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Old 11-14-2016, 08:34 AM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default From the Sidelines

Each week I share some thoughts after watching the Tigers play From the Sidelines. In this edition some thoughts after watching Clemson fall to Pitt From the Sidelines.

- As I watched the end of the game I wondered what happened to the home field advantage in Death Valley. Nobody was supposed to come into the Valley, especially this year and beat this team. Well Pitt did and NC State should have. It is hard to wrap your head around that.

- There has been plenty of focus on Watson's interceptions and the third and 1 and fourth and 1 but this one is on the defense. You score 42 points and you should win. The defense played terrible Saturday for most of the game. They did have a few good stands in the first part of the 4th but the offense never capitalilzed to put the game away.

- On 4th and 1 I would have punted the ball deep. That seemed to work well for the 4th quarter. I know it's just a yard but it would have been much more difficult to go from the ten to get the FG.

- The officiating was as bad as I've seen. We documented that yesterday in our articles on the crew that has now worked two of Clemson's game. You can't tell me there were only 5 TOTAL penalties between Georgia Tech and Pitt in those two games.

- Watson had an amazing day except for the two INT's in the redzone. Remove either one and Clemson wins and Watson may be back in the Heisman race. 580 yards passing is unbelievable.

- Watson's injury played a big role in the loss. Clemson only called two designed runs for Deshaun on Saturday. They average calling seven per game. Pitt knew this and it allowed them to focus on stopping Gallman which they did. This led to Clemson not having balance and having to throw the ball 70 times. Clemson needs to get Watson 100 percent because they will need him to run down the stretch if they want to win a championship.

- It certainly wasn't the way the seniors and four juniors wanted to celebrate Senior day. Thank goodness they have another shot in the Valley against South Carolina. They wouldn't want to go out like that in the Valley with a loss to an unranked team that had no business beating Clemson.

- Coach Venables and the defensive staff have plenty of work to do. They have to make some major improvements to the defense. It will be interesting to see what they do.

- We now have plenty of proof that this team is not as good as last years. Can they still make the playoff and beat anyone when they play their best, sure. But they are not taking care of business consistently like last year's team.

- I thought Pollard and Anchrum did very well with pass protection as both freshmen had to play significant snaps. The running game struggled horribly and you have to wonder how much it would have been different with Hyatt. The Tigers like to run to the left side.

- What a game by Mike Williams? He was a freak out there Saturday. He and Artavis played their tails off. It's too bad the defense didn't do the same.

- Pagano's injury was a big one. He is a big part of the defense on field goals and short yardage. He was missed and will be the next few games.

- The Tigers really need to get Edmond back healthy. Fields is playing better at times, but he is a penalty waiting to happen.

- I honestly never worried about Clemson losing that game until they got stopped on 4th and 1. They let Pitt hang around like they always to and it bit them in the end. I kept waiting for Clemson to get up two scores and if they ever did they would have been fine. NC State game obviously didn't teach this team much as they let it happen again.

- The pass rush needs to improve down the stretch. Boulware continues to struggle in pass protection and that is not going to change. The Tigers need to be able to get more pressure on the QB.

- It was another great crowd. It wasn't as loud as some this year but it was another packed house.

- Boulware was screaming and throwing off some of his stuff as he entered the locker room. Others were screaming as well. They were shocked that the let that one get away.

- We will learn a lot about the character of this team the rest of the way. Do they refocus and make the improvements necessary to make it back to Tampa or do they miss a huge opportunity to win a championship this season? Hopefully they tap the anger from Saturday and turn it into the motivation needed to make a big run.

Last edited by Robert Thorne MacRae; 11-14-2016 at 08:39 AM.
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:48 AM
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tiger68 tiger68 is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

With the Pagano injury, do you think we will see more of Wilkins at tackle?
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Old 11-14-2016, 08:57 AM
Robert Thorne MacRae's Avatar
Robert Thorne MacRae Robert Thorne MacRae is online now
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Originally Posted by tiger68 View Post
With the Pagano injury, do you think we will see more of Wilkins at tackle?
Check Dabo's transcript from last night. He said they would consider that and "look at all options"
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Old 11-14-2016, 02:48 PM
martelapts martelapts is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

Thanks for posting these types of articles.
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Old 11-14-2016, 07:27 PM
Tiger80 Tiger80 is online now
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Post Re: From the Sidelines

Nice commentary.

The point is that Watson did throw the interceptions and it needs to stop now or we will lose again. He has thrown 13 this year!

Can we plead not to have that crew in any of our remaining conference games? They were horrible. The facts are pretty strong that they call more penalties versus Clemson than their opponent when they officiate our games.

The 4th and 1 was simply a dumb call for 3 reasons:
1. We had not run the ball all day and our starting LT was out. Why be so stubborn about running the ball when we clearly do not have the personnel to do so (and haven't all year long)? How about play action or simply throw for the first down.
2. We ran sideways to gain a yard. If you are going to use the Jumbo just plow forward with all 600 lbs and go. In fact, I might line up the running back in front of them and have them push him forward rather than trying to block.
3. As you pointed out, an 80 to 90-yard drive is much harder to make with less than 90 seconds remaining in the game. Our defense was not playing well. Why push your luck?

We need to figure something out on defense. Boulware cannot cover a TE or anyone out of the backfield. I would blitz him, but not both LBs. We get clobbered leaving the middle open when we blitz both LBs.
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Old 11-15-2016, 12:11 AM
TigerCat TigerCat is offline
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Default Re: From the Sidelines

By process of elimination we could have another gem of a ref this week. We haven't had Cherry yet.....
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