By Keith McGonigle.
Time to take a look at the good and bad from Saturday night’s 27-24 overtime loss to Auburn.
The Bad: A heartbreaking loss to a team that I think Clemson was much better than. This was is to hurt for a whole, especially with no game this weekend, players and coaches are going to have a long time to think how they could have won this one.
The Good: Clemson had one of the best first half’s I have ever seen them play. They went to a tough environment against a ranked opponent and game out ready to go and simply beat Auburn physically for the first half. Clemson showed they can hang with a good SEC team and they are still 0-0 in the ACC.
The Good: QB Kyle Parker showed a lot of toughness taking big hits and staying in the game and fight through it.
The Bad: I do not think he really trusts any of his receivers enough yet other than TE Dwayne Allen, and rightfully so, there were a couple of drops and balls that should have been caught on third downs that were not that really hurt drives. I would like to see a little more of DeAndre Hopkins and Bryce McNeal.
The Good: Andre Ellington looked unbelievable running the ball and Jamie Harper looked very good out of the back field catching including one of the best catches you will ever see. I liked in how they got them involved in screens and dump passes, I think they should continue to pound the ball with them like they did in the first half.
The Bad: Jamie Harper is good for 2-3 yards every time and I like him in short yardage situation especially with his pass catching ability, but he bounces runs outside too much and he really killed a couple of drives. I would have much rather seen Andre Ellington having 25+ carries and Harper seeing 10-15 carries.
The Bad: The linebackers really killed Clemson. Once again the QB read options were a problem for Clemson, and this time I tried to watch for what specifically was the problem. The one thing I noticed was that on a numerous occasion the Clemson linebackers were simply getting lost in the middle and not recognizing the play or missing tackles. I saw this happen to Corocio Hawkins a good amount of time and it resulted in big runs from their backs and QB.
The Good: The defensive line was physical and aggressive; I think they did a very great job. I liked seeing Da’Quon Bowers in there for most the game. I think he should be in on almost every play, he is very stout against the run and is obviously can get after the QB. I thought the secondary played good too. They let up a couple of big plays, but they had to be aggressive and come up and try to make plays because the linebackers were letting up a lot on the ground, so I do not blame them. I really think they should consider moving DeAndre McDaniels back to linebacker/roamer position he played two years ago. He recognizes plays so fast and comes up and makes a lot of tackles for loss.