May 19, 2019

Film Preview: NC State

In perhaps the biggest test left this season, Clemson heads to Raleigh to take on Doeren’s 6-2 Wolfpack. While Clemson is off a home win against GT, NC State is returning from a physically tolling trip up to South Bend. Without a doubt, getting NC State a week after playing the Irish is a significant advantage to the Tigers. As we all know Doeren and his team are out for blood after the woulda/coulda/shoulda wide right ending in Death Valley last season. The Wolfpack want revenge, but Dabo has absolutely been making sure his team has heard over and over how they should’ve lost that game last season. Anyways, let’s get to it:



The Wolfpack are led by veteran QB Ryan Finley and his assortment of playmakers. Perhaps the biggest key is keeping the RB duo of Nyheim Hines and Jaylen Samuels in check. Both have quick, speedy tendencies and are also significant receiving threats out of the backfield. With an aggressive Clemson defensive line, NC State will likely look at various screens and quick pass plays to get their backs into space against Clemson’s LB’s.

Samuels finds the soft spot in the zone against a LB, makes catch and turns upfield for a big gain.


NC State gets Samuels into space with a screen with an FSU defensive line pinning their ears back on third and long.


And of course, many recall NC State’s first big play from scrimmage last season as they get Hines matched up against Ben Boulware. Mismatch.


It’s obviously imperative to keep an eye on those guys out of the backfield, but they can also do plenty of damage in the run game. Clemson’s run defense has performed well so far this season, but their weakness in the past sure does seem to be quick, speedy backs that can make a guy miss and quickly get to the second level.


Hines exploding through for 6 against Pitt. It is important to note that Hines tweaked his ankle in the Notre Dame game last week and may not be full strength come Saturday.



Finding ways to get Hines to the outside of the defensive line…



Moving past the two backs, NC State does possess a couple large receivers that could potentially pose issues in Kelvin Harmon and Stephen Louis. Not necessarily the fastest or quickest guys, but they can go up and get it. Although improved in 2017, 1 on 1 balls have created penalty issues for Clemson’s secondary in the past. Expect NC State to take some shots downfield.






By now, I’m sure everyone is familiar with NC State’s strong defensive line anchored by their ends, Street and Chubb. Clemson’s tackles against State’s ends provide the most critical battle, ensuring that Bryant has time to comfortably sit in the pocket and read the secondary. Hyatt is about a good at it gets in college football, so the biggest question marks will surround the pass pro of Anchrum and Pollard at RT. Can they hold up? Or will State have success and force a recovering KB to become overly skittish in the pocket?

Street beats the ND RT for the sack.




However, if you can get past those two, the Wolfpack’s defense isn’t overly terrifying. Notre Dame was able to create interior push last week, creating success in the run game.



The read option look gets #35 Street upfield and out of the play. RG able to get great push to create the hole.




If Clemson can find success on the ground, it should force a lackluster NC State secondary to cheat and open up potential for big plays through the air. Safety steps up on the right side, leaving a gap in zone coverage. ND TE finds it and takes advantage.



Syracuse motions a RB out wide and instead of any switching, the LB follows. Double move is all is takes.


State brings pressure from the LB’s and leaves the corners in single coverage. Clemson’s WR’s will accept this all day.


NC State’s corners have had their struggles with deep balls. Would love to see Clemson leave a RB or TE in to assist in pass pro and take a few shots downfield.





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