JessN: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’s fu - Page 2
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  1. #14
    BamaNation All-American Probius's Avatar
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Thanks, Jess. There were two things that stood out to me in the game. Our secondary really struggled and I think the lack of experience finally caught up with us. We really struggled in the red zone on offense and I think this was because their front 7 was beating our offensive line. When we had a full field in front of us, we did well. When we were in the red zone, and they didn't have a big field to defend, we couldn't punch the ball in.
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  2. #15
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    I will say this - Dabo knew that Alabama would stop the run, and you did. They had something like 25 yards rushing at halftime, but were leading 31-16. Part of the lead was the pick 6, but they still scored another 24 points in a half against your defense by taking what you were giving them. They planned for it. The eliminated their run game and ran a Mike Leach offense. They sold out on their o-line and RBs in pass protection, never even trying to establish a run game that they knew wouldn't work.

    They knew Alabama. They had a plan. Alabama adjusted at half time and you held them in the second half, but then let's talk about their plan for your offense.

    They knew that your offense's success was based on Tua. For the first time, Saban let a single player determine the success/failure of the team, and Clemson had a plan for that. They dropped everyone back in coverage, and switched coverages on almost every down, but post-snap. Whatever Tua's pre-snap read was, it was wrong, because they changed.

    They gave Alabama the run game and decided to let your RBs beat them, not Tua. This would not have been a problem, except that Tua made two bad reads that led to picks, and he lost his confidence. Alo, when you got into the red zone, they played their typical defense. You had so much success running the ball between the 20's that you kept running the ball down there, and they were forcing you to throw. Not sure why you didn't adjust to that. 3 trips inside the 20 in the second half produced zero points - with Tua at QB.

    They had a better game plan, and the game plan beat you. They played better in the trenches - not because they had better players, but because they had a better plan. Time to turn the page, but also time for Saban to reconsider the offense that he ran this year. Forget points scored. Control the ball. You scored in bunches this year, but when you needed to control the ball and score, you couldn't. That, IMO, is the most important lesson to be learned. You might still have lost this year running a ball control offense with Tua at QB, but you would have been in the game.

  3. #16
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Quote Originally Posted by B1GTide View Post
    I will say this - Dabo knew that Alabama would stop the run, and you did. They had something like 25 yards rushing at halftime, but were leading 31-16. Part of the lead was the pick 6, but they still scored another 24 points in a half against your defense by taking what you were giving them. They planned for it. The eliminated their run game and ran a Mike Leach offense. They sold out on their o-line and RBs in pass protection, never even trying to establish a run game that they knew wouldn't work.

    They knew Alabama. They had a plan. Alabama adjusted at half time and you held them in the second half, but then let's talk about their plan for your offense.

    They knew that your offense's success was based on Tua. For the first time, Saban let a single player determine the success/failure of the team, and Clemson had a plan for that. They dropped everyone back in coverage, and switched coverages on almost every down, but post-snap. Whatever Tua's pre-snap read was, it was wrong, because they changed.

    They gave Alabama the run game and decided to let your RBs beat them, not Tua. This would not have been a problem, except that Tua made two bad reads that led to picks, and he lost his confidence. Alo, when you got into the red zone, they played their typical defense. You had so much success running the ball between the 20's that you kept running the ball down there, and they were forcing you to throw. Not sure why you didn't adjust to that. 3 trips inside the 20 in the second half produced zero points - with Tua at QB.

    They had a better game plan, and the game plan beat you. They played better in the trenches - not because they had better players, but because they had a better plan. Time to turn the page, but also time for Saban to reconsider the offense that he ran this year. Forget points scored. Control the ball. You scored in bunches this year, but when you needed to control the ball and score, you couldn't. That, IMO, is the most important lesson to be learned. You might still have lost this year running a ball control offense with Tua at QB, but you would have been in the game.
    Spot on. We just were out coached pre game and during the game.

  4. #17
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    It’s just that I didn’t recognize this team. An offense that sputtered out in the red zone how many times? A defense that went waaay too long without getting a stop? Got no calls either. Hey. When was our last takeaway? Because I can’t remember. I don’t know. This was kind of like playing blackjack in Vegas when the dealer is hot. Nothing seemed to work.

  5. #18
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Thanks Jess - tough to write and read.

    I'll stand by the old chestnut that teams aren't as good as they look when they win big, and not as bad as they look when they lose big. There some immediate changes already in progress. There will be a new OL coach, and of course a new OC, where it might be possible to get an upgrade.

    We've cheered Saban for hiring coaches with perhaps more recruiting chops than on-field ability. This might also explain the growth of "analysts" who might have taken some game prep load off the field coaches. But game day, last night, reminded us how good Venables and the Clemson co-OCs are. Maybe Swinney will spawn a coaching tree of his own, and have to start dealing with yearly coach rotation.

    Overall, I agree strongly that Clemson has now reached the same stratosphere as Alabama, which means that everything matters. While beating, say, a cyclically strong LSU or Auburn can be done even in a "down" year, beating Clemson in an "up" cycle can't be done with a down Alabama. A bit too much player attrition, some coaching differential, a difference in playoff opponent, a difference in turnovers, a difference in composure - small things add up.

    Do these things require major surgery to correct? Or is it just not possible to win it all every year? I think these two teams will be back next year, and Alabama wins it.

  6. #19
    BamaNation Hall of Fame bamacon's Avatar
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    What’s so frustrating is that the things that were working were totally abandoned at the wrong time and things that weren’t were used at the wrong time. The 2nd interception should not have happened. Bama could’ve been in this game and go toe to toe as far as scoring goes. It’s just one of those nights. The defense was the much bigger concern. The lack of depth hurt at DL and the LB play was just stunning. One thing is also clear, when Saban doesn’t have a reliable Jack the defense isn’t the same. Wonder what he defense would have looked like if we had Juniors return like Wilkins and then did last year?


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  7. #20
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Dabo has assembled a team basically equal in talent and which has no fear of Alabama.

    We were simply out coached and out played in about every way possible last night.

    At halftime Saban looked frustrated and confused.

    I never thought I'd see a Saban coached team overmatched like that.

    Saban is still the greatest coach ever, but Swinney has figured out how to beat Saban...and from the looks of last night...he's on the path to knowing how to dominate Saban.

  8. #21
    BamaNation All-SEC Saban4Ever's Avatar
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Thanks for your write-up, Jess. I got no sleep, I was so mad, and embarrassed for the players/University. Not just that we lost, but how. I just don't understand why our coaches can't adjust to what works/doesn't work for both sides of the ball. Clemson was the better team last night, but we had our chances to keep it close.

    Will Saban ever pass Bear Bryant for number of NC wins, or will Dabo eventually catch up over the next few years? I hope Bama is in the final 4 next year. I know Clemson will be. RTR!

  9. #22
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Great analogy.
    Quote Originally Posted by TideEngineer08 View Post
    This game felt like the fight between the Hulk and Thanos in Avengers Infinity War. As soon as they showed they were going to fight back after we punched them, it was like we folded.

  10. #23
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    I have random ‘friends’ wanting to talk about the game. It’s tough here in Texas. To an Aggie friend... yeah, rough game. Know what makes me feel better? 45-23 on 9/22.

  11. #24
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Great again, Jess. This is probably the toughest pill to swallow yet. Not just because we lost but in the fashion that I have never seen a Bama team lose.

  12. #25
    BamaNation First Team JTH's Avatar
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    You blame Clemson's last loss to Alabama on lack of personnel, but I believe the same could be said for Alabama this year on defense. If we had a true pass rusher like we had in Tim Williams, this game could have been so much different. A player like that could have rattled Lawrence and caused poor throws as we saw the few times we got to him last night. Without that, we were picked apart on third and long all night giving up big play after big play.

  13. #26
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    Re: Clemson wrap-up: How Bama recovers – or doesn’t – will determine much of program’

    Good write up Jess, I also was wondering about the 28 points, sometimes early this morning. I think the team will be fine, Tua will improve we should be back here next year.

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