The Conversation: Talking with Dr. B of Clempson Football

This week's edition of The Conversation is brought to you by Clepmson Football.  Your guest is Dr. B.  Let's get to it.

My answers to his questions.


What is different schematically about your offense since "the change" and what should our coaches look out for most now?

Since Dabo and Napier took over the playcalling, the usual 10 bubble-screens per game have been cut to 2-4. Just enough to be effective in holding back the pass rush a little. In addition, there are a few more midrange/deep routes in the offensive playbook that are being called, just not enough for my own liking. I fail to see why Jacoby Ford and CJ Spiller are not being thrown the ball downfield at least 3-4 times a game, though they did call a couple this past week against BC.

Otherwise the offense is pretty much the same in terms of formations, routes, and the plays being called.


What can you learn from the way GTech moved the ball on us? Also, what can you tell us about the amount of option that Clemson has run this year? Is Harper capable of running the option consistently or are there packages for Korn? How many option principles does Clemson use?

Considering we couldn't stop the Dive or the Keeper against GT either, perhaps not so much. We did do alright in assignments on the pitch however. They got their consistent 3-5 per carry against us. I wish people would stop saying that the option no longer works in CFB, because if its well-coached with good athletes, its just as unstoppable as a good spread offense.

If Korn is healthy, and I believe its a big IF, I would expect a few option plays, but not really more than 3-4 plays out of the 50 or so we might run on a good day. Personally I would be surprised if they let him do so against such a fast defense at this point in his career. If they run it with Harper they are crazy, he wont fight for yards. I do not expect Harper to run any option.

When we have run option, its basically just been the Keeper and a pitch man. The dive would be replaced by the Zone read play, and you should expect alot of zone reads. I don't really think of that play as the option though, since 90% of the time the QB just hands it off.


What is Clemson running on defense? 4-3, 4-2-5, 3-3-5? Are you guys primarily cover-2 zone, cover-2 Man (man under), cover-3 zone, cover-1, etc? How blitz heavy are you? Do you run-blitz a lot (early downs)?

4-3, with a lot of Cover 2 zone and Cover 0. I expect it to be shifted to Nickel Cover 0 more with FSU. Clemson's safeties always end up matched on someone instead of any deep coverage. Clemson does not blitz often, we've usually been able to get pressure with the down 4, but occasionally a LB will be sent.



What can you tell us about backup QB Willy Korn if anything? I know he got injured during the GT game but do you expect to see him utilized more during the latter half of the season? What does he bring to the table that Harper doesn't?

If he's healthy, I expect more PT for Korn. At least 1 or 2 series per game to start out, and possibly more depending on Harper and his own play.

Harper has all kinds of problems. He continually underthrows and throws behind receivers, mostly because he throws off his back foot. His arm just seems weaker this season too. He is, however, able to make a few precision throws Korn hasn't at Clemson. This is, and that he had such a good year last year and showed that stellar play is possible, is why he plays.

I saw Korn play some in HS before he came to Clemson. Actually his 3 HS losses were all to my own HS. He throws a good, catchable pass with alot of arc, but can also zip some throws into coverage. He scrambles VERY well. The offense he ran at Byrnes HS was similar to what Clemson runs, albeit with more option plays.


Will Clemson benefit from the healthy return of any starters for this game? Are any likely to miss this game?

I don't believe any of it will make a difference. Spiller looked to have a slight concussion, but came back against BC. We have the same OL that have been out all season.

Waylon Jennings & Hank Williams Jr - The Conversation (via Slasheri)


Clemson was the undisputed king of the ACC hill for many years pre-expansion. Is there resentment toward FSU for usurping that throne? Where does FSU fit in the pecking order of ACC rivals for Clemson in football?

If Clemson had been any good between 1992 and now, I might harbor some resentment. For example, had we gone 10-1 every year with FSU as our only loss, sure I'd be pissed off about it a little. But we have been up & down since 1991, and its not FSU's fault.

We have had to catch up with FSU in talent, and I think we've done a good job of that. The speed of our starters is now comparable. However, FSU also fell backwards a little over the last 5 or 6 years.

It made the conference better in 1992, and again with the recent additions, so its a non-issue to many sane Clemson fans, I believe.

I was a teen in most of those 90's years, so I consider FSU a big rival to us, comparable with Georgia Tech. However, we'll never hate you guys like Georgia or South Carolina.


Do the recent coaching changes take anything away from the Clemson-FSU rivalry? Was all about Bowden Bowl or is a true rivalry between the two schools?

Maybe, for me it was a novelty in 1999, but it just got tiresome after that. Clemson and FSU have had a few great games in the past, so I believe it is a true rivalry independent of the Bowdens. Tommy did figure out how to beat his Dad though, I'll give him credit for that. He beat him through recruiting.



What is the hardest issue for this program: trying to get through all the injures each week: losing the HC or trying to keep the recruits from backing out from their commitments?

Injuries this year, no question. If we had the original OL from spring practice things would've gone better. Harper might not have tried so hard to force plays, and the running game might be going much more consistently.

I pretty much regard this recruiting season as a wash.


How have the fans responded to this disappointing season as compared to expectations (i.e. lack of support, poor attendance)?

Had Bowden not resigned, you would see marked losses attendance and a reduction in IPTAY [Ed. Note: IPTAY is their booster foundation, an acronym for "I pay ten a year."]  funds. I would've held back my own IPTAY money this December had he not been fired. However with the fallout from last years Seat-equity Plan (you had to give more to keep the rights to buy good seats) and how people think they were jilted because of it, and the recession, there is no doubt that IPTAY funds will be less for next season.


With a much needed win over Boston College, what direction do you see the rest of the season going? Is a bowl game possible?

I was hoping for a 3-2 finish, and I still think that's likely. Two of our 4 wins are 1-AA teams, because of some schools who backed out of contracts, and only one can count to your 6 this year. If we get 3-2 then I think a trip to Boise is on the table. If Harper surprises me and plays lights-out against FSU and we win, maybe a trip to the old Tangerine is possible.


Who would you like to see in the coaching position next year?

My personal preference is Will Muschamp. He has embodied all the qualities Clemson needs: a tough hard-nosed Saban-clone with ties to the Southeast, who doesn't make a ton of excuses when his Defense plays poorly. He's a terrific recruiter and his track record at making good defenses speaks for itself. However, I would accept Dabo if he went 4-1 down the stretch.

My own second choice would be Gary Patterson (TCU), and if Leach was interested in Clemson I would take him. I don't see Leach coming to Clemson however. It would be nice for Clemson to have some recruiting ties in Texas in any event.


Fun Question:

A Clemson "10" is probably an FSU "10", since Tens are usually 10's.   What is a Clemson 6 though, an FSU 2, 3, 4???

Haha, I've been all across the southeast, and southern girls look great everywhere. Northern girls....not so much. At least in Tallahassee its warmer longer, so those tans stick around....and I love me some tan lines.


Is Daboe trying too hard? Are some of the the antics over the top?

I think he is consciously trying to do the right things to get the job, but if it comes naturally, as it appears, then its ok. He clearly wants it, and has some love for Clemson. He hasn't made one wrong off-the-field decision from my perspective so far. I like his enthusiasm for things and just the way he talks about football, the latter reminds most of us of Danny Ford.


I hope you guys enjoyed this, I tried to get most of the questions in.

Questions this week came from: Desman, truecolors, Truecubbie, Renegade11, and Fsued. 

R11 and Weasie got into it over whether to ask a question about the rock.  I did some research on that and will put it in the comments section.


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