Sunday, 29 November 2009

Spiller invisible as Clemson hammered

I watched the tape from Clemson's defeat to South Carolina last night and wasn't expecting what happened. C.J. Spiller, by far the Tigers most potent threat, returned the opening kick off 88-yards for a touchdown and then simply disappeared. He wasn't used once on any deep or wheel routes, he was sparingly used on screens and he only ran the ball nine times. It was almost as if the coaching staff were keeping him fresh for the ACC Championship game with Georgia Tech. If that's the case, they probably ended any lingering hopes that Spiller might be an outside bet for the Heisman.

On one hand, it was another example of the kind of influence Spiller can have. Even in a game when his work load was heavily restricted, he still managed to score some cheap points. After that opening kick off, South Carolina kicked short every single time coughing up a severe field position disadvantage - one that Clemson really should have benefited from. From a scouting point of view, it was difficult to learn anything more about Spiller. He was given very little running room and the Gamecocks sold out to stop him, knowing they wouldn't be beaten through the air. The Clemson defense was porous and went behind quickly, forcing the Tigers to move away from the running game completely.


bob said...

I agree.

Timshorts said...

I made a comment either here or on the Weller and Bryan site about 2 months ago after we had been given Spiller in a mock draft along the lines that Spiller looks great against sides that aren't ranked (or ought not to be, ND), but disappears against the better sides. Then he immediately made me eat my words and had a monster game against Miami and followed that up the next week.
It wouldn't surprise me if he'd been kept back a bit and to be fair, his O-line never looks that dominant.