We’ll try as we can to update this blog post live but given all the internet difficulties we had last night it may not happen. Make sure you’re following us on Twitter to see when we update this post with our notes.
QB Tajh Boyd* 10
6’1, 225 lbs.
-Evaded Lemonier well, climbs pocket and get positive yardage
-Fumbles shotgun snap from center, snap was good
-Good throw on a streak to Bryant, called back due to illegal motion
-Finds Hopkins wide open in a soft spot and hits him for a big first down
-Tucks the ball and takes off for what would have been a first down but he fumbles it away
-Under throws a WR he has open that could have been a touchdown, tried to rifle a ball he needs to put air under
-Making quick decisions, knows his reads and is deliver the ball on time
-Taking what the defense giving but is not really testing them vertically
-Sees the CB fall down and makes a good throw to Hopkins which is wiped out by an illegal shift penalty
-Stands tall in the pocket and throws a good pass to Hopkins despite taking a shot from Lemonier
-Would really like to see Boyd go vertical in the 2nd half and test the Auburn safeties
-Keeps it on the zone read and has a huge hole but slips after only 7 yards
-Throws the ball well to hit Ford in the intermediate zone for a big pickup
-Off target rolling right
-Escapes would be sack by Bates and completes a pass while rolling left
-Great balance to get out of Bates sack
-Accurate with the football throughout the night
-Quick decision making is impressive, he knows his reads, and he’s making the right throws
-Boyd will get dinged for an INT but it was in no way his fault
-Pulls out the ball on the zone read and the entire defense bit, gets forward for over 20 yards
-Taking the game into his own hands with his rushes
-Has taken himself out a few times tonight now sure if it’s being winded or possibly banged up
-Picture perfect touch to the back corner of the endzone and its complete to Hopkins for a touchdown
-Evades Ford’s rush and picks up a huge first down
-Takes QB draw and gets down to the 1 yard line
Summary: The moxy of Tajh Boyd in this game was simply remarkable, the numbers were good, but the decisions were even better. Boyd managed this game phenomenally especially considering that he did not have All-American WR Sammy Watkins, who was clearly missed. Boyd never looked rattled, he never looked concerned, he barely looked like he broke a sweat. Boyd was the definition of composure and in a game where his team needed him to be everything he was and then some.
RB Andre Ellington 23
5’10, 190 lbs.
-Hitting the hole at full speed, no hesitation
-Not much flash or sizzle, just straight ahead smash mouth football
-Takes direct snap on some trickeration by Clemson and picks up a nice gain, showed some burst there
-Shows great balance as he runs through multiple tackles for a 15 yard run
-Showing great vision and patience on an outside run, doesn’t force the issue, waits for the hole to show itself and then hits it
-Gets spun around, stays on his feet and picks up 60+ yards, incredible balance
-Star of the half, with his balance and break tackle ability, he doesn’t have blazing speed or incredible agility but every time he touches the ball it’s at least 4 yards of positive movement
-Player of the game for Clemson at the half, has gone over 100 yards and has been one of the most consistent producers for them
-Slashing style running utilizing Ellington’s vision and power, just gashing Auburn
-Being fed the ball and he’s delivering just churning through yards late and the Auburn defensive line is tired
-Picks his way through the line for another big first down on 3rd and 1 late in the 4th
-Busts loose for a HUGE gain late, goes 20+ and gets inside Auburn’s 10 yard line
Summary: Ellington will not get enough credit for the game he put together tonight, it’s will be a thankless job but I can’t begin to describe the just demoralizing way he kept coming after the Auburn defense. He pounded them all night long and then when they hit their breaking point he hit again for a long run. Ellington’s game may not be one that will dazzle you but all he does is pick up positive yardage time after time. I think he was stopped only once or twice for a loss or even for no gain but other wise it was full steam ahead all night.
WR DeAndre Hopkins 6
6’1, 212 lbs.
-Takes bubble screen and squirts through seam for good gain, shows some quickness
-Saw zone coverage and sat down in a soft spot right past the sticks
-Good field awareness to know where the sticks are, runs an in route to them and flashes to his QB for another first down
-Sits down against zone for another big catch, and then breaks a tackle to get into the red zone
-Runs a good route and gets the CB turned around he ends up falling down
-Appears to be one of the only receivers getting any separation out there
-Giving it his all to make up for Watkins but doesn’t appear to have the speed to hit the seam and test the defense deep
-Big drop inside the ten yard line, was looking to make a move before he had the ball
-Breaks arm tackle and picks up big first down
-Elevates to get high pass, takes a big shot and holds on
-Great concentration and tracking to fight through pass interference to make the catch score the touchdown, incredible catch
Summary: Without his co-starting WR the emphasis was on Hopkins to carry the passing attack with Boyd and he did. Hopkins ran his routes properly, got open in space, and gave Boyd nice and easy targets to hit. He had one big drop where he was thinking about his move rather than the catch but otherwise was pretty flawless. When Hopkins runs that hitch route he is so good at knowing which way to turn to try and beat the CB, it’s not common to see a WR that aware of what’s going on behind him.
TE Brandon Ford 80
6’4, 235 lbs.
-Takes his eyes off the ball and drops the pass
-Looks this pass in before heading up field
-Flashing a nice target for Boyd to hit, picks up another first down
-See defensive cushion and breaks his route off at the sticks
-Second drop of the game, this time due to alligator arms
-Got away with what appears to be a bit of a hold on Lemonier
-May have lost Boyd’s trust after the second drop, hasn’t been targeted since
-Can’t sustain block on the outside for Ellington, results in tackle for minimal gain
-Gets loose down the seam and Boyd hits him for a big gain
-Crack back blow on DB after Hopkins catch springs him for a nice gain
Summary: Only a so-so game for Ford who had some nice catches and a couple of nice blocks but his drops were ugly ones that killed drives and he failed to sustain more than a few blocks that could of sprung big plays. Not bad for a TE prospect though who is being asked to fill the shoes that Dwayne Allen once filled. It’s not fair to compare Ford to Allen but we all will and in our opinion Ford is a clear notch below but we don’t want to label him too quickly. More evaluation is needed before a conclusion can be fully formed.
OG Tyler Shatley 62
6’3, 295 lbs.
-Pulls and gets out in front of Ellington to make a big 2nd level block for a nice gain
-Doesn’t look overly agile was close to being late on his pull
-Holding his own inside, he’s not losing his battle at the point of attack but he’s not dominating it either
-Hand placement looks really good
-Handling Whitaker one on one with ease, needs no help from Freeman
-Pulled well to get out in front but has to find his target and engage was just moving in space
Overall: The converted FB turned interior lineman had a pretty nice night. He blew open some nice holes in the running game, he held his own in pass pro and he never had his number called for a penalty. Not much more you can ask for from an OG. Shatley isn’t the most athletic guy and I’m still not quite sure why he pulled as often as he did but if that’s my biggest critique then you had a good night.
DE Malliciah Goodman 97
6’4, 265 lbs.
-Read the zone read perfectly and stayed home and hit Frazier in the backfield for a loss
-Not firing off the ball well, one of the last players to react.
-Consistently the last man off the ball, it’s become quite apparent
-Being handled pretty easily by true freshman OT Avery Young
-Doesn’t appear to have the strength to move Young backwards on a power rush
-Seems to struggle once Young extends his arms and locks out, does he have shorter arms?
-By far the most disappointing prospect here for me, no explosion off the ball, no ability to get off blocks, only plays he’s been making is when they come right to him. Where is his fire?
-FINALLY gets a sack and strip, Auburn somehow recovered though
Summary: Alright I did not think Goodman had a good game and for me seeing in depth for the first time I don’t like him. However I always gives prospect a 2nd chance and Goodman will have his. My biggest issue(s) with Goodman is two things; 1. He’s slow off the ball and no pass rusher in the NFL is continually the last one off the ball, 2. He doesn’t have the strength to do anything since he’s slow off the ball. I was told coming into this game and even in the press box before the game that Goodman will remind me of Andre Branch and I feel safe to say that is not going to happen. I’ll give Goodman a second chance but I have extremely low expectations of him now.
OLB Jonathan Willard 46
6’2, 220 lbs.
-Struggling to find the ball on Auburn’s misdirections and fakes
-Can’t get to the corner before McCalebb, seems to be struggling to pick through the trash
-Assigned to QB contain and played it perfectly as Frazier rolled back into him for an easy sack
-Shoots the gap and gets into the backfield for a nice TFL, seems to have stepped it up
-Not great in traffic but when asked to hit the gap or just run he’s very good and very quick
-Getting more aggressive and flowing well to the ball
-Great punt coverage, was the first man down and initially missed the tackle but got up and still made the play
-Elevates on a blitz as Frazier goes to throw and tips the ball almost resulting in an INT
Summary: Willard was a LB who early looked timid and somewhat lost but as the game wore on it seemed like he found his place and his footing on this defense. By the time the second half rolled around Williard was flying to the ball and filling holes with authority. He was one of the most consistent wrap up tacklers on the field the entire game and really did a good job moving laterally. Doesn’t have elite level sideline to sideline range but he can run pretty well.
SAF Rashard Hall 31
6’2, 200 lbs.
-Frazier throws one up for grabs deep and Hall plays a picture perfect CF for the INT
-High pointed jump ball nicely
-Solid in deep coverage, flows well to the ball and is making plays as they come to him
-Doesn’t show a ton of aggression outside of the INT that was just thrown up for grabs
-Great wrap up tackle on Frazier scramble, Frazier had evaded multiple defenders before him
-See Lutzenkirchen crossing below and comes up to stop him before he can turn up field after making the catch
Summary: Not really a lot to take away from the Clemson secondary but Hall stood out the most to us. He made the INT on Frazier who threw one up for grabs that Hall high pointed. We also thought his two tackles noted above really stood out. He was wrapping players up as opposed to just trying to go low. His touchdown saving play on Frazier was probably his best play of the night but he wasn’t tested much either.