#1 R.P.I. Clemson @ #1o R.P.I. Virginia Tech:
Virginia Tech football hosts #1 and defending national champion Clemson on Saturday night at 8pm as a seven point home dog (VT+7) on A.b.c./ESPN3.
The Hokies are not favored -much less picked- by many to win here and once you read on you will see what I mean when I type: with good reasons, plural. And this segues us immediately to our word of the day…
Today’s word of the day is… Clean!
adj, adv, v. (klēn),
- Free from dirt, stain, or impurities; unsoiled:
- Free from foreign matter or pollution; unadulterated
- Having no imperfections or blemishes; regular or even
- Free from clumsiness; deft; adroit:
- Thorough; complete.
- i.e. the kinda football game Fu’ and co. must play in order to upset all-galaxy Clemson on Saturday night… squeaky clean; at that.
Head Coach: William Christopher “dabo” Swinney: age=48, 93-28 overall (all @Clemson); $5,750,000.oo
Swinney’s nickname was given to him as an infant by his parents when his then-18-month-old brother would try to enunciate “that boy” when referring to Swinney.
Baller Dabo walked on at fabled Alabama as a Wr in 1989. He earned a scholarship and lettered on three teams (1990–1992), including the Crimson Tide’s 1992 National Championship team. During his time as an undergraduate at Alabama, Swinney was twice named an Academic all-S.e.c. and SEC Scholar Athlete Honor Roll member. In three seasons at Alabama he caught 7 passes for 81 yards and earned two degrees from ‘Bama u.grad and Master’s in Business Administration. (Making one wonder if/when he will, return, to earn his terminal football degree from the same?)
In December 1995, Coach Swinney received his M.B.A. from Alabama and became a full-time Wr’s and Te’s assistant coach for the Crimson Tide. He was fired with all of head coach Mike DuBose’s staff in early 2001
During April 2001 through February 2003, Dabo did not coach and instead worked for A.I.G. Baker Real Estate on development projects in Alabama.
In 2002, his former position coach at Alabama, Tommy Bowden, made Swinney an offer to become an assistant coach for the wide receivers at Clemson, and Swinney joined in 2003. He took over as Recruiting Coordinator and Swinney proved to be both an excellent Wr’s coach as well as recruiting coordinator. In point of fact Recruiter Swinney has received several recruiting awards from Rivals.com. Swinney was initially named interim then full-time head coach and weather a few Life of Pit moments thanks mainly to such epic recruiting early on. In the meantime Swinney has only won seven Coach of the Year award’s —all last year.
Dabo enjoys an extreme rep’ for national recruiting prowess, a creative throw-game itself, and being a very qualified modern era motivator who does well in 2017 facebook terms; a pure player’s coach.
And God Bless his wife Kathleen’s reposed sister: Lisa
Clemson 2016 record: 14 up, 1 down; and 7-1 in the A.c.c.
Tiger Defense: (starters back=7)
- 3rd in total D!
- 12th in run D.
- 9th in pass D.
- 3rd in scoring D!
- 2nd in defensive explosion!
- 17th best in Lo.FM generating 1st down D.
- 2nd in Qb’s sacked!
- 2nd in passing success rate.
- 17th in Tackles for a Loss (TFL).
- (0 fumble recovers thus far?)
- 81st in Red Zone D.
- 111th in Power D!
- 15th in d-Line Havoc. “Nasty” is the preview word I’m reading here ad nauseam, though nastier and nastiest might want a moment with all of that. As this Tiger front-4 is loaded for bear; at a 100% N.F.L. matrix. Truly, best De -and most cussed out- we will see all year in Clelin Ferrell and Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence are almost assuredly the best 1-2 punch we will see at Dt all season long. As there are at least 4 Pro’s here, possibly more if you count on a matriculating Clemson bench. And they get a tremendous rush from this front-4 alone, leaving Clemson to play plenty of robber/bandit or man-free looks as their hind-7 whim(s). Dt Dexter Lawrence and De Clelin Ferrell combined for 21.5 TFL and 12.5 sacks last year, as freshmen! Dt Wilkins only had 13.5 TFL, himself; with a plum crazy 10 pass-break-ups! Even Days of our Lives couples don’t break-up like Wilkins.
- 27th in Linebacking Havoc. In the second-layer the Tigers field TFL machines backed-up by even higher rated recruits who are trying to unseat said TFL machines. Prolly the best and surely the deepest Linebacking crops we will see all year. Mike-Lb Kendall Joseph will press for 275 total tackles before 2017 ends, though there is talent to burn here. And they do cheat a yard or two backwards; due to surplus speed/metrics.
- 1o8th in Secondary Havoc! The Tiger hind-4 or 5 has two or three dented Cb’s at the moment. And Cb was a bit more experienced coming into 2017. Cb Marcus Edmond (foot) would be a significant sit if he can not go here. Clemson rotates 7-8 deep here so fatigue is not a hind-4/5 problem and holding opposing Qb’s to a 52% complete rates says it all.
- On tape… dLine does some over-shifting things; leaving the opposite De upright (be he short or wide-side) and erect in a 2-point stance. Lb’s pitch in in several under-Man coverage looks which puts a onus on the Mike’s run-fighting as a solo artist. Cb’s will press and dare you to throw long… and with the most hellacious pass rush I’ve seen in a minute on film? This makes utopian halt-unit sense. d-Line goes for the Qb swipe/strip… JAX and Corny, be, warned. The Tigers do court a 30 set on passing downs and they use both safeties as centerfielders playing halves; they will blitz off of this as this is a first-date frisky high risk:reward dress. Clemson does finally back outta tight-man on really long Lo.FM’s, though still, as said, this defense is all up in your face. And this pass-rush is beasty, truly; gonna take a lot to keep them blocked for very long. Lb’s have an interesting trinary level hook-zone drop, all about 10’ish off the LOS and all spy whomever while still de facto playing zone (in particular vs. a run-threat Qb). Very good tackling D, though not quite epic as they whiff a few fast-forward hard-charging I.C.B.M. hits for ESPN highlights.
Clemson Offense: (returning starters=4)
- 12th in Total O.
- 13th in rush-game.
- 63rd in throw-game.
- 15th in offensive efficiency.
- 95th in Sacks allowed.
- 48th in TFL allowed / ergo, only 26th in Stuff Rate.
- Still a tad finesse, 86th in solo-tackles is not black-n-blue football.
- 6’4”, 220 lb. t-Jr., Qb1 Kelly Bryant is a 67% thrower yet he’s only 2:3 as his passing ratio works. He is however Clemson’s second leading run-threat with a 268 and 42 points scored on the ground for his running troubles. He has also been sacked 10 time already which means he’s really gained ~35o yards going forward. He keeps the twist-top House Party ‘fro, he sport a plaid bow-tie; he was also only Mr. Football in South Carolina and South Carolina Football Coaches Association Player-of-the-Year as a senior. In his final two scholastic seasons he only amassed 3’ short of 8,300 odd yards and 1o1 total TD’s in his final two seasons as the no.8 Qb in the country! Yah; this guy sucks; and the kicker is… he’s only gonna get, better. So you’d better deal with a freak-talent like Bryant sooner rather than later or during the quad play-off or next year. Bryant was the Tigers 5th leading rusher in 2015… as the Qb2?!? That’s plum crazy and if/when Bryant starts hitting the long throws, we might just have a new mamba swimming in the Atlantic Coast waters.
- #9, rookie year, 5′ 10”, 200 lb. Travis Etienne is just too good to sit; what with a never ever seen before 15.9 yards/hit rate?!? And oh yes, a mere 12.7 per carry! That’s means T.E. is a dawgg, a damn dawgg when he gets hit. I mean that’s Earl Campbell statistical hurt territory with the emphasis on terror itself. He has a left-earring that just won’t stop, he rang up 7,518 rushing yards in 42 games on 103 TD’s and was basically all-everything-you-can-name in Louisiana his senior year. The Tiger run-fit itself has a whopping four different 40 to 80 yard jaunts. As these Tigers are very hard to run down once they break 2nd-layer contain —an extremely explosive run-fit on tape. 5’11”, 220 lb. second year Tavien Feaster is yet another Tiger backfield stud. 249 rushing as the third rushing option after four games is pretty damn good. And his speed game is even better… as Feaster was feast not famine while being voted Mr. Football in the state of South Carolina for 2o15 and Mr. Track as a junior in the spring of 2o15. As T-vien holds the S.c. state record in the 200m at 21.11 secs, and his 100-meter best was 10.42 secs while winning the state 100m for four straight seasons. wow!
- The top-2 Clemson catchers have a catch rate of a nifty 79% and a staggering 95%! Prolly won’t see a more all-state good hands people all season long. The top-3 Tiger catchers all average between a 1st-down and virtually 20 per catch and two of that top-5 average right at 20 ypg. Meaning Clemson has the whole entire medium to deep throw package. 16 different Tigers already log at least one reception in just four games and that’s exactly how deep this catch-set truly is. Wr Ray-Ray McCloud (grate name) and walk-on Wr/Te Hunter Renfrow lead the way; -no Mel Renfrow relation if you are wondering. Though Hunter was an epic baseball player to boot, 6th best outfielder in H.S. prior to Clemson; and he can also Punt so a quick-kick is in play here; and he has 68 blood cousins! (no, that’s not a typo); not half-bad for 5’10”, a buck-fifty-five (155 lbs.) upon arrival. Clemson Wr’s will fumble a bit here; do note that coach Mitch’ and Scott. (UPDATE: Te, Renfrow blew out his knee, third Te done for the Clemson year; God Bless; leaving CU all the more Te thin after Leggett left early)
- The Clemson “Beard Gang” oLine is the linchpin here… as four stalwart starters return, led by all-A.c.c. left-Ot Mitch Hyatt and all-A.c.c. right-G Tyrone Crowder. The oLine is big, and it is well seasoned as experience goes; not quite Big-10 black-n-blue though no where near as finesse oriented as other Tiger oLines have been in the past. Crowder is a living, human, lump; as some guys have broad shoulders; whereas this guy is broad all over. Hyatt may be a bit more technical; though he’s got a sneaky -of not a mean- streak to this game. The Tiger oLine has narrower more physical splits at times; even in pass-protect.
- On tape… Clemson runs what can best be described as a single Back base Spread-O, albeit a base left-cost Spread-O. As it looks like someone put 49’er Coach Walsh and today in a blender. It may just remind you of the Fu’fense a little as it has a lotta quick-look or bang-bang “1-Mississippii” type plays. Lotta ‘gun looks, 3-5 wide, with more screening actions than normal. Counter-screens, regulation screens, bubbles, delays, rolls …and somewhere coach Bustle is, smiling. Hence Wr size and blocking are an emphasis here and they emphasize rather well upon breaking-tape. Also saw me a lotta 1-on-1 Hall & Oats style jump-ball plays in linear isolation along the sideline here; as this O goes short to set you up for going, long. Again; really reminds you of the Ford/Bucky Fu’fense on film. Ditto the triple mesh-point (Hb, Qb-keeper, Wr-sweep) inflection point; and Bryant sells the other 2 fakes rather well. oLine pulls and traps/kicks-out really well; looks like WW2 Sherman dozers doing work on the hedgerow countryside of Normandy/France. They also crossbuck very well, with a lotta scissors type countering run-sets. And one could be forgiven for saying Bryant runs like Evans always dreamed about running, a far more athletic, more cut-up and still yet a tackle busting version of last years J.Evans.
- 60% run:pass 40% mix.
Tigers Special Teams: (0 return)
Clemson is a respectable 49th in Net Punting on the year. As one Clemson punter is a Te and the other one wears a bow-tie; what up with that? Though still, all Clemson Punters’ average 47 to 49 per punt; so leg-boom is not wanting here. Will Spiers has apparently won the punting job beating out two r-Jr’s for the 4th down Qb honors. Will goes 6’4”, 224 r-Fr. lbs. and he lettered last year at his private school as a Qb. So some early trickeration could be in the mix and it’s not even October, yet. Will is a walk-on P and he too looks like poster-child for FOX News. NTTAWWT.
- the Tigers have blocked 0 kicks and allowed 1 kick-blocked.
- the Tigers have blocked 0 punts and allowed 0 punts-blocked.
- an inviting 117th in punt coverage and a middleocore 62nd on the suicide-squad.
- 79th in KO returns | 117th in Punt Returns.
- (could be some w.v.u. hidden field-position here)
The Tigers have already fielded two FG-Kickers this year and that’s typically not a good extended August audition sign. Greg Huegel is 50% on FGA’s and Alex Spence is 0%. Greg has leg will travel and he can kick it from here to Tennessee, only thing is… it might land in, Kentucky. So Greg might have landed on the bench; except; -and Coach God help here- he blew his A.c.l. and therefore Alex took over full-time last week vs. B.C. Alex is a 6’2”, 200 lb. r-Jr. Kicker who has still never made a college FGA. Now the wisenheimers among you will be quick to point out that that might have a little something-something to do with the fact that he’s never attempted a collegiate FGA. Tru dat, though still, when you’ve only been trusted with the keys to the P.A.T. (7 for 7 career) car… what exactly should we all think? Well, we could think that your comb-over Trump toupee is a true purple-state look. No word yet on what prez kim thinks of it… though we could also think that your all-A.c.c. Honor Roll is nifty enough and we could think that being ranked the 34th K in America has to count for something. As there appears to be KO level leg-strength here and Alex was a 83% K in high school.
Special Teams letter-grade: there is some raw, live, real, pure ST’s talent here… however the Tigers are leaking field-position as I type and there are hurts here as well. That caps this ST’s grade lower that it should be and lower than it tests on Tiger paper. Highest possible C+++.
- Clemson D.
- VT D/Clemson O (tie).
- VT O.
- motive: homesteading VT should be sky-high like the International Space Station, whereas CU has already been in a couple of dogfights already. Edge=VT.
- weather: a cool, crispy football-feel. Outstanding. Edge=n/a.
- health: Clemson has more bigger hurts, we have more dings and dents; however, Clemson has more, depth. Edge=CU.
- penalties: PUSH. Both teams real tight here.
- intangibles: guess who is 90th in -the all important- Turnover Margin? Big edge to in Turnover Margin VT.
- fatigue: N/A.
Illation, conclusion(s) and OPT digits:
Number of Tigers who could start @Tech=14
The takeaway here is… that in four of their last six gridiron contests, Clemson has beaten: “the” OH.State, defending champion ‘Bama, Auburn and Louisville… you do the maths.
Because if you do do the maths you will learn that 127 for vs. 58 against vs. a wolfpac of ninja’s like that is insane to the point of absurd. Or 217-68 favor Clemson in their last six if you count the shellacking’s of Boston College and Kent State as well.
Or in other words, Clemson not only blows-out the sisters of the poor; they can, and they have put beat-downs or total blow-outs on Top-10’s and on Top-4’s. wowow!
- Δ1=60% chance that Clemson wins a steady-state, incremental climb of a night. Or the Hokies hang around and then wear down a bit as the scoreboard later on.
- Δ2=20% that we finally wet that nubile pitch-n-catch revamped bed, things snowball -even in September- and Clemson wants to make a R.U.T.S. statement. Because if these Tigers can punk ***** laden Oh.State; you’d have to think they could punk 3 to 3.5 star laden Vah.Tech.
- Δ3=20% at home, at night pure mega O&M fan-base excitement, and with a somewhat Turnover plagued Clemson team, and with that oblong spheroid bouncing indeterminate ways… wouldn’t the quad play-off #5 seed be thrilled here… welcome W.Rider, “eleven”, and the Montreal Expos non-logo hat wearing kid to the… upside down.
Although this could be the opening four rounds of an eventual eight round A.c.c. Championship (rematch) fight… it is very difficult, to the point of being nearly umpossible to say Virginia Tech is the rightful favorite here. Not even at home, not even for the hottest Lane Stadium tix in close to a decade, not even with a payback or revanché mindset in tow.
As quiet honestly, Clemson is the better football team because Clemson has the better football program; or at the very least they have the deeper football program at the moment.
If you ask me -and you did via reading these very words- if you ask me this posit/avers that Virginia Tech football will be fired-up enough to make a game of it for a quarter or maybe even three.
However, methinks to the point of fears… that at some point the younger Virginia Tech football -that just also happens to be the vastly thinner football team- starts to play like the same; inexperienced, then ultimately worn down and beat-up at the end. Further and per st_andrew’s TSL pay-side research, Turnovers and Sacks have been at a premium vs. Dabo’s O. As we surely need some Clemson help to win, here.
It’s not October 31st yet, though the Hokies scare the Tigers on raw emotion for a spell before Clemson clicks and these defending national champion Tigers go Tony the Tiger and play a: “grrrrrrreat” second-half or at least a pretty damn good closing 20-15 minutes of play. Whereby there may very well come a point in this one when Clemson cleans, our clock.
As out-rushing peeps by 718 yards on the season; and 17:1 as rushing for vs. rushing against TD’s already is just umpossible to pick against; as that’s just plum nutty.
To take that steps further, plural; Clemson has not had a negative yardage day or been out-gained by a Tiger opponent in coming up on two seasons of play. In point of fact, Clemson is +2,449 yards to the great in their last ten games!
And to be quite direct; we won’t be the only team getting beat by Clemson;
as Clemson may not get beat again until the autumn of 2018.
Virginia Tech=16, Clemson=39