#2 Clemson Tigers vs #12 Virginia Tech Hokies
Lane Stadium – Blacksburg, VA
Score: Clemson (31), Virginia Tech (17)
Notable Prospects Entering the Contest
Virginia Tech Hokies
Cam Phillips, WR (Senior)
Cannot stack a press coverage rep from CB12 Wallace; struggles with initial swipe to force a missed punch and never gets hip to hip on 3rd and 6. Clean route on 3rd and 4 after coming in motion across set; does allow ball into body. Again struggles on the boundary vs. press coverage; unable to get hip to hip or stack defender and has to transition into defender to prevent challenge on the ball. Finds big room (21 yd) up the seam as a free release receiver from the slot; good concentration and catch as bodies flashed in front of the ball. Cannot separate vertically yet again; CBs for Clemson too physical outside. Has to bat ball away on contested throw. Tightly contested shallow post route; unable to locate football on a hot throw vs. blitz pressure. Crisp on hard breaking route back into the LOS for a 12 yard gain; clean hands on this reception.
Travon McMillian, RB (Redshirt Junior)
Getting a lot of touches in the 1st QTR but uninspiring with juice; there’s lanes to be had but not a lot of burst to get home. Good balance and strength to shrug off a potential tackle on counter draw; big play up the middle courtesy of RAC (27 yard gain). Fumbles away second carry of the 2nd half after taking contact in the backfield.
Tremaine Edmunds, LB (Junior)
Strong work pushing through a late blitz pickup from Left Guard on interior stunt to register QB hit; shows functional strength on play. Immediately follows up with an A-gap shoot to stuff run inside the five: GREAT diagnosis on the play. Functional strength shows up again on following play, QB counter draw (hit Bryant on the goal line and won to prevent score). Appears to have busted a coverage in man to man, failing to see RB leak out of protection and into the flat (play breaks for a long touchdown). Terrific job stepping up onto the boundary and setting the edge vs. jet sweep, then disengaging late to finish and make tackle for short gain. Is caught a little hesitant in the open field trying to corral Bryant on 3rd down sneak and 1st down run. Nice burst to get downhill and challenge lead block before playing off of contact. Has been active throughout the contest as a space LB lining up on the edge, makes another tackle early in the 4th QTR. MONSTER tackle on Bryant in the open field on 3rd down scramble; perfection in the way of a form tackle. Great job running feet.
Brandon Facyson, CB (Redshirt Senior)
Late tackle vs. QB run; struggles to get off of body and looks stiff trying to transition and mirror a cut from Bryant. Helps clean up smoke throw in the flat; stepping up to attack from deep third coverage. STIFF! Very stiff trying to mirror and work inside when facing Cain on deep post route; big gain.
Adonis Alexander, CB (Junior)
Did not start (possible extension of prior suspension) but was present on the field after a several week absence. Got nosey on a deep shot midway through 2nd QTR and failed to show recovery speed; bailed out by overthrow. Nice hand check on Cain on stick route, would have liked to see hard plant step to prevent a window to throw the ball. Whiffs on tackle attempt trying to step up and close vs. a speed out; play puts Clemson inside the 5. Delayed corner blitz ends with sack of Bryant; great long speed to close and finish in the pocket.
Yosuah Nijman, LT (Junior)
Has patience on set vs. Ferrell on 3rd and 1; play was delayed QB run. Nijman does well to not “take the cheese” and overextend trying to get hands on early. Length is notable on pass set vs. Ferrell on 2nd down pass. Good hand activity on the rep to hand check and continue working to sustain contact with body. Hogties Ferrell on a 3rd and 10 rush; not called for penalty on the play but got overwhelmed by hand power on the play.
Deon Cain, WR (Junior)
Cannot corral throw from Bryant on 3rd down route vs. Alexander; didn’t have chance to slide and get in front of throw. Finally logs a big play after getting isolated 1 on 1 with Facyson to the far side of the field. Nice pivot back outside to pick up additional yardage on post route as well. Speed out converts into big run and catch just short of a TD vs. off coverage vs. Alexander. Good burst after first move.
Ray-Ray McCloud, WR (Junior)
Terrific vertical catch on third and long on opening possession; goes vertical to high point on 9 route over Facyson.
Hunter Renfrow, WR (Redshirt Junior)
Smooth feet to transition out of two consecutive lateral cuts in order to avoid lateral defensive flow on check down. Capitalized on a soft cushion from the slot; running deep corner route to get between second and third layers of the defense for a long reception. Nice work on deep punt to adjust and prevent a loss of yardage by getting underneath of a late fair catch.
Mitch Hyatt, OT (Junior)
Showed good snap out of stance on a quick set on 3rd and 6; set hips quickly and popped hands through contact to stun effectively. False start on 2nd and long early in 2nd half; pushes team behind the chains and into long down and distance. Good kick slide on following play but doesn’t establish hand control; pressured up the field and has to turn and chase. Caught with a light anchor and gives up sack to Trevon Hill on the play; needs to be able to drop hips (although that has been a bit of an issue all night).
Tyrone Crowder, OG (Redshirt Senior)
Looks heavy footed trying to climb up onto the second level and challenge LB in space. Whiffs on cut block in space; allowing sack due to lack of spring to roll forward and impact the thighs. Creates big crease with a down block vs. advantageous angle before washing out LB. More big blows in tight window; able to help establish inside push for 1 yd TD run.
Clelin Ferrell, DE (Redshirt Sophomore)
Slants inside on a 3rd and 1; registering a run stuff in the process. Very good roll through the hips to work across the body of blocker and into gap; good strength to eat up the ball carrier while being leaned on. Lays a huge wallop on Jackson (QB) as unblocked defender off the backside; powerful short area close. Good pursuit to transition and get back off of a cut and prevent Phillips from converting a 3rd down tunnel screen down the field. Working off ball in a two pt stance to cover flat; collapses down to finish on a bounced run play. Length is illustrated on a bull rush by playing through body of blocking RB to get hands on Jackson and force a flushed play; good power and length.
Christian Wilkins, DL (Junior)
Stout effort in the middle; does well to mirror QB on draw play while utilizing hands to fight off contact and help assist on a tackle. Starting to turn it on in end of 2nd QTR. Getting after Jackson on a boot and logging QB hit. First teammate over onto field to help Feaster celebrate a touchdown run; notable enthusiasm and enjoyment of the game. Has been very physically stout all game, not necessarily tasked with a lot of penetration reps in this specific contest.
Austin Bryant, DE (Junior)
Really surprising level of open field separation to transition out of rush and pursue a receiver on hook route down the field. Blend of size and explosion is very attractive. Movement skills from a two pt. stance to react to jet sweep and get lateral; preventing runner from gaining the edge. Excellent speed on the play. Asked to flex into the boundary and play as the press/point defender on a 4th down and short. Blows up the play and tackles ball carrier in the backfield for a turnover on downs; excellent illustration of overall athletic ability. Impressive showing overall, looking forward to reviewing additional film this week.
Kendall Joseph, LB (Redshirt Junior)
Nice run fun getting downhill; initial step allows him to beat engaged blocker to spot and get into the legs of RB. Plus backside pursuit to get all the way across the formation into the far numbers to minimize boundary run. Very quick to close vs. QB draw; movement skills are terrific.
Others who flashed
Kelly Bryant (Clemson QB, Junior)
Has had terrific poise all game. Winning with both feet and arm; dominating talent. Very good vision both as a passer and a runner; hasn’t made very many poor decisions. Rather has missed a handful of throws, but this game is one for the resume.
Trevon Hill (Virginia Tech EDGE, Redshirt Sophomore)
Logged a sack on final play of the 3rd QTR; has a great blend of length and burst. Functional strength is going to be a work in progress but has the needed acceleration and twitch to compliment frame and be an effective boundary pass rusher going forward.