By Will Vandervort.
Every rep and film study matters
By Will Vandervort
Not that they have wasted an ounce of practice these last two weeks in training camp, but eighth-ranked Clemson understands there is no more messing around from here on out. The Tigers began installation Monday for the Georgia game as they get ready to host the fifth-ranked Bulldogs on Aug. 31 in Death Valley.
“It was a day when you go out there and try even harder to pay attention to what you are looking at,” quarterback Tajh Boyd said. “You are watching more film on those guys and watching for certain looks, formations and certain sets.
“We just have to go out there to practice and make sure we utilize our time. When you start to bear down and game plan for these guys, you cannot be wasting your time and wasting these reps.”
The Tigers, who have been ranked for 30 straight weeks dating back to the 2011 season, have been watching film on the Bulldogs for the last several weeks thanks to the new iPads they got at the start fall camp.
“We are not opening against Furman or somebody like that,” defensive tackle DeShawn Williams said. “We are opening up against a powerhouse team. To be the best we have to play against the best because that’s where we want to be.
“With the iPads we have, we get to watch film on them anytime we want to. With them (Todd) Gurley is a strong back that I did not know how fast he was until I watched film.”
Boyd says he has already watched three or four games of the Bulldogs last year.
“I have to continue to keep watching and pressing down,” Boyd said. “That’s when it comes for me to use my time wisely. I’m going to have a little more extra time on my hands. It’s important to understand that all the time I have is critical.”
Though they will still watch film, Williams and the Clemson defense have a little bit more advantage when it comes to watching film than the Clemson offense does. The Bulldogs return all of its key personnel on offense, including the offensive line, while on defense they have a brand new secondary and nine new starters overall.
“It is not the same personnel,” Boyd said. “All the guys on film are gone so it is all about trying to see what you can see as far as certain coverages, blitzes and stuff like that.
“You don’t know what they are going to do and what they are really capable of. It is trying to execute what you can. When you see some things, recognize it, go out there and understand and play your game.”
The key will be for them not to look into too many certain things or they could start to confuse themselves. At the end of the day, it is all about going out and playing football and executing the game plan.
“That’s the hard thing,” wide receiver Sammy Watkins said. “They are going to be prepared for us. They have been watching film and things like that. We just have to prepare for what their defense likes to do. During the course of the game, we will figure out how they press us or how they back off and how they insert things in and stuff like that.”