College Football Playoff Semifinal 2: Ohio State vs Clemson – Live Commentary

Posted: December 29, 2019 in All Things Power Spread

1ST QUARTER

OSU GREAT AGGRESSIVE START!

As I said in my Preview, Day will have a plan. Great aggressive Tempo and spread passing scheme! OSU fans have seen this all year!

GREAT CATCH BY THE TRUE FROSH GARRETT WILSON NEAR THE GOAL LINE!! Maybe best WR in Country next year! I’ve said that since seeing him in this year’s Spring Game!

Unfortunally the delay to review the Wilson catch really stymied the OSU Tempo and Momentum. It gave Venables time to adjust his D. His players calmed down and executed.

3rd&Goal great play by AJ Terrell to knock away a pass by scrambling Fields to Olave in corner of EZ. Field Goal Buckeyes

OSU 3-0
Clemson Drive stalls – OSU SCORES AGAIN – QUICK START

A big RPO completion to Higgins, but not much after that. A near interception by LB Borland. Then great coverage on the outside by Arnette. Sophmore BT Potter’s FG attempt slides right!

As mentioned in my Preview, Clemson relies a lot on Pro Style Matchup Football. Exploiting 1on1 matchups with superior talent. A talent edge Clemson will not have in this game. At least not in the way they had it during their weak conference schedule this year.

Right on cue – DOBBINS BREAKS OFF A 78 YARD TD RUN!!

Again, going back to my Preview – the OSU OLine is young, but very talented. Clemson is a fast, but smaller on defense this year. The OSU OLine crushed the Clemson DLine on that play! Power Spread provided #s in the box. Dobbins speed took care of the rest!

OSU 10-0!
DEFENSE!

First OSU. Another big pass by Lawrence on 3rd&Long, but then a nice zone mix by Mattison, followed by a suprise blitz resulting in a pass knockdown by DL Hamilton!

Then Venables. After a punt pinned the Buckeyes deep, the great WR KJ Hill made a fantastic move to pick up a 1st on 3rd&Long. But that was the only positive on the Drive.

Venables is now really mixing the pressure. Fields running for his life, while run blitzes are now stymying Dobbins.

Finally, a tricky Zone Blitz scheme totally fooled are young OLine as speedy LB Skalski came flying in off a cover look.

Good field position by Clemson. 3rd&Short and a slow developing WCO route design that gives the Buckeyes talented DLine time to get to Lawrence. Sack by a young underrated DE Tyler Friday!

The Buckeyes Defense is not all about Chase Young!

This is why I felt Clemson’s Offensive Scheme was the worst of the 4 teams in the playoffs. It’s not bad, but it’s Old School Power Spread at this point. It needs to evolve. More Aggressive Variety with a stronger Modus Operandi.

Another blitz by Clemson. Another catch by Freshman Garrett Wilson. Then… ANOTHER HUGE RUN BY DOBBINS – 64 YDS!!

Another CRUSH by our OLINE on the smaller Clemson D + the speed of Dobbins. Defender barely got his ankle to prevent a TD!

So far playing out like I wrote in my Preview. Though this may get away from Clemson – which I didn’t totally expect. End of 1st Quarter

2ND QUARTER

Herbstreit seems surprised by the Day Aggression, but this has been his MO all year – except versus Penn State in the 2nd Half.

Great Play Design, Call by Day – a swing pass over top of crossers underneath(WCO)- leaves Dobbins wide open for a TD, but Fields overthrows him. Diving attempt. Called a catch and TD. Review. INCOMPLETE!!

Big reversal. Buckeyes were getting ready to run away with this thing! FG Good.

OSU 13-0
OSU Controlling the game with Gameplan, Tempo, and Play Design

Two 3 & Outs in a row by Buckeyes Defense! Nice mix by Mattison right now getting the better of the Clemson Offensive Coordinators. Run Blitz on conservative 3rd&2 play.

Back to work on Offense. Incredible 24 yd leaping catch by Mack in spite of great coverage by Terrell!! More great Tempo. Quick WCO route to TE Ruckert. Then Quick Snap (tempo mix) QB Sneak by Fields for another 1st Down! Masterful by Day!

Incredible scramble Fields off an exotic Zone Blitz by Venables. That’s just pure talent. Something Clemson hasn’t seen all year.

More Tempo setting up a great call on 1st Down – a pass down middle into the endzone for KJ Hill. But a great Tampa 2 Defensive call and more brilliant deception by Venables!!

Tampa 2 is an old scheme that Venables mixes in to perfection. Two Safety look (Cover2) with a LB running down the middle of the field as a deep safety in a Cover 3. In this case the LB is the speedy Skalski, who already has a sack. His defense thwarted the TD pass.

OSU is able to eek out a first down by RB Master Teague with Dobbins on the sideline.

A false start as OSU tries to go fast. Then a great call on 2nd & 15 by Day. A sneaky screen to Dobbins completely burned the Venables blitz, but Dobbins dropped the ball!! Possible TD!

3rd&15 and Venables shows a full out blitz, only to drop off into a heavy 8-man zone scheme with a 3-man rush. Fields was completely confused and threw the ball away. FG Good.

OSU 16-0 – Cat and Mouse Game between Day and Venables!
Clemson – MOST UNLIKELY TD DRIVE I’VE EVER SEEN!

A 3rd&2 Read Option keeper for 6 yds by Lawrence, who takes a big hit but gets the 1st down! Then on the very next play, an up-tempo quick pass to RB Etienne for 11 yds. The Offense finally burns Mattison’s blitz aggression.

Mattison continues to mix pressure and fool the Clemson Offense. Top Slot CB in the Country, Sean Wade, shows blitz-backs off-then comes hard and nails Lawrence! Lawrence got the ball off for an incomplete, but is slow to get up.

WADE IS CALLED FOR TARGETING!!? VERY CONTROVERSIAL AS LAWRENCE DUCKED DOWN INTO THE DEFENDER CAUSING HELMET TO HELMET CONTACT. FIRST DOWN CLEMSON. BIGGER STILL – WADE IS EJECTED!

Next – a questionable Pass Interference (PI) call on Wade’s replacement – Amir Riep. OSU fans booing big time at this point!

An 8 yd scramble left by Lawrence sets up a 3rd&Short. A nice little scheme where Lawrence seems to fake a sweep keeper then piches to Etienne wide right, but again, an aggressive call by Mattison. The whole D blitzed the run.

Unfortunately our best Safety and one of the best in the country, Jordan Fuller, couldn’t bring Etienne down. A crazy athletic move by Etienne to fend off Fuller with a tricky stiff arm move, then slither through the rest of a tired looking Defense into the endzone.

This is possibly the most UNLIKELY TD DRIVE I’ve ever seen!?? The hits Lawrence took on several occasions and not miss a play. The crazy flagrant foul call that seemed to totally shift momentum. The crazy TD run where Etienne seemed to pull of a Jedi Knight Mind Trick from Star Wars..??

Clemson has been completely outplayed. Great gameplans by both Day and Mattison. What could easily be a 24 or 21 pt OSU lead is now down to 9.

Clemson 7-16
Momentum Switch

Another cattch by the Freshman Wilson. 3rd&1 and Ryan Day’s first bad call. A Pro Set – 12 Personnel (1RB, 2TE) and a simple slam into the Line of Scrimmage that is wayyy to easy for a Venables run Defense. Loss of 2. Punt.

Now besides Wade being kicked out of the game, it looks like FS Fuller is out! Injury>?

Sure enough Clemson goes right after his backup Proctor. A big 3rd down catch by Ross over the middle. Then an unbelievable 67 yd TD run by Lawrence on a QB Draw!! Again, Proctor got burned on a move by Lawrence to turn a decent gain into a HUGE TOUCHDOWN!

It’s the first time where Mattison really got burned bad for his aggression, but Proctor’s bad angle didn’t help.

Now, it seems Dobbins wasn’t resting, but is actually injured! WHAT IS GOING ON??? It’s the Clemson curse! Thankfully Buckeyes run down the clock and got to Halftime without further damage!

Clemson 14-16

Halftime

They’ve only played 4 times, but these Clemson games are almost as bizarre as the recent Penn State games!! Going all the way back to 1977 and the Woody Punch, there always seems to be a crazy disaster waiting to happen versus this team.

Basically, this game shouldn’t even be close. Both Mattison and Day had great gameplans and playcalling. The players were executing. The superior talent shining.

Then one bad call after another. None bigger than the non-flagrant foul on Wade. Injuries followed. Now a 16 pt lead is only a 2 pt lead.

Clemson’s saving grace once again is Brent Venables. He was burned at times by Day’s beautiful schemes, but he also won a couple of those battles as well. Venables Defense did just enough as Clemson was clinging for dear life early. Without Venables, this game is a blowout.

What happens next? I have no idea. It looks like 2 of 5 DBs our out and Dobbins is injured. Day really needs to regroup his team. OSU blatantly looks like the better team.

I still believe Day and Mattison can get this done. But as I said in my Preview – it’s going to be a barnfight!

3RD QUARTER

DEFENSE!

Another PI call on the Buckeyes. Geesh! Great 3rd Down aggressive blitz call Mattison. Nice coverage Okudah!

Great Punt by veteran Will Spiers. 53 yds downed at OSU 3!!

Nice WCO Spread pass game and Up-Tempo by OSU. Just like the start of the game.

This is the most developed passing I’ve seen from Fields all year.

  • Fields to Victor for 13.
  • Spectacular pass to Hill for 22.
  • Olave for 11.
  • But again, Venables strikes back!

Another tricky Zone Blitz. Two LBs show blitz – drop – and speedy LB Simmons comes from the other side. Fields completely fooled! Sack.

OSU has to Punt after a good opening drive to the 2nd Half. Again Venables has been saving Clemson all game!

Great Punt by Christman who’s a master of the pooch! 1 yard line!!!

Lawrence again gets out of trouble. First a deep ball Incomplete from his own 1. Gutsy aggression by Clemson OCs. Then a pass to Higgins for 10 yds and a 1st dn at the 11.

But another good pressure by Mattison, who’s keeping up with the great DC Venables. Then good play by backup ejected Wade’s backup, Riep, who had a great Spring Game this year! Clemson Punt from their own 15!

Roughing the Punter Penalty! You have got to be kidding me!!? Pinned in their own territory now Clemson out to their 30 and a first down!

Not surprisingly, the OSU Defense finally lets down.

2 PLAYS – 70 YARDS – TOUCHDOWN AND CLEMSON’S FIRST LEAD OF THE GAME!

Ghost Defense on a 17 yard run out of nowhere by the backup RB. Then a screen to Etienne that goes for 53 yds and a TD after a missed tackle by our talented LB Malik Harrison. Just like that – a punt deep from their own territory turns into a 99 yard TD Drive!!

ANOTHER ABSOLUTELY IMPROBABLE TD DRIVE!! ALL 3 CLEMSON TDS:

  • FLAGRANT FOUL – 75 YDS
  • QB RUN – 83 YDS
  • ROUGHING PUNTER – 99 YDS

COULD STILL BE A SHUTOUT!!?

Clemson 21-16 – 21 unanswered points!

MORE GREAT STUFF BY BOTH DEFENSES!

After another masterfully disguised blitz by Venables that again confuses Fields, Mattison comes through again for OSU! Another surprise pressure and a sack by DT Hamilton. Then a huge Fumble by WR Ross after a 3rd&Long Catch that was returned for a TD by the Buckeyes!!

REVERSED CALL – ANOTHER CALL GOING AGAINST THE BUCKEYES! INCREDIBLE! Great coverage by Okudah who seemed to strip the ball, but the review says no control. Very IFFY.

Every single call or controversial play has gone against the Buckeyes. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen anything like this before in my 40+ yrs of watching football!

I was wrong about Fuller – he’s still in the game. Buckeyes using an extra DB Proctor vs 4WR Sets of Clemson

Now a deep pass to Olave – possible PI by Kendrick on Clemson – again NO CALLS ON CLEMSON!

Very next play: another Tricky Coverage Blitz Disguise by Venables

  • CB Blitz
  • Safety shift to replace the CB
  • LB Simmons race back to DEEP SAFETY!
  • Simple Rotation – easy to execute – hard to read – easy interception by the speedy Simmons!

Fields has been confused a lot of the 2nd Half.

NOW MORE GREAT D BY THE MATTISON AND THE BUCKEYES!

More defense than fans expected. Another surprise blitz by Mattison and big sack by monster talent LB Browning!

Now OSU goes back to the short West Coast passing game with quick tempo. Fields to Mack, Hill. Run Dobbins. But on 3rd&Short OSU is Offsides. Venables tricky 3rd dn schemes has OSU flustered and unsure. End of 3rd Qtr.

4TH QUARTER

3rd Long Venables Phantom Blitz – 3 man rush – Fields fooled but great blocking by OLine – has all day and finds Dobbins in flat for 1st Down! BIG!

BIG BLITZ AGAIN GETS FIELDS. Another Zone Blitz – great pickup by OLine – great pass by Fields! 17 yds to Victor!

NOW MORE TEMPO – Pass Mack, run Dobbins, pass Dobbins. More tough Clemson D brings up 4th&1.

OSU in Frantic Freeze Tempo – 23 YD TD PASS!!

  • OSU races to the line of scrimmage
  • Gets set in a 3WR Spread, then holds
  • Notices Clemson Defense loading up for a run
  • Looks for the Match Up edge on the outside
  • Isolate their fastest WR, Olave, in the slot, on a Safety
  • Throw a deep Post down the middle in the endzone – TOUCHDOWN!!
OSU 23-21 – Can OSU win 1st and 4th Qtrs?? I think they can!

Completion of Commentary – New Years Eve 2019

So, it was 3 nights ago about this same time when I experienced “technical difficulties”. Basically I went into my own Frantic Freeze Tempo.

  1. I was frantically racing to keep up with this crazy game.
  2. I saw a Punt bounce off the Clemson Punt Returner near his own goalline. The ball hardly moved, with Buckeyes all around, enabling a lucky recovery for Clemson. I couldn’t believe my eyes. Just one more lucky break or bad call that went against OSU. At least 10 of them.
  3. I Froze the Tempo. I came to a stop and decided to focus my full attention on this ludicrous game to see if I could make any sense of what was happening.

The 12-16 hours that followed may have changed my life forever. At the least, it gave me a new perspective on the meaning of the words Team and Flexible as they pertain to Power Spread.

Most importantly, it gave me a glimpse into the Power of Faith.

A little faith can go a long way.

Doug Pederson after the Eagles beat the Cowboys two Sundays ago

End of the Game

The follwing occurred after OSU went ahead 23-21 with 11:46 to play in the 4th Quarter.

OSU’s Underrated Defensive Effort!

After another big QB Draw by Lawrence for 16 yds, OSU shut down the Clemson Offense again. Holding this talented QB and WR corp to another incompletion and 3 yard gain!

The only time all game where the Clemson OCs Scott/Elliot have found a weakness in Mattison’s gameplan and scheme has been the QB Draws. Other than that and the 2 huge penalties (Targeting & Roughing the Punter) OSU is pitching a shutout.

Another nice punt by Spiers to put OSU back to its own 11 yard line.

Another drive by the OSU Offense that nets zero points

Finally a call against Clemson! Defensive Holding. Then more pressure – a Safety Blitz by Venables – resulting in a sack by Wallace on Fields. Then another DHolding penalty against Clemson and another 1st Down.

Fields completes another pass to Wilson, then runs for a first down. Another completion – this time to Mack – and a 6 yd run Dobbins, put OSU in Clemson territory.

The Clemson D is starting to look tired, but again OSU can’t finish the drive. Dobbins gets nailed for a loss and Mack can’t break away on a WR Screen.

The theme of the day for the Buckeyes – besides all the bad breaks – was not finishing drives.

Major PR gaff by Clemson that ended my writing for the night and could’ve ended the game!

Great job by both Punters today, as Chrisman continues doing what he’s done all year – pin the opponent inside their own 10 yard line.

With the OSU punt team flying down the field to down the ball before it went into the endzone, the Clemson PR mistakingly let the ball hit him, yet it didn’t bounce!!? Just landed in front of him for an easy recovery – with Buckeyes all around!

I really couldn’t believe what I saw or had been seeing all game!. It was at this point I had to stop writing and focus 100% of my attention on this absolutely zany game.

All the missed opportunities and bad breaks finally catch up to the Buckeyes

For the first time all game, the Buckeyes Defense looked tired. It was really their only bad series of the game!

Two quick gains – a pass to Ross for 11 yds, then a Lawrence scramble for 11 – follwed by 2 big gains – a pass to Rodgers for 38 and a Touchdown pass to Etienne for a 34 yard go ahead Touchdown!

On the first big play, Slot WR Rodgers was able to cross behind the OSU LBs who, for some reason, bit on a weak play-action by Lawrence. OSU was playing a conservative Cover 3, so once the LBs came up for a run (that never was going to happen??), Rodgers had a ton of green to run.

Worse yet, Okudah, one of the best CBs, if not THE BEST in the whole country, completely got run over by the smaller Rodgers. A 24 yard gain at midfield turned into a 38 yard gain at the Buckeyes 34!!

Then Clemson’s play caller – Tony Elliot – made the call of his life. A fake QB Draw Jump Pass to a streaking Etienne out of the backfield. Tim Tebow style! GREAT CALL AND SCHEME!

Again the OSU LBs bit on the fake, though this time it was understandable as Lawrence had several big runs already. S Proctor, who had been burned earlier, almost made a play on the ball, but was just slightly out of position due to the fake.

Mattison had his only bad series of the game. He simply rushed 4 and played a conservative Cover 3, which Lawerence easily picked apart. A tired D and the hurry-up O by Clemson didn’t help.

Clemson 29-23

GOOD NEWS FOR THE BUCKEYES! The Clemson D is tired as well and we now have a full two minutes left thanks to the quick Clemson score. WE CAN DO THIS!!

I fully expected us to drive down and win and texted all my Buckeye friends and colleagues who would listen!

FINAL DRIVE

As I predicted, Clemson’s D looked tired. OSU’s Tempo also handcuffed Venables from using his trademark aggression. Just like Clemson’s O did to Mattison on the previous drive.

Fields took what the D gave him, dumping the ball down to Dobbins for gains of 13 and 9 yards. He was then able to nail Hill over the middle. Eating up the zone coverage just as Lawrence did.

Another dump off to Dobbins for 9 brought the Buckeyes to the Clemson 31 with about a minute left in the game. On 2nd&1, Day called for a deep shot. Incomplete, but nice call. A Read Option keep by Fields for the first on another nice call.

Final Play – A ludicrous ending to an improbable, somewhat ridiculous game.

After a 3 yd scramble by Fields, OSU has a 2nd&7 at the Clemson 23 with 43 seconds left and one timeout. Plenty of time for a game winning Touchdown.

Clemson continues to run a more conservative zone coverage scheme. Unlike Mattison, though, Venables is a little trickier.

Venables again uses simple flexible disguise better than any DC in football.

  • Instead of the standard 4 man rush with a Cover 2 or 3, Venables shows a 3-2 look with hybrid S/LB Simmons and S Muse up close on the short side(Boundary) of the field while the S that got burned for the last OSU TD, Turner, is deeper on the wide side.
  • Right before the snap one LB moves to DE to provide a 4man rush.
  • At the snap Simmons comes foward to man the intermediate middle of the field. Almost like a Robber who “robs” routes over the middle.
  • Muse and the CB on the short side play a Cover 2, with Muse taking WR Victor who goes deep down the sideline.
  • Here’s what makes this zone coverage tricky.
    • On the wide side of the field – instead of playing a cover 2, it looks like a Cover 4 as Turner takes the middle Quarter while the CB has the wide Quarter.
    • At the same time, the other LB (his partner rushed the QB from the DE position) raced back into what looks like a Tampa2 scheme. That is when a player closer to the line of scrimmage races back into a deep safety position.
  • So, in what looks to be a pretty conservative zone coverage scheme, because of the flexibility of a 3-2 alignment, Venables uses a simple adjustment to go from a Cover 2 to a Cover 6 (4+2) or possibly a Tampa 6!!
    • Easy to execute, while confusing to the opponent.
    • I’m not sure if it was Tampa, because the LB Skalski stopped short.
      • Because he was literally banging into Simmons when the pass was thrown, I have to think he made a mistake.
      • My guess is Skalski was supposed to race to deep safety to replace Simmons who moved up to the intermediate zone, replacing Skalski.
    • Skalski most likely left his responsibilies and jumped on the crossing route by Hill underneath.
      • Beautiful Read Progression by Fields drew Skalski up and out of position
      • Skalski was reading Fields eyes. When he looked at Hill, Skalski took the bait and left the deep middle open.
      • This is exactly where Olave was supposed to be!
  • Turner, who was supposed to have the wide middle Quarter of the field covered, actually jumped the post route by Olave.
    • Similar to the Skalski, Turner used his instincts as he was reading the route design and Fields’ eyes.
    • Unlike Skalski, Turner made the correct move in this case. Mainly because Skalski wasn’t where he was supposed to be – possibly..

Complicated look – simple to execute. Freedom for greatness.

While the players didn’t execute this scheme to perfection, it did not matter. Nor was it expected. Venables schemes always leave room for instinct and inherent error. The Expected, the space/time Pressure and the Unexpected.

The best schemes are those that inherently leave the greatest margin for error.

Drew Pagliari @PowerSpread

Fields played his best game ever – as a passing QB!

To Fields credit, he stayed with his read progressions. The tired Clemson pass rush gave him enough time.

  • Fields looked to the wide field WR first, which kept Turner stuck more towards the sideline.
  • Fields then eyed Hill crossing underneath, which brought Skalski up as I detailed above.
  • Finally Fields went deep across the middle where Olave was supposed to be.
  • He was confused a lot in this game, but even Tom Brady would have some issues versus the tricky schemes of Venables.
  • As much as Fields was confused, he was also standing in the pocket making quick read progressions, or scrambling when necessary.
  • Venables got the better of Fields at times, but Fields also did his share of damage. Especially in the quick tempo passing spread.

On this play Fields made the right read progression. He was possibly fooled a bit, thinking Turner was in Cover 2 instead of 4, which put Turner in the way of the route. But because Fields dragged the LB up close to the crossing route, Turner was basically left 1on1 vs Olave and we all know what happened last time. Touchdown Ohio State!

The other possibility, is if Fields saw that Turner was going to jump the route, he had time to check down to Dobbins for another short gain. This would have put us around 10 yards closer. Who knows what happens after that with about 30 seconds left.

If Olave didn’t break off his route, this may have also been a Touchdown and Fields is the hero, not Lawrence. So why did Olave break off his route??

What Olave said is that he thought he saw Fields scrambling to his left. A phantom scramble..??! I don’t know what he was seeing, but this was representative of the whole game. Bizaare to the point of ludicrous. From the Referees on down.

CLEMSON 29 OSU 23

So…to quote the great Vince Lombardi…What the hell happened out there??

Ohio State had outgained and outplayed Clemson for most of the game. Early on it looked like a blowout. Then basically all hell broke loose!

  • Momentum completely shifted over an accidental “targeting” call that got rid of one of OSU’s top defenders.
  • Two TDs by OSU were reversed on DISPUTABLE … I’ll say it again DISPUTABLE calls! Calls are ONLY supposed to be reversed if they are INDISPUTABLE!! Not once…TWICE!!
  • Add in some questionable pass interference penalties and bizarre mistakes by OSU and I really don’t know what to think!?
  • The biggest factor – is I could go and list (and I may in another post) all the calls, plays that went against OSU. It was a lot. At least 10.
    • NOT ONE CALL OR CRAZY PLAY WENT OSU’S WAY
    • That’s just plain weird. Even as an unbiased bystander I would say it is at the least – BIZARRE.

I have watched football (played up through College) for 40+ years. I have never seen anything like this. My Dad, who also is not big into complaining about refs or bad luck, said he has never seen anything like this. He also played college football and has been watching longer than me.

It took me a full 12 hours and talking to several people to finally get a grip on what I saw that night.

You’ve Gotta Have Faith

From Moses to MJ to Dabo – ya gotta have it!

All the great coaches know this is the strongest element in building a winning organization and culture. This is why they talk of trust. Trust of the players. Trust of the administration or organization. From the top down. When everyone aligns in this direction – and believes – miracles start to happen.

In the case of this game, a team like Ohio State already has an amazing culture in place. Faith permeates through the whole Organization. From the fans to the players. Not only players on the team – players across the Country.

Every player out there knows about the Big Football Schools and the Culture they bring to the table. That’s basially the recruiting base.

Then there’s what the coaches bring to the table.

The Power of the Head Coach

There is a lot of “hats” the head coach wears. Maybe the biggest one is that of a Salesman. I’ve heard coaches say this over and over. BUYING IN. Getting everyone aligned and on the same page. Building trust, then faith.

Some do it better than others. Some like to be more hands on with the practice schemes and on the field schemes. Others are more diplomatic, letting their assistants take charge. For most it is a mix. Offensive Head Coaches tend to the offensive side more and vice versa.

But again, the biggest job for the Head Coach – and I think they would all agree with me – is to find a way to get everyone to buy in to the program or organization. TEAM.

When this happens. On a grand scale, as we have seen at Clemson under Dabo Swinney the last decade, miracles can happen. Clemson’s Win on Saturday was nothing short of miraculous. Dabo and his Team Parted the Red Sea of Football on that night.

Was Ohio State really the better team?

I think most non-biased football fans would say.. absolutely..or at least yes.

OSU showed it all year. Played a tougher schedule than Clemson. They showed it in the game. Over a 100 more yards gained. A near blowout early in the game. It took a lot of crazy plays and circumstances for Clemson to barely pull this game out.

LSU and OSU were the two best teams this year and a non-biased fan would struggle to argue that point. The team who played the best tonight is going home based on a handful of IMPROBABLE, almost, UNBELIEVABLE plays. If just ONE of those plays or calls went OSU’s way – then the two best teams are playing for the National Championship in two weeks.

Then I heard Dabo speak. This was the beginning of my transition of understanding something that is usually reserved for the players and coaches.

Man, the favor of God was just with us tonight!

Dabo Swinney in the Fiesta Bowl Post Game Interview
Dabo’s Faith

Urban Meyer and his team had it. He saw it in Ryan Day. A true leader has to have it. It doesn’t have to be religious or even philosphical or idealistic. But it has to be there.

Coaches now a days try to explain the importance of it over Schemes on the field or in practice. The players. More importantly the faith of the players in themselves and in their Team. It starts at the top.

But it’s hard to explain unless you are in it. A lot goes into the success of a Team. The hardest element to explain is this one. This concept isn’t about what you know. It’s about what you don’t know.

So as my Dad and I watched Dabo in his post-game interview, my Dad immediately said “Dabo knows OSU was the better team.”

Now, my Dad’s a longtime businessman. He knows people. Of course he didn’t meant that Dabo would truly think or admit that. He definitely wouldn’t say that on camera right after an incredible finish to the best decade in Clemson Football History.

What my Dad meant was simply this: Dabo knows he got away with one. That OSU is the best team Clemson has played all year. Just as well coached as his own team and possibly with more talent. Ohio State probably should’ve won this game and Dabo knows it.

Then later I heard Dabo say something that really made me stop and think. He said that he “never doubted” that Clemson would win. Never doubted it. Really??

  • I said to my Dad “Do you think he’s just saying that – coach speak?”
  • My Dad said “No. He believes it.”
  • I said – “Do you really believe that?!”
  • I mean, how could a coach, who all but said that OSU had the best team and saw them whooping his own team… how could this same coach say that he “never doubted” his team would win??
  • He had to be talking BS not PS.

Before my Dad could utter a sound, I heard the word in my head…

FAITH

The above is Lawrence quoting the bible. Again, this isn’t necessarily about religion, but it’s true what he says. The Power of the One, the spirit, the unknown, the “yet to be” is far greater than that which is known and already exists.

This is the kind of faith Dabo has created at Clemson. Like Lawrence said – this is a culture – a decade+ long culture. Urban Meyer has created this at OSU as well, but Dabo’s is a tad stronger due to the greater consistency within his program during that Time.

A little C goes a long way…

I will explore this idea in later posts, but I view Faith in Sport through two simple equations. E=mc2 and PS=st2. Here’s the idea:

  • E=Energy
  • PS=GameEnergy. P
  • PS is a microcosm of E. As all Sport is a microcosm of Life.
  • A Game is a way to create our own version of Life – the Life of a Game – a mini-universe of which we can all observe from the outside.

Now:

  • It is impossible to purely observe a Universe we already exist in. In other words, the observer always effects the observation of that in which he is a part.
  • We can step outside a created game and observe, because it was created by us.

Thus:

  • All of PS is a part of the physical mass or m piece of the equation.
  • It is the strategies and thoughts that exist, thru SpaceTimeTeam, within the known Physical Universe.
  • The c is the other stuff. There is a reason it is the Speed of Light. It IS light. More specifically Vibration. Which attracts other like Vibration. What we perceive as Gravity.

So:

  • The # of c = 3X108.
  • Square it. What I will call C (c2).
  • C=See=Vision. It’s everything that ever existed and that will exist.
  • It is a ridiculously larger # than the m. Most of the Energy lies in C.
  • THIS is where Faith comes from.

A little bit of C goes a long way. Dabo had even more than most and again it showed up. In one of the most improbable victories you may ever see in College Football History.

2020 – Flexible is back in the Equation

So finally this massive post has come to an end. Three days after I continued it on New Year’s Eve. Three days after the actual game was played and my Live Commentary started. Perfect – as for me 3 is a Magic # (12 is my number).

The Morning After
Beautiful Maureen McGovern from Youngstown, OH

For me, the morning after consisted of talks on the phone with good people that I am lucky to know. I was starting to see some light in the darkness of improbable defeat.

Flexibility – the glue that holds Aggression and Variety together – needs to be a part of the conversation again.

Aggressive Flexibility Variety

Early on, when I came up with the 3 Precepts of Power Spread (told you 3 was my magical #), I started realizing quickly that true Flexibility was nowehere to be found. In the way I meant it for Power Spread.

So I simply left it out. Variety in our society has been explored for a while now. It wasn’t always that way. There was a time when Variety was a massive deterrent and looked down upon. Pure Aggression without Variety can become an ugly word.

With Variety, the word Aggression equates to Passion. Before there’s passion there’s Love. This is how the whole universe started. From my Vision anyway.

HAPPY NEW DECADE! – A New Vision

So I use Aggression for Sport, but I am really talking about Passion, then Love. Again, all great coaches know this and use it.

So, through Power Spread, Aggressive Variety if you will, the world of Football has been exploring, more and more, all the ways this game can be taught, planned and played.

Now the glue that holds it together. The Time that “holds” the Space. The People/Spirits – that occupy both – the Space/Time Contiuum. All held together by Flexibility.

THIS is what we will see more of in the 2020s. A New Vision – true 2020 Foresight. Hopefully not just for Football or Sport in general, but for the whole World. A Vision for everyone to See or C. To Believe and Count. Where we all play together and enjoy the gift of Life.

Well, it’s a start anyway…. 🙂

~DP

Comments
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  4. […] – Space Time Team. With over 100 years of Spread, Football is ready to finally explore true Flexibility. The “glue” that holds Power Spread […]

  5. […] – Space Time Team. With over 100 years of Spread, Football is ready to finally explore true Flexibility. The “glue” that holds Power Spread […]

  6. […] Targeting Ejection on 7 yd pass Jefferson. This time Clemson isn’t the beneficiary as in the Semifinal […]

  7. […] after the synchronized union of Power and Spread, football is ready to finally explore true Flexibility. The “glue” that holds Power and Spread together. Aggressive Flexible […]

  8. […] c2 of E=mc2 with c2 or C being the massively larger portion of the Energy. The Universal “light” – accumulation of all SpaceTime Energy – with […]

  9. […] He will be missed, but not forgotten. Neither is the man in the video above. People will continue to understand their connectedness and one day there will no longer be divides – politically, economically or otherwise. I desire strongly that Time to come sooner rather than later. […]

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