Clemson Game Analysis

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Now that was entertaining wasn’t it? In a display that qualifies for the
“Beamer Ball” Hall of Fame, the Hokies went into Death Valley and used
dominating performances by the defense and special teams to whip the Clemson
Tigers 41-23.

The script couldn’t have been written much better. Facing a strong
conference opponent in a tough environment, the Hokies used the essence of “Beamer
Ball” to stun the Clemson faithful and send them home shaking their heads in

In the Hokie football handbook, the ideal start of any game goes something
like this — win the coin toss, defer the kick, put the defense out there
first, and set a tone of physical, tough football. Grab the field position
advantage, score on defense, or make something big happen with special teams.

I’d say this one pretty much went according to plan. The Hokies dominated
the first half, scoring on offense, defense, and special teams before the
vaunted Clemson offense tallied a first down. Trailing 31-8 at halftime, the
Tigers tried to rally behind an all-out aerial assault in the second half, but
on this night, this Death Valley belonged to the Hokies.

There is no better place to start this article than
with the defense.


How do you win a game on defense? Take away a team’s strength and make them
one dimensional.

For the second year in a row, Bud Foster’s defense did just that. The Hokie
D completely shut down the high-powered Clemson running attack of James Davis
and CJ Spiller and forced the Tigers to wind it up and air it out. After a
record-setting 67 pass attempts, I’d say the Hokies did a good job of making
Tommy Bowden, Rob Spence, Cullen Harper and the rest of the Clemson offense very
one dimensional.

And they did it a little bit differently this time around. Bud Foster and his
coaches always seem to be a couple of steps ahead of the Clemson offensive brain
trust, and so it was again on Saturday night.

Earlier in the week, Tommy Bowden publicly commented on Tech’s defense,
basically referring to it as a scheme that utilized a lot of 8-man fronts and
“robber” coverages.

Let’s define that a little bit further.

There are many aspects and variations of the so-called “robber” coverage,
but at a high level it’s a way to use one of the safeties in the middle of the
field to “rob”