It wasn’t the prettiest game to watch, and the rain may have had some effect on that, but its over and we’ve clinched another goal for the season. We’re 13-0. This is the first team to win 4 ACC titles outright, so enjoy it folks; this does not last. When I started getting into blogging years ago, this is where I told people we should be and they felt we were crazy for saying so. Now we’re going to the playoffs once again with a national title at stake.
I give Pitt a lot of credit for how they played pass defense tonight. Our guys didn’t make some catches they should have, but their DBs were always right there. They played physical coverage and made us work for those yards. They always made sure to turn their heads around and locate the ball when they did get physical. That is how you’re supposed to play the position. I thought our athletic ability should’ve won out more on some of those plays but I do give them credit for playing with such great fundamentals.
They didn’t play so well in the ground game and Etienne ran all over them. Our OL played pretty well, but I did notice that the Guards telegraphed some runs based on our sets. I’m surprised that didn’t get caught by Pitt.
The defense only gave up 8 yards passing, which is a damn sight better than last weeks 500, but Pitt is not a passing team. What should have happened more is the sacks. Clemson overran their rush lanes a lot tonight, and Pickett would just run 10-12 yards untouched once the pocket collapsed behind him. That can be corrected, but its more of a gameplan issue than anything.
Pitt took good advantage of our aggression at DL as well. Their zone scheme let the DL go whichever way they want, while the back just waits for the cutback lane to open up, which did a good bit since we were overrunning a lot of plays in the 2nd and 3rd Qs. If the backside LB doesn’t get there, the RB goes a long way. Numerous TFL were missed in the backfield. I was surprised they ran the ball as well as they did. I doubt Venables will be very happy with this performance.
I’m holding out hope that we’ll find a Punter someday and that TJ Chase will get removed from all Special Teams sets.
As you know, my goals for every season are to win 10 games, beat SC, and win the ACC. Any season where we can do that, I’ll be happy. Now we await the playoff seeding to see where we’ll play and who we get in the first round, but I don’t think it matters. I have my tickets reserved in Santa Clara and I believe we’ll be there. Now it does not matter how we look, just that we win.