Clemson Roll Call

This space has been reserved for talking about individual performances on the field, and I will get to that. But I would be doing myself a disservice by not addressing what seem to be persistent issues with this team.

The play calling on Saturday night was a travesty. We were once again witness to a complete schooling on offense.

I'm fully aware that Logan left much to be desired, but the staff isn't getting him in positions to succeed -- which Clemson seems to do well. Sure, Logan was off on the slant to Boykin that resulted in a pick (albeit a non disastrous one), but that's no reason to shy away from it for the next 30 minutes. There's no intermediate passing game. They're sending three guys out there, two of them are running routes 20 yards down the field. Clemson could have stood still and they would have been covered. What is he supposed to do with the football?

And where are the designed runs for Logan? Early in the game, we had Clemson in a 2nd and 18, and the play call was a designed draw for Boyd, who took it 14 yards, setting up a third and short. While we probably would not have converted a 3rd and 4, we would have at least had a chance. And if it's 3rd and 1, Logan should be going for the dive 100 out of 100 times. I don't even want a fake dive pass. Dives every time. There's your Cam Newton comparison.


The chilled air, rain and wind whipping around Lane Stadium made Saturday's slap across the face sting that much more. It was a sobering wake up call. It was the same as it ever was. That game should have been remembered for the tremendous defensive performance orchestrated by Bud Foster. Freshman sensation Sammy Watkins was a non-factor, Tajh Boyd didn't distinguish himself. In their previous four games Clemson gobbled up yards with ease, Saturday night they had to claw for everything they got. Clemson wanted to run 80 plays, they had to settle for 67. Instead, I'll continue to try to answer the "what ifs" floating around my head.

What if David Wilson hadn't fumbled? What if Nosal hadn't jumped on 3rd and goal? What if Logan's shoulder was one hundred percent, would he have ran more, would we have called more running plays for him, would he have been more accurate? What if Eddie didn't blow his coverage, would it have taken some of the pressure off of the offense? What if Demler could've pinned Clemson deep? What if the offensive line played their last 30 minutes as well as their first 30? What if the offense's game plan was as airtight as the defense's?

Week 5 BlogPoll Ballot

My full poll is after the jump. As always I'm going to rely on y'all to keep me in check so leave your opinions, thoughts and suggestions in the comments and I'll adjust the poll as necessary. This week's poll is especially messy.

  • Clemson - Beat back-to-back-to-back ranked teams and you're deserving of a top 5 ranking.
  • Nebraska - This informative EDSBS the Magazine article sums things up quite nicely.
  • Illinois - The fighting Zookers are 5-0, which really is an accomplishment in itself. Who knows how good they really are though. Their next test comes in two weeks against Ohio State.
  • Kansas State - Bill Snyder's head in a jar is doing one hell of a job coaching this year.
  • South Carolina - Garcia! Slam that beer.
  • Arizona State - Quietly making noise in the Pac-12. I like a team that's battle tested and can bounce back from a loss.
  • Virginia Tech - There's no offensive identity, and the special teams are a disaster. Bud Foster's tenacious defense is the only thing of merit, and the only reason why they're in this poll.

SB Nation BlogPoll Top 25 College Football Rankings

The Key Play: Week 5

An Unpopular Opinion

Editor's Note: This. --Joe

I did my best to ensure that I wasn't only observing locally. I was seated in the east-side of North endzone. Immediately around me the following held true, and to the best of my ability, looking around further I saw more and more of the same.

Which of the following behaviors best describe fans in the North Endzone:
1. Cheering for the team on most defensive plays
2. Muttering about poor decision-making and playing
3. Staring blankly at the field
4. Complaining that they were too sober
5. Worrying about running out of airplane bottles

If you answered everything except #1, you would be correct.

Clemson Preview

Who: #11/10 Virginia Tech Hokies (4-0, 0-0 ACC) @ #13/15 Clemson Tigers (4-0, 1-0 ACC)

Time: 6:05 PM

TV Coverage: ESPN2 (Mark Jones, Ed Cunningham, Quint Kessenich)

Venue: Lane Stadium, Blacksburg, VA (66,233 – Grass)

Series History: Clemson leads 17-12-1

  • Last Meeting (2007): Virginia Tech 41, Clemson 23
  • Virginia Tech has won five straight games over Clemson dating back to 1998
  • During those five games, the Hokies have won by an average score of 35-12
  • Clemson has not won in Blacksburg since 1989
  • When ranked higher, the Hokies are a perfect 3-0 against the Tigers

Injury Report

Their Last Dance: Clemson

For college football teams last impressions are the ones that matter most. These are notes, observations and food for thought on our opponents' last game.

Clemson headed into an ACC Atlantic Division showdown with Florida State last weekend. The Tigers beat the Noles handily in Death Valley 35-30, a game they only trailed one time, 0-3. It wasn't my intention to, but I paid much more attention to the Clemson offense and its personnel. It was a fun offense to watch, although if it gets humming on Saturday, it will be better described by me as aggravating.

-- Only a few plays had quarterback Tajh Boyd lined up underneath the center, the rest were out of the shotgun or pistol. There were a lot of moving parts, motion before the snap and play fakes afterwards. To keep a fast tempo, and to meet their goal of 80+ snaps a game, Clemson called plays at the line of scrimmage.

A modern wing look, we'll see that formation a lot on Saturday night.

Q&A with Chili formerly of Block-C

Chili is the co-creator of the now-defunct Danny Ford Is God and Block-C blogs and continues to pine about blogging though he himself chose to end his own site. He is a Clemson grad, architect, and stand-up comedian living in Shanghai. For insight into the brittle psyche of a Clemson fan, and good laughs follow him at @DannyFordIsGod.

1. With only a third of the season over Tajh Boyd already has 15 touchdowns under his belt. He's got a big arm, is extremely accurate and can carry the ball on both designed and improvised plays. OK, I am done doling out praise. What are some of the things Boyd does bad, or are there some situations where he has the ball in his hands and you're on the edge of your seat?

Boyd is still young and relatively inexperienced. Last week Boyd had a bonehead play where as he was falling to the ground well behind the LOS, instead of taking the down for a big loss of yards he sort of half flicked the ball up in the air like an errant booger only to have it gobbled up for a pick-six by an FSU defensive lineman.

He still occasionally floats the ball out there to double coverage or in situations where he shouldn't. I always thought he had great promise as a QB, and still does, but we should also remember that Clemson's young receivers, especially Sammy Watkins, are pretty disgusting and could make any QB look better.

You mentioned Boyd's scrambling ability and, while he's more mobile than some of our past QBs, he still has a ways to go to make that a really viable part of the offense. Also, my man needs to learn to slide. He prefers to sort of flop to the ground and take a big pop from a d-lineman. No. Stop. Bad Tajh.

2. Two years ago Clemson won the ACC Atlantic, last season the Tigers finished 6-7. This year, at 4-0, the Clemson has already knocked off the defending national champions and the ACC favorites. What are some reasons for the turnaround and who are some of the lesser known, let's label them roll players, who have stepped up.