Time to take a look back at Saturday’s loss to Miami and play a little Monday Morning quarterback. For the second game in a row the Tigers couldn’t seize the opportunities available to defeat a Top 20 opponent.
The Tigers entered the game leading the ACC in turnovers and left the Valley with six turnovers. You can’t beat many opponents when you turn the ball over six times and you certainly can’t defeat a team like Miami.
The game should not have been as close as it was in the fourth quarter. Once again the Tigers had a chance to win the game, but couldn’t get it done in the final quarter.
All About Us
Dabo preaches to the team that “It is All About Us” and Saturday once again it was all about Clemson. Miami is a very talented team, but they didn’t beat the Tigers Saturday afternoon. The Tigers beat themselves. Six turnovers, three touchdowns on blown coverage, dropped passes and a critical holding penalty beat the Tigers.
Concerns for Secondary
For the second game in a row the Tiger secondary gave up big plays with missed assignments. Clemson gift wrapped three touchdowns for the Canes with blown coverages. Two of the touchdowns were on the same play with the safety making the same mistake.
After the Auburn loss the staff and defensive backs said they knew what the problems were and that they could easily be fixed. Not so fast. The mistaked grew against Miami so nwo the concerns about the secondary have amplified.
The Tigers will face another talented set of receivers next week at North Carolina, so the problems better be fixed quickly or the Tigers will be 0-2 in the ACC and 2-3 on the season.
Pitch and Catch
Kyle Parker had his worst performance as a Tiger Saturday in the first half. Parker played much better in the second half and gave the Tigers a chance to win the game. Following the game neither Kyle nor the staff would blame his injury for the poor performance, but you have to believe it impacted his game as this was not a typical performance.
The Tigers didn’t do much to help. In the second half there were a number of dropped passes, including a huge one by Dye on a pass that would have put the Tigers in the redzone.
Once again Ellington, Harper and Allen led the Tigers in receiving.
The Offensive Fix
The fix for the offense is quite simple. Clemson needs to put Harper and Ellington in the backfield together and go with two receivers instead of three.
There is no need to have three receivers on the field when Clemson is struggling so much at the position. DeAndre Hopkins and Jaron Brown should be used as the main receivers in the two receiver set. BrYce McNeal and Marquan Jones should also see time. Playing time for the other receivers should be limited to running plays.
Jamie Harper has shown that he is one of the best receivers on the team so get him on the field along with Ellington. Use Harper more out of the backfield as a receiver. Ellington should get the majority of the carries since he has shown to be a much better threat at running back than Harper. Andre is averaging 7 yards per carry and that average would be even higher if not for the holding penalty Saturday that took away his long run. Instead of splitting the carries 50/50 like they have for the first four games, Ellington should get closer to 75% of the carries.