By Keith McGonigle.
The nation watched Auburn and Oregon battle until the final minutes in the BCS national championship Monday night. Clemson fans couldn’t help but think about the game at Auburn where the Clemson dominated for three quarters, but still lost the game. With a new offense on the way TheClemsonInsider.com takes a look at what Clemson can learn from Oregon and Auburn:
- It is not all about passing – With five wide receiver recruits verbally committed to Clemson and many talented young receivers already on the roster, Clemson fans are already dreaming of the possibilities in the passing game. But let’s remember both Oregon and Auburn run forms of the spread offense, but their passing game excels because of their ability to run the ball. Both Auburn and Oregon had countless big plays this year because defenses always had to be ready for the run, and when they started cheating in they would hit them with a long pass. Hopefully Chad Morris brings a, run to set up the pass, mentality and gets the most out of the very talented backs on the Tiger’s.
- Deception and Depth – It is hard enough to stop a great offense, but it is even harder when you don’t know who has the football. Both Oregon and Auburn used great deception on offense and defense. On multiple plays it was very hard for the defenses to figure out exactly who had the ball. This deception allowed their very talented players to get the ball in space and make plays. Deception goes hand-in-hand with the depth of the football team. If the defense knows they only have to worry about stopping one guy then it limits the amount of things you can do. With a number of talented backs and receivers on the team next year, hopefully Morris can find a way to involve many of these playmakers and use different forms of deception to keep defenses constantly guessing.
- Use the Speed on the Roster- Both Auburn and Oregon are loaded with speed and throughout the year they showed that speed off by getting the ball to those playmakers on screens, bubble passes, crosses, deep balls, double moves etc. I think Clemson can match up with any country in the nation in speed. Especially if they are able to keep this loaded class together for next year.
- Clemson’s defense is good enough – Watching that game there was never any point where I thought ‘I wish Clemson had Oregon’s or Auburns defense’. I think Clemson’s defense this year was a lot more talented than both teams and had a lot more depth. The Tiger defense was put in tough situations all year by the offense, and at some points they would let up big drives like any team. Even with the loss of Da’Quan Bowers I think the Tigers can come back next year with a revamped line backing crew and be better than last year defense.
- When they play well, the Tigers can match up against any team – It still amazes me that Clemson dominated National Champions Auburn in their own stadium for the first half of football and eventually took them to overtime in a loss. I remember watching the first half and thinking it was the best half of football I have seen Clemson play. Whatever the Clemson coaching staff did to get the players ready for that game should be mimicked next year because they played outstanding against the best team in the country.