Syracuse was playing a Cover 3. Its corners were bailing, its linebackers were covering the seams and the safety was sitting high playing towards the boundary.
Clemson’s Amari Rodgers hit the seam and appeared to be open. But the safety was coming over, so to keep Rodgers away from the safety Lawrence threw to Rodgers’ back shoulder.
However, Rodgers could not get around fast enough to catch the ball. The ball bounced off his hands and right into the arms of the Orange’s Garrett Williams, who returned the miscue 39-yards for a touchdown.
“I just threw it a little too wide and it was kind of an unlucky play. It bounced straight to the guy,” Lawrence said. “The decision to throw it was fine. Like I said, probably, honestly, if it was a foot or less inside, we catch that for a 20-yard gain and we are moving the ball. It is just little things like that in this game. It will punish you for the little things for sure.”
Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott said on Monday he had no issues with the decision Lawrence made.
“They spun to a one-high (safety look) and you are working the seams on that concept. So, you are trying to put that safety in a bind. You have to pick which one. He felt like he had a better opportunity with Amari and he was trying to slow it down,” Elliott said. “Again, he was just a little bit off and a little bit too far behind. But you expect Amari, too, in that situation to go make a play.
“And again, the thing for the defender is he was kind of out of position. The guy who picked off the ball, and the mistake on our part with the throw and the mishandling of the ball and not catching it, man, it popped right into his hands. So, he definitely made the right read. It was just a little bit off from a technical standpoint with the placement of the ball. Otherwise, that is going to be a big play and we are rocking and rolling.”
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