May 19, 2019

Film Preview: Syracuse

Another road night matchup for the Tigers, this time on short rest. In recent meet-ups between the two teams, Clemson has filled up the scoreboard, and tomorrow should be no different. Let’s start off with look into Syracuse defensively.

When Clemson has the ball:

The Orange have improved on the defensive side, I’ll give them that, but still struggle to get great push without the help of extra defenders. In addition, the defensive line has suffered several injuries and depth has become a major concern, especially when fatigue sets in late. But the biggest thing that stood out to me watching this team, is how often they got beat deep on the backend. The secondary really has problems when the QB has time in the pocket. Friday night is a fantastic opportunity to open up Clemson’s vertical game a bit.

Syracuse corner beat badly off the line below:

 

Time to throw and the Syracuse corners get beat once again. This really ought to be an opportunity for Cain to show out with his speed.

 

Safety steps up and the corner gets easily beat.

 

 

 

Deep ball success.

 

Syracuse brings heavy pressure this time, but LSU is ready with the RB leaking out. With the Orange blitzing nearly 50% of plays, we may see Feaster get more involved in the passing game.

 

As for Syracuse’s run defense, they often sell out to stop the run with constant blitzing. However, there’s been some success against them, particularly if able to get to the outside, which may be prime for Etienne.

 

 

 

When Syracuse has the ball:

So this Syracuse team is actually fairly fun to watch on offense, particularly because they move with crazy tempo and pass nearly every single play. They like to spread you out, often in 5 wide sets and get the ball out quickly. The bad part about getting the ball out quick and for short gains is that you have to march your way down the field. Something that doesn’t successfully happen often against Clemson’s defense.

Regardless, their dual-threat QB Eric Dungey and talented receivers, Ishmail and Philips, should make the Syracuse offense vs Clemson defense an enjoyable battle.

To quickly go over their run game, the vast majority of it is simply designed runs or scrambles from Dungey:

 

 

Moving into the passing game, Dungey’s favorite target is the quick and agile #3 Ervin Philips. Syracuse loves to use him against zone defense where he can get into a soft spot, or in man against a defending linebacker. If it’s open, Dungey will relentlessly feed him the rock. My assumption is that Venables will likely drop DE’s into the zone spaces to try and take away Dungey’s first and easy option. Syracuse’s OL isn’t strong enough to hold the pocket long, and Dungey has the habit of panicking once his first read is gone.

 

Philips gets cushion.

 

Philips comes up and sits in the soft spot.

 

Yes, they did this all day against LSU.

 

Using Philips’ quickness in space:

 

And when Syracuse does try to get a big more vertical in the pass game, they target the talented Steve Ishmael. My guess is that Ishmael sees Mullen with safety help over the top.

 

 

 

 

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