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September 5, 2013

South Carolina Thoughts

After watching the Clemson game, a few things stood out to me that may matter this weekend:
  • All of Gurley's long runs were with Quayvon Hicks in at FB giving a lead block. Don't look for that to change. In fact, I'd look for us to run more Power I. As Blutarsky put it, you can't fail to run play action out of this set. If that is our most effective rushing set, why not set up some passing out of it, especially considering that gives you Hicks and Marshall/Gurley as a potential outlet coming off chip blocks.
  • That also puts a big body in to get between Clowney and Murray.
  • We played very vanilla coverage/blitz packages. Not sure if that was because of youth or because our goal was to keep Boyd contained. For my money, it was to keep Boyd contained. That didn't work out to great. Boyd>Shaw, at least when it comes to ability to slip out of the pocket and make stuff happen. 
  • However, South Carolina counts on Shaw tucking and running to make part of their offense tick. Keeping the rushing lanes, which we did a good job of, and making Shaw chose between throwing the ball away or tucking it and trying to run in the middle will be a key.
  • Part of Boyd's slipperiness had to do with poor tackling. I counted no fewer than 10 times we had him, only to have him slip away or at least get back to the line of scrimmage. That included the play where the officials missed a grounding penalty. What would converting four of those 10 opportunities to sacks do to the complexion of the game?
  • As I noted, Shaw's rushing ability is more about tucking and running, rather than play extension. That allows us to more effectively bring different pressure on him. Of course, we have to tackle him if we get to him. 
  • The Gamecocks will look to get the same pressure Clemson did, but only rushing 4-5. While that leaves more cover guys, that also allows for more opportunities to use misdirection passing plays. Provided we can let Clowney run him self ragged early and not kill Murray have plays that develop quickly enough to allow us to use that misdirection before our Oline gets over run.
  • Actually, we looked ok with standard pass rushes. Our line did a terrible job of picking up blitzes. Murray did a bad job recognizing them and calling protection packages to pick them up.
  • If you want to fault Murray, let's talk about delay of game penalties and dumb timeouts.
Oh, and Collin Barber looked much better. He's averaging nearly six yards more per punt than last season, though the sample size is really small. I hope it stays small.


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