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Clemson Defense VS Boston College(AJ Dillon) Run Game Film Study

+23 HS
Spartan13's picture
December 19, 2019 at 10:58pm

I have done a couple film studies and a Clemson team breakdown and throughout it I have said the Clemson weakness is their defensive front. Woo boy Boston College's ground game proves exactly what I was thinking. AJ Dillon is one of the best back in college football with a running style somewhat similar to JK Dobbins(great cuts, power, vision, but lacking break away speed) and BC ranks 37 on offense in SP+. Their passing offense and defensive are putrid but thats not the point. Their offensive line is also not on par with OSU's but it is a huge one and probably the best one Clemson has seen this year. I don't think they have a player that would start at OSU but it's size really shows up against Clemson. The only problem with this film is BC runs multiple Tight end/full back looks that OSU probably wont run. However it is something I would like to see based on this. 

First play of the game and BC shows its dominance. Every Olineman is reaching to their left and they straight wash those boys out of the way without a miss. The tight end comes back and stones the backside DE Logan Rudolph(240 lbs) Dillon gets 4 yards before he gets touched and falls forward for 3 more. BC tries to throw the next two plays and goes 3 and out. Clemson drives and scores. 

Next drive BC starts with a run again. Exact same concept as the first run. The entire line washes to their left, with no resistance, but this time instead of the tight end wrapping back around the front side guard pulls to come clear out the backside and finds Isiah Simmons blitzing. Dillon is 4 yards beyond the LOS before he gets touched and the LB barely gets off his block to make a tackle to prevent a first down. Better block from the WR and C and Dillon is 1 on 1 with the safety. Again though the Dline is wrecked. 

Later in 1Q BC faces a 4th and 1. Everybody in the stadium knows Dillon is getting the ball. The double team from the C and RG puts their DT on his back. Not a single Clemson player is able to get penetration, Dillon pushes the pile for a few more yards than needed. 

Another 4th down on the same drive and the same thing happens. 0 penetration from Clemson. Dillon gets the yardage easy and gets tracked down by the corner. Clemson just doesnt have the boys up front to stop BC on the ground. 5 yards on 4th & 2.

This is a perfect example of not a single person losing for BC. Every lineman and tight end gets their block easily and it is an easy 6 yards. Because the offense is from the 50s though everybody is packed inside and Dillon has to run into a defender. This play exemplifies why the spread is simply superior than this type of offense. If everybody wins on a play for OSU and JK is at full speed and untouched for 4 yards he is atleast getting a first down if not more. Everybody wins here and you are halfway there. 

I kind of identified #18 Tanner Muse as the weakness in the secondary but this play shows how #34 Logan Rudolph is the weakness on the line. First he is 240 pounds but he is supposed to keep outside contain on this play and the tight end just dominates him, I have a feeling that TE isn't as good as Farrell and Ruckert as well. Clemson certainly has some speed in the back end but the other linebackers do not. #47 James Skalski looks like he is in a tar pit trying to track down Dillon on the outside on this play. If I could have people watch one Clemson play this would be it. Starting DE destroyed by a BC tight end and starting LB with no hope of beating Dillon to the edge. 

I know what you are thinking at this point, I am only including the good plays. AJ Dillon only got 19 carries and I am watching those plays. To this point the only times it wasn't a successful play were run blitzes or super conservative calls where they were behind the sticks because of the inability to throw the ball. BC threw for a whopping 53 yards. Hafley needs to invest in some receivers who aren't 5'10" and who have some speed. Anyways, the Oline washes down, Clemson goes right along with them and a good play. 

Dillon finished with 19 carries for 76 yards. This may seem low but 4 ypc in this type of offense, with no passing threat, no running threat from the QB, and Dillon wasn't able to break a single play loose, is pretty solid work for a really bad BC team. BC had to get impatient because Clemson scored basically every time they touched the ball. Sadly BC has bad WRs and a bad QB and couldn't keep up. The ACC's worst position group across the conference is probably Oline. The only thing to take away from this matchup is how well individual players performed because of the different styles. My doubts about Clemson's Dline was proved in this though. Logan Rudolph is a weakness and should be dominated, OSU will probably come out in a lot of tight end/double tight formations, and the LBs (other than Simmons) just aren't special at all. 

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