getting intercepted.

I would rather things not fire right now then later in the season and I believe it will fire on all cylinders Ferrari high raving v12 style.


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:42 AM
    Reply

reving*


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[2]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:43 AM
    Reply



2019 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

One nitpick Dukes was in the play before Mellusi's TD****


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:46 AM
    Reply

nm

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Right now, it's the TE and Slot positions that are a work in

[1]
Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:50 AM
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progress. Losing Galloway for the season was huge. We had worked him thru those first year kinks and he was poised to be a difference maker.

2019 white level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg

Re: When has our O ever been great in September?


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:55 AM
    Reply

WOW! You read my mind!

Very well stated.


Dukes took the snap right before Chez ***


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 10:58 AM
    Reply



2019 orange level memberbadge-donor-05yr.jpg


I’m thinking 2011. Of course we burned out later in the year so there’s that.***


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 11:12 AM
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Re: I’m thinking 2011. Of course we burned out later in the year so there’s that.***


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 11:36 AM
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Very slow/poor offensive performances against Troy and Wofford to start 2011 and then we went wild for about 6 or 7 games after that.


good stuff!


Posted: Sep 15, 2019 11:20 AM
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Last year we were a big question mark through to October.

The WFU game gave us a gimps of what was to come, but that was after the Bryant/Lawrence drama and the stupid 'Cuse' game.

2019 white level member


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[1]
Posted: Sep 16, 2019 2:19 AM
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The new NCAA rule of allowing players to play in 4 games before the red shirt decision has to be made has allowed our coaches to play around with so many different things, and we will see this trial and error thing play out through out the season. They are some we have seen in a couple game that we won't see anymore of until toward the end of the season when they will be needed for depth in championship November and December, and maybe not until January like was done in the playoffs... Our fan base will have to learn something that we're not good at, patience!!!!

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Excellent analysis and worth the read


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 7:59 AM
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We always look a little messy in September. Clemson fans haven't quite gotten used to this and we've come to expect our team to look perfect from the very first snap. It's all good. We've looked sloppy and imperfect in 3 games yet still stomped the living mess out of two quality opponents (and also Georgia Tech). We just put up 600+ yards and 5 TDs, while keeping them out of the end zone, on a good team *in their house*. On homecoming. In front of their biggest crowd in decades. In a game they've had circled on their calendar since the schedule came out. And that was a sloppy game for us. By the time we get to November, there is no limit to how dominant we might be. It wouldn't surprise me to see us hang 80 points on somebody at some point this season (like we should have done to Louisville last season).


Re: Excellent analysis and worth the read


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 3:08 PM
    Reply

I can definitely see us hanging 80 on Wofford. I was at their game Sat PM during the 'Cuse game (watched it on my phone tho). They are basically equivalent to a decent high school team. I think they only attempted 2-3 passes maybe?


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 9:16 AM
    Reply

I like the detailed write-up and agree with pretty much everything you said. My main concern thus far has been with the apparent regression of Lawrence, but what you detailed about him being asked to do things he's not used to may explain a good bit of that. It also explains some of the lack of rapport with his WRs.

2019 white level member

Money...***


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 9:50 AM
    Reply



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Here's my hot take on our 3 opponents so far


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 11:03 AM
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Last year Cuse won 10 games and GT won 7 games. This year those teams will combine to win 7-10 games.

A&M, while likely a good team, will be our best win in 2019 and finish the season with 4-5 losses.


Re: Here's my hot take on our 3 opponents so far

[2]
Posted: Sep 16, 2019 11:40 AM
    Reply

If A&M loses 4 games to the teams that are currently ranked 1-4 in the standings, is that really a knock on our win?

Obviously losing can mean anything from 1 point to 50 but trying to downplay them because of their ridiculously difficult schedule before seeing what they actually look like is a bit premature.


It depends on who you ask. To me it isn't, but I'm into


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 1:11 PM
    Reply

analytics and such. Many others, including a lot of poll voters, rank teams largely based on their record only making small adjustments for context (such as going 8-4 with the 4 losses all to top 5 teams).

But the big thing is that there's a decent chance that if A&M goes like 7-5 we could have no wins against the CFP top 25 by the end of the year and that's something that, for better or worse, the committee seems to put a lot of value in.

If ever there was a year that we can't afford a single slip up, it's this one. I think we would be on realllly thin ice sitting at 12-1. It's not a stretch to think that we be last in the pecking order of 1-loss teams. Maybe 12-1 ACC champs with a terrible schedule trumps 12-1 or 11-1 SEC non-champs, but i wouldn't want to be sweating that one out on selection day. And i think we would be solidly behind 12-1 Big XII and B1G champs.


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?

[1]
Posted: Sep 16, 2019 11:55 AM
    Reply

Q, this makes too much sense except when you’re expecting 100 points a game and beating the spread every time. Too many gamblers on this board losing their milk during the games.


We played 91 against tech and 51 against A&M.

[1]
Posted: Sep 16, 2019 1:23 PM
    Reply

I’m not sure about cuse but I’d be willing to bet it was probably ever player that dressed out.


Re: We played 91 against tech and 51 against A&M.

[1]
Posted: Sep 16, 2019 4:21 PM
    Reply

Dabo said he played 71 of 72 this weekend (only Taisun didn't play because they are 'picking their spots to play him').


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 1:57 PM
    Reply

Spot on post!

I understand the feeling that the offense isn't playing great. We think that the offense was so good last year that they should start off gangbusters this year. Teams like Oklahoma and Alabama and OH State come out slinging the ball everywhere...

Clemson on the other hand, comes out slow and steady. Plays tons of players and keeps the playbook pretty vanilla.

It's not that the offense isn't good at the early part of the season... they are actually pretty amazing. It's just that they are way more explosive than consistent and crisp at the beginning of the year due to the amount of players they are playing and the amount of teaching they are doing. You see a lot of quick TD's and a lot of drives that go 3 and out or fizzle quickly. It makes you feel like the offense isn't in sync... but then you look up and they set a new offensive record somehow.

I no longer worry about it. The last 3 years I always had that gut feeling that if a team really challenged us those explosive plays would go away and the inconsistent offense that was left might cost us a game. Now, it's no big deal. I know that it's part of the process that puts Clemson in rare form as the end of the season approaches. Clemson will get better and more consistent as the year goes on, and then all of a sudden the light comes on and they start playing out of this world in the second half of the season.


Should be this year!


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 2:02 PM
    Reply

We have two potential Heisman trophy winners, a veteran OL, and some amazing WRs. We have lots of 5 Star skilled position players . Most fans and pundits expected more. If you are being honest, you would say that you expected more too.

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I think the concern is more about the decisions made and


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 3:27 PM
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adjustments made rather than the statistical outcome.

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Always love a quozzel post


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 7:30 PM
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thanks, dude. nice write-up.

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Pretty sure Pollard was called for 2 false starts


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 8:11 PM
    Reply

He’s not exactly a freshman.

If the Defense didn’t have such an incredible game, we would have been in big trouble last night.

We wont be able to afford to trade 33 yard punts with 55 yard ones in the playoffs if our offense doesn’t improve. However, I do think it will. Still, punting has to improve if for nothing else than my own personal sanity.

But I’m pretty much on board with most of your other points.


Re: When has our O ever been great in September?


Posted: Sep 16, 2019 8:23 PM
    Reply

Great.


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