Laces Out: The coach who never punts gets humbled, Clemson’s offensive ineptitude continues

The clock has expired on the primary quarter of faculty soccer season, and so far, offseason tomatoes thrown on the sport’s lack of parity have hit their mark with a splattering upon impression. Alabama and Cincinnati are the one packages who have not moved from their preseason perches inside the highest 10 after extra nationally-ranked groups have misplaced by means of the primary three weeks of the season (19) than ever earlier than within the historical past of the AP High 25.

Followers clamoring for brand spanking new blood within the College Football Playoff might get their want if this pattern continues. Earlier than we get into chaos situations pushing a program like Cincinnati to potential closing 4 stardom this fall, let’s dive right into a sport plan that solely works in video video games and a preseason frontrunner whose issues are expansive forward of different storylines in Week 4.

When analytics go fallacious

The smallest soccer program within the FCS ranks is taking an opportunity this season with a coach who by no means punts. Kevin Kelley, an excessive strategist of types, has taken over Presbyterian School after profitable 9 state championships in 18 years at Pulaski Academy in Arkansas. He discovered success there by by no means punting and at all times calling onside kicks after touchdowns.

So, when Presbyterian confronted a fourth-and-22 final week in opposition to Campbell by itself 2-yard line, Kelley referred to as an offensive play. The Blue Hose accomplished an 18-yard move that fell wanting the sticks. Campbell scored on the following play and went on to win sport, 72-0, forcing 10 turnovers and benefiting from a slew of brief fields.

“Some persons are afraid of what may occur if they struggle one thing, [while] some folks have a look at what may occur if I get to attempt one thing, and I’ve at all times been that man.” Kelley mentioned earlier than the season whereas making ready to take his first shot at school soccer. “I have a look at the constructive facet of, if I take this opportunity or attempt one thing new, what are the nice issues that would occur? And if I’ve obtained good science behind that, and good math, and it does not win, I can cope with what comes after that.”

Campbell is coached by former Carolina Panthers security Mike Minter, who mentioned earlier than the sport he would hate to be his defensive coordinator tasked with stopping an offense averaging 76 factors per sport coming in.

The jokes write themselves.

Clemson‘s offense in quicksand

Admittedly, I chalked up Clemson’s season-opening efficiency on offense as being out-schemed by Georgia Bulldogs and assumed errors can be rapidly corrected within the coming weeks. However after eight extra quarters of frustration, maybe 340-pound Jordan Davis wasn’t the one cause for this group’s faceplant offensively.

Anybody laying huge level spreads with Tigers this season ought to most likely cease now earlier than Las Vegas catches up. Saturday’s win over Georgia Tech was presupposed to be a straightforward, a pick-your-score sport by which D.J. Uiagalelei and his receivers discovered themselves on the identical web page and lit up the scoreboard. Nonetheless, the warts have been nonetheless there.

For individuals who missed Clemson’s win over South Carolina State the earlier week and solely skimmed the field rating, you did not see coach Dabo Swinney berating his quarterback after an errant display screen move went off his meant goal’s fingers for an interception. TV cameras panned to a furious Swinney, who was scolding Uiagalelei within a huddle on the sideline.

Execution points have plagued the Clemson offense by means of three video games. Mixed with the offseason losses of Travis Etienne (a strolling 6-yard achieve on first down) and Amari Rodgers (a robust possibility within the slot), the Tigers have been left with out a lot course.

You’ll be able to depend on one hand how usually Swinney had something to right offensively throughout the Trevor Lawrence period when the Tigers have been obliterating every little thing with the ACC insignia of their path. However now? Clemson is battling by means of what 90% of faculty soccer groups endure regularly: play-calling points, inconsistent quarterback play, lack of a run sport and no tenacity alongside the offensive entrance. 

Waiting for Saturday’s sport at N.C. State, the Wolfpack normally drop eight into protection of their 3-2-5 look and can make Clemson transfer it on the bottom. And in apparent throwing conditions, NC State defensive coordinator Tony Gibson will seemingly comply with the identical script as Georgia and Georgia Tech in opposition to the Tigers: disguise coverages to confuse Uiagalelei, who will probably be making solely his sixth school begin.

Is that this the place we see Clemson’s eight-game profitable streak within the Textile Bowl come to finish?

Legitimate Group of 5 playoff paths

The power of schedule argument normally trumps all when contemplating Group of 5 groups for the School Soccer Playoff, however that is not going to carry a lot water this season if No. 8 Cincinnati retains profitable. Most have been writing the Bearcats’ obituary within the first half of final week’s sport at Indiana earlier than Luke Fickell’s squad owned the second half and took out one in every of two nonconference Energy 5 street video games on the schedule.

So long as the AAC favourite retains profitable, Cincinnati can sit again and watch the remainder of the highest 10 bludgeon itself in opposition to different ranked groups throughout convention play and be sitting fairly when the CFP Choice Committee meets for a closing time in early December.

It might assist if Notre Dame‘s stance inside the highest 15 holds because the season matures, assuming Cincinnati goes into South Bend, Indiana, and wins on Oct. 2. Coastal Carolina and Liberty, the opposite two Group of 5 groups on the forefront now that UCF has misplaced, want a number of assist with no yellow brick street to a semifinal look.

The No. 18 Chanticleers can solely rise up to now with an unbeaten marketing campaign given the cakewalk slate and the committee’s view of CCU final season, however the Flames may probably have a landmark win in the event that they completed and not using a blemish.

You need New Yr’s Six chaos? Right here it’s: What occurs if Ole Miss is 8-0 and ranked No. 1 with wins over Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Auburn when Hugh Freeze involves city in November? Depend me in for Malik Willis vs. Matt Corral with the committee trying on. Liberty can be ranked someplace within the excessive teenagers to lows 20s with a press release alternative in Oxford, Mississippi. | Laces Out: The coach who by no means punts will get humbled, Clemson’s offensive ineptitude continues


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