Sunday, September 8, 2019

Post A&M Thoughts on Clemson

I figured I'd at least put some thoughts out there even if i don't write every week anymore, if people read it, then great, but I do like to write for myself.

When I saw the line on this A&M game was running at 18-19 this week, I told everyone to take the points because there was no way we'd cover that. After how well Mond played against us last year, and how I felt they played during the rest of their season, I could not see us really stifling him and his receivers with what we've lost from last year's excellent team, especially up front.

But today's performance surprised me, Mond played like trash. He couldn't hit open guys at all until the 4th Q when we had already started running some backups out and BV switched to more soft zone. I don't think it was all our guys causing it either, Mond just couldnt get it going early. Jimbo was typical Jimbo, and had us in the 1st Q, while they were running the ball very well... and then in Jimbo fashion, stops doing what works and kills their drive, then doesn't come back to it again later.

Clemson's defense went with a lot of 3-3-5 for the 2nd week in a row. For GT I felt it was odd, maybe he saw something he was trying to exploit, but now I see theres a reason and its because our DL isn't what it was the last several years. I believe Skeletor is going with another LB as opposed to the 4th lineman because he knows we don't have 4 DL guys that are ready for primetime right now. He wants the flexibility to use the 3rd backer to blitz from different gaps and angles because the front 4 right now cannot get pressure on the QB. BV has always been an 8-man front guy by design, and he's still doing that, but with different personnel because the typical personnel aren't ready. Its plainly apparent when you see us using 30-fronts and getting almost no pressure at all on the QB the last couple weeks unless we sneak someone in around the edge or in a gap blitz. Four guys are still coming, but one of them is a LB and not an End.

Right now, the DL is just not getting any consistent pass rush. I think this is something we're going to have to develop over the entire season, and the 30-fronts and 3-3-5 alignments are just something we're going to have to run out there until the down linemen can improve their pass rush technique and the ability to get off blocks. The linebackers are going to be getting the sacks this year if we ever get close to the TFL/Sack production of the last few seasons.

Otherwise I think the D proved that we don't have a ton to worry about from them this season. If we continue to tackle well and can generate some pass rush, we should be there at the end.

That Etienne never got going didn't shock me. Elko is a good DC, and apparently they keyed on him all week in practice, so much that they relaxed for Dixon and he hurt them whenever he was in the game instead. Clemson's OL blocked well for him last week, not so much this week. The interior has to get people off the ball and didnt.

A&M also got quite a bit of pressure on TL until we were able to push tempo and gas them a little. I wasn't impressed by the pass blocking last week and early today I don't think they did a good job giving Trevor any time. As usual, its the OL that gives me the most heartburn.

Trevor was a little off last week and not quite as sharp as he can play today but the offense will be fine so long as the OL plays well and improves. I think that after the Bye week we will start running people out of the stadium, as usually that has been when our offense really runs on all 12 cylinders and I don't think this year will be any different.

Syracuse's new QB doesn't play as gritty as Dungey and I doubt we'll be in danger of any loss this week, even if they are a scrappy team under Babers.

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