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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.


3 Responses to “First downs, TEs and passing”

  1. […] the other side of the ball, CUOrange shows the encouraging trend for Clemson fans about more aggressiveness on 1st […]

  2. B. Rink said

    Hey, Clemson used the TE like all game until that Ford TD! Go Tigers!

    • cuorange said

      Nice game, huh? Palmer is a great TE..He’s become my favorite player. Hope he takes next week off and is ready for FSU in two weeks.

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