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Topic: Dabo's last big mistake
Replies: 39   Last Post: Jun 2, 2017 3:10 AM by: rjohn19
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Dabo's last big mistake

[27]
Posted: May 31, 2017 8:43 PM
 

Since September 27th, 2014, Clemson has lost three games.

Kinda shocking when you look at it that way. Clemson is 37-3 in the ensuing span. We lost to Georgia Tech at Bobby Dodd in 2014, when Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in the first quarter. We lost to Alabama in January 2016 in the National Championship Game. We lost to Pitt in November of 2016.

That's it. That's all. Dabo and his staff haven't made many missteps in that time frame. In fact Clemson football has never seen anything remotely like it. Thirty seven wins - repeat (37)! - in the last forty games?

That said, the span right before that, Dabo and Co. were 1-2. That was the three games they were starting Cole Stoudt over Deshaun Watson. We opened the season losing to Georgia in Athens, and then again a couple weeks later at Florida State.

Now, you can understand why the coaches were reluctant to push a senior who had paid his dues out of the way in favor of throwing a true freshman to the wolves. But the bottom line is that Clemson conceivably could have been in the playoffs in 2014 as well; we had the #1 defense in the country that year and it was still the most dominant unit Venables has put on the field. We just had some horrific QB play; Stoudt ended up on an up note against Oklahoma but he had one of the lowest QBR's in the country his first few games and it can be argued Clemson could have certainly beat FSU that year and likely would have been more competitive against UGA with Watson running the show.

The coaches weren't that slow on the trigger. They benched an ineffective Stoudt halfway through the second quarter against FSU and Watson took over and never looked back. But that quarter and a half kept Clemson off FSU just long enough they were able to squeak out a win in OT. In a game and season where the margins are razor-thin, that's why FSU won the ACC in 2014 and represented the ACC in the playoffs.

The reason this is relevant is because 2017 looks remarkably similar, in some ways. Once again, the best QB on the roster is probably a freshman, be it Zerrick Cooper or Hunter Johnson. And once again, the schedule is front-loaded, with Auburn in Week 2 and then are at Louisville the very next week...and to add to that, we're at VT on 9/30. That's three losable games before the month of September is even over.

If we survive that stretch with one loss or less, we're golden, with just FSU (at home) looming later on in the year on November 11th. But two losses in those three tilts and our playoff hopes are over before September ends, just like 2014.

Which means that the coaching staff does not have the luxury of repeating the mistake of 2014, and just give it to the guy whose turn it is, and then patiently let natural selection take its course. They need to pick a QB - the right QB! - and they need to have him ready to go when Auburn rolls into town September 9th. Or Clemson will likely lose. Auburn showed last year they have a salty D and a Gus Malzahn Auburn offense with a lethal QB - and he has one now in Jarrett Stidham - is an incredibly dangerous thing, see 2010 with Cam Newton and 2013 with Nick Marshall.

One thing that can certainly be said about Dabo is, though, he seldom repeats prior mistakes, so I'd expect a quick hook and a surprisingly ruthless decision this year. Which means that no later than September 2nd against Kent State, Kelly Bryant needs to be absolutely, no-kidding razor sharp. (No pressure!) Or I'd expect a freshman to be starting against Auburn the next week. Which means that our future starter, whoever it is, now has less than 100 days to find and polish his game. (Again, no pressure!)

This is going to be, I think, an advanced case in sudden Darwinism, and you could see as many as 2-3 QB's get - for lack of a better term - pushed aside before the season is two weeks old. Whatever, it's going to be fast...at least, if the goal is to survive September with one or fewer losses while remaining in playoff contention.

So ready or not, here we go....

(schedule)
9/2 vs KENT STATE
9/9 vs AUBURN
9/16 @ LOUISVILLE
9/23 vs BC
9/30 @ VIRGINIA TECH


^^^^ Agree 110% Q

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:02 PM
 

But sadly I think DaBO sticks with KB longer than we might like!

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Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[7]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:09 PM
 

Dabo wanted to wait on dw4 as long as possible because he knew the best was waiting for later. Why risk it and guess what it happened, he got hurt. We were not ready, just like in 2015. In my book it wasnt a fault at all by dabo.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[2]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:41 PM
 

We were ready in 2015. We lost for 2 reasons. Our COACHES did not respect special team weaknesses, aka onside kicks that threatened us a month earlier against UNC. Also 2 key players, Lawson and Alexander, got hurt.

We had the team to win. It was a good game.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:51 PM
 

Not to mention our secondary were not focused as they should have been. Had they had the focus from this year imo we win going away.

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Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: May 31, 2017 9:58 PM
 

When your defense is #1 in the country you are ready.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 10:27 PM
 

Let's not forget reason number thee: suspended players. Two of them were to play key roles

2019 white level member

Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 11:40 PM
 

Defense was loaded with NFL talent, offense was loaded with playmakers. Team just needed a QB


Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 11:57 PM
 

He got hurt off freak injuries...I wouldn't say it was because he physically wasn't ready. Neither injury involved brute force from a more physically imposing player.


Interesting and well written read ...

[3]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:09 PM
 

It may be that in 2014 that Dabo and Chad were not up to coaching up an 18 yr old kid to get him ready with the playbook for the UGA game. Agree with you that this is different Dabo, like Saban and Meyer, he has become used to winning and has learned some tricks of the trade. And unlike former Clemson grad asst Gene Chizik, Dabo has loaded this team with talent, so Clemson will not experience the drop-off Auburn experienced with Cam's departure.

Still, Clemson fans should never forget Deshaun's ownership of the 4th quarter in every game he played. Dabo, Tony and Jeff have a lot of work ahead of them in 2017 to win ten or eleven pre-bowl wins.

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Very true. and I've thought about this alot . The one

[3]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:10 PM
 

Big difference in this 2017 team vs that 2014 will be the Offensive Line. Whoever starts at QB will be green, but will benefit from an experienced offensive line that should be able to open up holes in the running game. The other part of that equation is having a breakaway back emerge to compliment Fuller (Feaster and or the new Frosh from LA). But I digress, your points are valid and we'll just have to see how it plays out

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Best Is The Standard


Great post, Q!

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:12 PM
 

Totally agree about 2014. Barring injury to Watson, we could have finished the season undefeated. Stoudt should never have gone back in against UGA

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We really weren't that close to going undefeated.

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 8:22 AM
 

We would've needed a ton of "what ifs?" to go in our favor just to beat UGA. We gave away the FSU game with a comedy of errors but would it really have turned out differently had Watson been in for the first few series instead of Cole? Who knows.


Re: We really weren't that close to going undefeated.


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 9:37 PM
 

If ifs and buts were candy and nuts...

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Yes, yes, and yes, but

[3]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:27 PM
 

his last biggest mistake was not hanging 100 on the chickens.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:49 PM
 

Please don't make a big mistake by sharing this with Dabo,that is unless of course you
think you could have done a better job.


It wasn't even reviewed, which is irritating


Posted: May 31, 2017 11:24 PM
 

But but, they review ALL the plays, right?

lawd...

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We lost to FSU in 2014 because....

[4]
Posted: May 31, 2017 9:52 PM
 
TD.JPG(39.7 K)

....this was not ruled a Touchdown.

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I know what point you are trying to make, but one camera


Posted: May 31, 2017 10:02 PM
 

image can't prove anything.


Yes it can


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 3:15 PM
 

That camera angle doesn't prove conclusively that the ball was over the front plane of the goal line, but that sure looks close. I think he was in. Too bad there wasn't definitive camera angle to show that to be the case.

There was another game there at Doak where the FSU QB or RB was clearly caught in their own endzone and a safety was not called. The 'noles seem to get a lot of calls down there in Tally. You gotta beat those guys convincingly to come out with a win.

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Re: We lost to FSU in 2014 because....


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 10:38 PM
 

Adam Choice clearly scored a TD on that play.

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Lt.General United States Marine Corps


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: May 31, 2017 10:25 PM
 

A little easier to critique in hindsight. Starting a freshman when you have a very good upperclassman is risky for several reasons. Cole played like crap but was hurt for much of the season and his confidence was gone. Had Watson hit the stage before he was ready his confidence could have also been shattered.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: May 31, 2017 10:28 PM
 

??????

I agree across the board. KB needs to display what years in the Clemson system has earned him. Otherwise, throw him on the sacrificial pre-transfer fire. I foresee 2 QBs move on after this season, for better or worse. We have loads of talent, just not the time to wait it out any longer. Let the strong (and mentally acute QB) survive. Whoever that might be...

Also, it will be interesting to see what these freshmen have done with the "transformation" time this summer.

Well, Tigers -- time will tell.

2019 white level member

In 2014, I don't believe for one second that Dabo played a

[10]
Posted: May 31, 2017 10:43 PM
 

QB that he felt gave us a lesser chance of winning, while keeping a QB that he knew gave us a better shot at winning on the bench, even in part due to a misguided sense of loyalty to a guy who had "paid his dues".

I don't believe he will in 2017 either.

That doesn't mean that in hindsight, he wouldn't do it differently, or that he didn't learn something from it that affects how he approaches similar situations in the future. I agree that KB will have a much shorter leash than CS had in 2014.

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Dabo had a learning curve also!!

[5]
Posted: May 31, 2017 11:42 PM
 

But he put together the pieces that made us the defending National Champions today! I guarantee you he has learned a #### of a lot since his interim status and especially since that 2014 season. We may not win a Natty this year. We may not win the ACC either. But it will not be from the lack of our Team and Coaches being "ALL-IN"!!!!!!!

PS: We win the STATE though :) :) :)

Go TIGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Re: In 2014, I don't believe for one second that Dabo played a


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 5:59 AM
 

> QB that he felt gave us a lesser chance of winning,
> while keeping a QB that he knew gave us a better shot
> at winning on the bench, even in part due to a
> misguided sense of loyalty to a guy who had "paid his
> dues".
>
> I don't believe he will in 2017 either.
>
> That doesn't mean that in hindsight, he wouldn't do
> it differently, or that he didn't learn something
> from it that affects how he approaches similar
> situations in the future. I agree that KB will have a
> much shorter leash than CS had in 2014.


Smiling Tiger, unfortunately the system will not allow me to give you but one TU for your post. You are spot on!!

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Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: May 31, 2017 10:47 PM
 

Make it a #September2Remember !
#StartStrongFinishStronger


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 3:25 AM
 

The D that year did not show up until the game @ FSU. We did not have depth at every position; that we have now. We were breaking in a ton of freshman at the skill positions on O. Z Cooper is a RS freshman and T Isreal/K Bryant are way more serviceable than one Cole Stoudt. Also, our offensive line was not on par with the starting 5 (no backups there to boot), which was made worse when Sam Cooper got hurt in pregame warm-ups Game 1@ UGA.

This year is smilar with a front loaded schedule but that is as far as the parallel goes, imo.

2019 white level member

Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[2]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 6:46 AM
 

KB has two years in the system. ZC has one year in the system. HJ just stepped on campus, yet is in the running to take the reins. Will he? Who knows at this point, but the starting role for any team shouldn't be based on 'seniority'. The differences between these three players should be obvious...and they're not. Does anyone remotely think this will be the decision process this time next year?

I can't envision Clemson scrapping 'what got them here' by going the conservative route at QB. The defense can't be backed into the corner as they were too often in 2014...they need an offense that is productive enough to let the defensive talent shine...not compensate for what the offense is incapable of delivering. The offense has play-makers...they need the QB most effective at utilizing their skills. That's not a seniority-based decision...IMO.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 7:40 AM
 

At this point we do not know who the best QB will be. What about when Lawrence arrives? Who starts at QB then? All indications are that Lawrence will be like DW$ was. Do you start him over HJ or ZC?


dont forget

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 7:53 AM
 

That the offensive line will have a LOT to say about the effectiveness of the Tiger offense in 2017!

The QB will rely very heavily on their skills regardless of who gets the nod against Auburn et al.


Yup, been telling my Bama friends since 2015 that if

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 8:03 AM
 

we'd started DW from day 1, good chance we'd have gone undefeated in 2014.

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UGA won the field position battle with us in the 2nd half in

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 8:15 AM
 

that game leading to several consecutive 3 and outs by us. Would Watson have made a difference in the 2nd half? Maybe, but that would have been an awfully tough hill to climb for any QB given how well UGA ran the ball in the 2nd half.

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If by good chance you mean like 5%, then sure.***


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 8:25 AM
 




So "Dabo's last big mistake" was a decision that ultimately

[2]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 9:38 AM
 

ended in Clemson winning the National Championship? I think you and I have different definitions of the word "mistake." If Dabo makes a similar "mistake" this year that leads to another National Championship in 2019, I'll be ecstatic.

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Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[3]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 9:40 AM
 

Everyone conveniently forgets that Watson missed most of the previous spring and summer with injuries. We have no idea how Dabo would have managed the starting QB decision if Deshaun had been able to get reps with receivers for those extra months. Considering how it did play out, it is likely Deshaun would have started sooner and/or seen even more playing time against uga.

Having our best run-stopping defensive end in street clothes, losing that ability plus depth, was the other huge factor against the dogs. Once they got a few stops, they just ran all over that edge. I guess some would say Dabo made a mistake by not waiting until we were playing the sisters of the poor to impose that suspension, most of us think he handled that the right way.


Re: Dabo's last big mistake

[1]
Posted: Jun 1, 2017 11:38 AM
 

> Once again, the best QB on the roster is probably a freshman, be it Zerrick Cooper or Hunter Johnson.

We haven't seen enough of any of the QBs to make that assumption. Your entire post relies on this assumption being true, but you offered zero evidence that it is.

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There is a chance that Auburn will....


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 9:23 PM
 

be facing a similar question. We may see Sean White instead of Stidham in game 2.
He has the 'experience''. He has been out with an injury during the spring but will be a factor when the season starts. Stidham is the 'darling', but my guess is that White will at least have a shot at starting early. They have not yet named a starter...we'll see how Gus plays this.


Quick question for those who question the logic


Posted: Jun 1, 2017 10:43 PM
 

Those of you defending KB as the starting QB needs to answer this question. How many forward passes has KB completed at his tenure at Clemson? I've yet to see him effectively throw a pass beyond 15 yards. His passing game is pathetic to say the least.

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Re: Dabo's last big mistake


Posted: Jun 2, 2017 3:10 AM
 

I'd like to think Dabo knew Watson was his Golden Ticket but was afraid of having his career cut very very short by injuries. Most of his major dings were of the non-contact sort so it was not completely unreasonable to assume if he actually got hit, he might explode without an extra year of muscle strengthen his frame.

I'd like to think that but I don't. I've mentioned this here before- he just won't trust the younger guys until he absolutely has to. Last year he wouldn't even turn Kelly loose in mop-up time. Run, run, screen. I thought maybe Spence was back.

Knowing we can lose one, I'd rather Auburn was first up. Looking good against Kent St. might be a false positive and cost us the next two. Bryant ought to be about as ready as he can be. If he stunk it up against AU to start the season, we then would have the whole of the Kent State game to shake out the frosh. As it is, if he doesn't cut it, we'll have to baptise the frosh against live ammo instead of the rubber bullets of Kent.

The best is to hope Bryant is all that and box of Crackerjacks but based on what we've seen so far, that's a Snake River Canyon leap of faith. Remember that when Cole was underperforming, we'd had a glimpse of what Watson could do in the Georgia loss and we have nothing like that to lean on after Bryant's two years in the system. I'm afraid he'll suffer from "happy feet" and not develop the pocket sense our offense requires and it'll be partly because running is about all Dabo has let him do so far.

And I'm guessing the coaches continued lack of faith in his downfield ability, no matter what they might say publicly, is going to lead to conservative game planning which further hurts QBs rather than protecting them as intended. It's kind of like trying to sit on a lead without having an actual lead to sit on.

But hey, that's just me. Low expectations take some of the sting out of disappointment should it come to that.


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