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Archive for October, 2009

Clemson…HERE. WE. COME!

Posted by cuorange on October 31, 2009

This was posted on CUTigers.com.  It’s 23 seconds of Dabo in the lockeroom after the Miami game.  If you ever wondered why his players want to play for him take the time to view.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

First down play calling

Posted by cuorange on October 30, 2009

While these numbers are still skewed towards the run on first down, you can see the shift over the last two weeks.  Saturday against Miami the Tigers ran 15 first and 10 plays in Miami territory.  8 were running plays and 7 were passing plays.  The eight running plays totaled 28 yards, but only one went for more than 3 yards.

On the 7 passing plays called Kyle Parker completed 5 of 6 for 28 yards (and was sacked once).  The pass distribution included 3 to RBs, 1 to the TE, and 2 to WRs (one incomplete).  For the second week in a row, the play calling and pass distribution on the opponent’s side of the field was more aggressive and balanced.

Down/Distance Field Position Run% Pass %
1/10 <=Midfield 62.7% 37.3%
1/10 >=Opponents 49 67.9% 32.1%
Total 64.9% 35.1%

Two weeks ago the Tigers were running 77% of the time on first down in the opponent’s territory.  That number is down to 68% after 7 games and I believe this is one of the factors in the Tigers having had their best two offensive games in the last two weeks.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

What happens on third and long?

Posted by cuorange on October 30, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveIf you’ve read anything here, then you’ve probably run across the information I continue to provide on tight ends Michael Palmer and Dwayne Allen and how crucial their play has been to the Tigers two most recent wins.  You’ve also probably come across one or two of my weekly posts on the Tigers third down conversion struggles.  I’ve also chronicled the struggles of the wide receivers outside of Jacoby Ford.

Combining all three of these and taking this research a step further, I decided to specifically look inside the Tigers struggle in third and long (7 to 10 yards) and try and figure out what has been working and what hasn’t been working.

I doubt anyone is surprised that the tight ends have been more effective than the wide receivers on third and long, but the gap between the two has to be shocking.

Pos Passes Comp Comp% Yards Yards/Pass First Downs First Down % TDs TD %
WR 15 6 40.0 61 4.1 3 20.0 0 0.0
TE 6 6 100.0 69 11.5 5 83.3 1 16.7
RB 4 1 25.0 15 3.8 1 25.0 0 0.0
FB 1 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Unknown 1 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0 0 0.0
Totals 27 13 48.1 145 5.4 9 33.3 1 3.7

The one pass to a TE that didn’t go for a first down came up 1 yard short. This is just as much an indictment (another one) of the wide receivers (and/or Kyle Parker) on third and long as it is a pat on the back to the tight ends. The drops have been well chronicled, as has the lack of separation between Clemson WRs and opposing DBs.

If Clemson is going to continue their recent success both route running and ball skills of the wide receivers need to improve dramatically.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Wide Receivers MIA

Posted by cuorange on October 29, 2009

cuorange_exclusiveLost in the euphoria of the Miami win is that prior to Jacoby Ford snagging a Kyle Parker laser for the 26 yard game-winning touchdown Saturday is the fact that prior to that catch the wide receivers had a grand total of 4 catches for 52 yards.  It doesn’t take a football savant to understand that the Clemson wide receivers have struggled mightily this year.  With the exception of Ford, bad routes, dropped passes and inconsistent play has dominated the first half of the season for the wide outs.
 
Consequently the offense bogged down for a good portion of the first 5 games, before finally breaking through against Wake two weeks ago
 
The Tigers are young an inexperienced at the position as a whole, but there comes a time when you have to hang on to the ball and make plays.
 
The offense scored 26 on Miami last Saturday (plus 7 on defense and 7 on special teams) and moved the ball effectively against Miami.  How?  Passes to the running backs and tight ends.  These two positions combined for 20 of Kyle Parker’s 25 completions Saturday.  They also accounted for 248 of Parker’s 326 yards passing.

Position Catches Thrown to Yards Touchdowns
Running Backs 11 13 138 1
Tight Ends 9 10 110 1
Wide Receivers 5 12 78 1
H Backs 0 1 0 0
Interceptions 1
Totals 25 37 326 3

Moreover, the TEs were thrown to 4 times on third down, with three completions for 39 yards and 3 first downs.
 
Going into the Miami game the tight ends had 19 catches for 199 yards and 2 touchdowns.  Against Miami Michael Palmer and Dwayne Allen combined for 9 catches for 110 yards and a touchdown.
 
Beginning on the third offensive series the Tigers used Palmer and Allen in a stretch of  4 of 7 plays that culminated in a 15 yard touchdown pass from Parker to Palmer.  Two of those receptions were on 3rd and 7 and 3rd and 8 and both resulted in first downs to keep the drive alive.
 
I’ve been beating the drum to get Spiller the ball out of the backfield more often and it appears that Billy Napier finally got around to it against Miami as Spiller hauled in 6 passes for 104 yards including a 56 yard touchdown.
 
The table below shows the effectiveness of receptions by position.  It’s clear that for the number of passes caught the tight ends are the most effective group of the bunch and the wide receivers the least effective. 

Position Catches Thrown to Completion% Yards First Downs First Down % Touchdowns Touchdown %
WR 52  110  47.3   743  28  53.8  4 7.7 
RB 31  47  66.0  329  9 29.0   2 6.5 
TE 28  39  71.8 309   21  75.0  3 10.7 
FB  6  11  54.5  39  2  18.2  0 0.0 
Unknown  –  5 –   –  –  –    
Ints  – 7  –  –  –     
Totals 117 219 53.4 1420  60  51.3  9  7.7

Throws to the tight ends have been completed 71.8% of the time and 75% of those receptions result in a first down.  Throwing to the tight end has been money.
 
Jacoby Ford has 28 of the 52 receptions by the wide receivers.  That means the smorgasbord of Terrance Ashe (9), Marquan Jones (7), Xavier Dye (6), Jaron Brown (1) and Brandon Clear (1) have only 24 catches between them. 
 
It won’t take opposing coaches long to comprehend and game plan for the “new” Clemson offense.  And when that day comes, the real question is can and will the wide receivers get enough separation from the coverage, step up and make plays?  Entering game 8 of the season it’s hard to believe this is still a question mark, but it is.  A huge one at that.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Third down conversions through game 7

Posted by cuorange on October 28, 2009

Not a bad week for the Tigers, finishing 7 of 14 on 3rd downs against Miami, with the most important conversions coming on the drive that tied the game (Jamie Harper run) and the final play 3rd and 11 touchdown pass from Parker to Jacoby Ford. Yet, there is room for improvement as Clemson was 0/4 in the 4-6 yard range.

Year 3rd and 1-3 3rd and 4-6 3rd and 7-10 3rd and 11 or more
2008 60.71% 38.10% 20.69% 8.33%
2009 56.00% 33.33% 27.78% 21.05%
2009 14/25 10/30 10/36 4/19

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Week 9 Pick ‘Em

Posted by cuorange on October 27, 2009

Week 9 games, spreads, picks

Game Spread AccuScore Predicted Score Actual Score AccuScore CUOrange Texas D B. Rink A. Eargle
North Carolina @ Virginia Tech UNC +16.5  29-14 Va. Tech  20-17 UNC   UNC  UNC UNC  Va. Tech  UNC 
West Virginia @ South Florida  USF +3 30-24 WVU   30-19 USF WVU   WVU  WVU WVU  USF 
N. C. State @ Florida State  NCSU +8 37-30 FSU   45-42 FSU NCSU  NCSU  FSU   NCSU NCSU 
Mississippi @ Auburn Auburn +3  29-22 Ole Miss  33-20 AU  Ole Miss  Ole Miss   Ole Miss Ole Miss  Ole Miss 
Georgia vs. Florida (Jacksonville)  UGA +16 36-17 UF  41-17 UF   UF UGA   UF UF   UGA
Miami (FL) @ Wake Forest  Wake +7 31-19 UM   28-27 UM  Miami  Miami  Miami  Miami  Wake
Kansas State @ Oklahoma KSU +26.5  38-14 OU  42-30 OU   KSU KSU   KSU KSU   OU
South Carolina @ Tennessee SC +4.5 22.18 UT  31-13 UT   SC SC   SC UT   SC
Texas @ Oklahoma State  OSU +9.5 33-23 Texas  41-14 Texas   Texas  Texas  Texas  OSU  OSU
USC @ Oregon OU +3   24-23 OU 47-20 OU   Oregon  USC  USC Oregon   USC

Posted in College Football | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

Offensive and defensive efficiency

Posted by cuorange on October 26, 2009

The offense looked good for the second consecutive week. Anything between 2 and 2.5 is good and is why the Tigers scored 34 in regulation, though two of those scores were non-offensive touchdowns.

Stat of the week: Prior to Saturday the Canes were 113-1 since 1985 when scoring 37 or more points. They are now 113-2.

Offensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points OE
MTSU 2 3 3 2 3 1 14 23 1.64
Georgia Tech 3 2 6 2 2 0 15 27 1.80
Boston College 0 6 5 3 1 1 16 18 1.13
TCU 1 1 5 0 4 0 11 10 0.91
Maryland 1 2 6 1 2 0 12 13 1.08
Wake Forest 5 1 6 2 0 1 15 38 2.53
Miami 3  2   3  3 1  1  13   26   2.00 
Totals 15 17 34 13 13 4 96 155 1.61

 
The defense gave up some yards and points to Miami, but also intercepted Harris three times. While the defensive stats will undoubtedly take a hit this week, what was important was the “W”.

Defensive Efficiency

Opponent TD FG Punts TO Downs Half Possess Points DE
MTSU 1 0 7 3 3 1 15 7 0.47
Georgia Tech 2 3 6 2 0 2 15 23 1.53
Boston College 1 0 10 4 1 1 17 7 0.41
TCU 2 0 6 0 1 2 11 14 1.27
Maryland 3 1 7 1 1 2 15 24 1.60
Wake Forest 0 1 9 2 1 1 14 3 0.21
Miami  3   3   3   4   0  1  14   30   2.14
Totals 12 8 48 16 7 10 101 108 1.07

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Pick ‘Em standings through week 8

Posted by cuorange on October 25, 2009

For the first time this year everyone had a winning record in week 8. CUOrange is on a roll lately, coming in at 23-6-1 over the last three weeks.

Contestant Won Loss Push Pct GB
CUOrange 47 32 1 58.75
AccuScore 38 41 1 47.50 9
A. Eargle 37 42 1 46.25 10
B. Rink 36 43 1 45.00 11
Texas D 34 45 1 42.50 13

Posted in Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

First downs, TEs and passing

Posted by cuorange on October 23, 2009

Every week here I pile on Billy Napier for being predictable once the Tigers roll into their opponents territory.  Let’s face it, when the Tigers crossed midfield you knew what was coming.  Typically: Run, run, incomplete pass, kick a FG.  Going into the Wake Forest game the Tigers ran the ball over 77% of the time on 1st and 10 in their opponent’s territory.

A funny thing happened against Wake.  Napier channeled his inner Mike Leach, reversed the trend and called passes on 7 of 12 first and tens in Wake territory.  What was the results of those 7 passes?  5 of  7 for 56 yards and 3 first downs.  Add to that a distribution of 2 passes to the TE, 2 to the WR from Parker, one from WR to WR and 2 passes to running backs and you have a mix and match of calls and targets that equals success.

Down/Distance Field Position Run% Pass %
1/10 <=Midfield 63.2% 36.8%
1/10 >=Opponents 49 71.4% 28.6%
Total 66.5% 33.5%

 

I’m not suggesting this means the Tigers will be as successful against Miami doing the same thing. What I am suggesting is that before the Wake game Miami had little to concern themselves with on first down as the Tigers crossed midfield other than a run up the middle.  They certainly didn’t have to worry much about the Tigers spreading the ball around, especially through the air.  Now the Canes have to at least be aware that these plays are in the Tigers arsenal and can be used effectively.

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

Third down conversions

Posted by cuorange on October 22, 2009

A 3 for 10 day against Wake Forest was one of the few downers from this past week and the Tigers rank 101st of 120 teams at 32.29% (31 for 96).  On 4 of the 5 touchdown drives the Tigers never faced a third down.  On the one touchdown drive the Tigers did face a third down, Parker found TE Michael Palmer for a first down and then Parker ran for a first down on another third down.
 
Rendrick Taylor fails again on third and short.  Time to give that up.

Year 3rd and 1-3 3rd and 4-6 3rd and 7-10 3rd and 11 or more
2008 60.71% 38.10% 20.69% 8.33%
2009 52.38% 38.46% 21.88% 17.65%
2009 11/21 10/26 7/32 3/17

Posted in ACC Football, Clemson Football, College Football | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »