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.
By joeon September 29, 2011, 12:54 AM | 8 comments
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.
By french60waspon September 28, 2011, 10:20 AM | 8 comments
I didn't get a chance to watch the game live this week, so I am probably prejudiced by some of the frustrating reports about the erratic performance of the Hokies this week. After a quick review of the first quarter, I walked away with the following impressions: 1) The defensive line and middle backers are a strength of this team. 2) Logan Thomas has some weaknesses, but the coaching staff is giving him much more responsibility than they gave Tyrod Taylor or Bryan Randall as a first year starter. 3) The offensive line has played better than you think they have, but they still play too high to drive people off the ball.
By BeerControlOffenseon September 28, 2011, 12:54 AM | 51 comments
My favorite month of the year. By the time October is over, the leaves will have gone from green to yellow, red and orange. The temperatures will have cooled, the humidity evaporated and many of college football pretenders disappeared. As we are now a third of the way through the regular season and each team's flaws are apparent. Improve your flaws, expose theirs, that's the game, especially for the final three games on this week's 6 Pick.
It's time. The training wheels left on our new quarterback during September are coming off. It's big boy football and it's time to find out how good this edition of the Hokies are. Having seen and doubted Clemson the last two weeks, we know this isn't your typical Clemson team. They are resilient and explosive on offense. They will test Bud Foster's improved defense. The defense likely can't win it alone, even with 66k yelling behind them. The running game needs to turn it up a notch and Logan Thomas has to be decisive and accurate when his number is called. Let's not put the cart before the horse, before this game there is a celebration of football and competition. I intend to drink lots of good beer, eat lots of animal flesh and partake in communion at the Clubhouse. So party up fellow Hokies, Saturday is when the fun really starts.
The Tigers will prepare with pumped-in crowd noise at practice, as they do for most big road games, and rely on the poise of a veteran, experienced offensive line. Winning this week is a difficult task, but an entirely necessary one to reach the goals this team has set for itself.
"We expect to win," senior right tackle Landon Walker said. "We don't expect the fans, the crowd noise to affect the way we do things. We expect to be prepared and we're going to handle it. A mature team, a championship team can do that. A championship team can take good things they do at home, win at Virginia Tech, and win wherever they play. You've got to do that. Because if you can't win on the road, at Virginia Tech, in my mind, you don't deserve to be there."
As if you guys didn't need any more reason to be up for Saturday's game.
By Hokie_Wolfon September 27, 2011, 10:01 AM | 1 comment
Clemson University is located on the western tip of South Carolina in Clemson. The university was founded in 1889 as an agricultural military academy. Clemson didn't become a civilian co-ed university until 1955. Horace Grant, Brian Dawkins, Jim Speros, Strum Thurmond, and Lee Brice all attended Clemson, though their most cherished alum is probably Robert H. Brooks (yeah the guy who founded Hooters).
It's the same as it was 30 years ago, said George Bennett, the founder of the $2 bill tradition.
Mr. Bennett said he began the $2 bill strategy when Georgia Tech decided to stop its series of games against Clemson. Clemson fans wanted to show Atlanta businessmen how big an economic mistake that would be.
So if someone painted Clemson Orange hands you a tiger paw stamped $2 bill this week let him/her know that the 70's are over and everyone uses debit cards now.
This week we are going to have a little southern dish that really has nothing to do with the west side of South Carolina, but you never need a really good reason to eat cedar planked shrimp and grits.
By 06Hokieon September 26, 2011, 12:49 PM | 6 comments
Is it me or was Saturday's game extremely boring? I watched it twice and I wanted to take a nap both times.
The defense is fun to watch, however. Especially the front seven.
I noticed some second teamers come in towards the end of the game, but I didn't really have anything to say about them, so I kept them off this week's roll call.
1. Antone Exum - Mr. Exum is pretty lucky he didn't get smoked for a touchdown when he was playing near the line of scrimmage about five minutes into the game. Tajh Boyd doesn't overthrow that ball next week. He needs to get the mistakes cleaned up pretty much right now. But, he deserves some props for the interception and return. (and the nice break up on Marshall's last offensive play).
2. Josh Oglesby - Can we talk about how important he's been this year? He runs with authority and has been extremely effective in the red zone.
3. Logan Thomas - He didn't have a bad day, but he didn't have a great day. I thought his accuracy was better on intermediate routes. His deep ball touch worries me, because ACC defensive backs are going to make more plays on under thrown passes. I also get nervous when he throws the out-route. I am not sure we should be calling that right now. Lastly, we saw yet again what he can do with the ball in his hands on his touchdown run -- let's get him moving around a little more (not a lot more).
By Hokie Stoneon September 25, 2011, 6:36 PM | 9 comments
I was driving down 95 through VA and stopped to get gas somewhere near Fredericksburg. I ran inside to grab some essentials for the rest of the trip ahead: red bull, beef jerky, gatorade, gum (all four road trip food groups.)
I saw a rack full of random gas station quality sports schwag so I went to check it out. I'm a sucker for spending $5.95 on a piece of VT paraphenelia I will never use again.
Most of the stuff on the rack was VT and UVa stuff. Here's what it looked like when I walked up...