We welcome Lindsay Kurpes back to the fold. Check out her previous fan post That Football Time of Year and enjoy her match-up breakdown of Curtis Samuel against the Clemson linebackers in the Fiesta Bowl. Lindsay is a part of a pretty clear presence of four ladies on twitter and they refer to themselves as the BSU!
The X factor, the wildcard, the game changer, who might I be speaking of you ask, the one and only Curtis Samuel. He had over 1500 yards total offense this season, with 800 yards receiving and 700 + from rushing. He lead the team with 15 TD’s, and finished 5th in the B1G in receiving yards, and he wasn’t even a full time wide receiver. In the last two games of the season, Urban used him as a punt returner, which also displayed his skill set.
He is such a potent threat that even when he doesn’t touch the ball, if he is on the field, defenders have to account for him. He can line up in the back field at wildcat, or split out at wide receiver; he is a man with many talents, who continues to impress game after game.
Clemson has a talented line-backing corp, lead by Ben Boulware and his beard, who is their leading tackler. Kendall Joseph, as a freshman, is the second leading tackler, with some stat stuffing numbers in tackles for loss and one INT. Defensive Coordinator, Brent Venables, had his work cut out for him in the off-season, he had 3 veteran guys and then a sophomore, and 4 freshman to replace their dominant group from last year.
They are more effective when they are attacking and hitting the holes, they tend to do worse when they are staying home and waiting on the play to develop.
Curtis Samuel must be in the game, he is like a decoy, you are forced to find him on the field. They will probably line up a corner-back or safety to cover Curtis Samuel. Teams are able to expose Clemson’s defense when the other team has a run game, which then opens up the pass game. They will not only have to cover Curtis Samuel, they will now have someone covering Mike Weber and JT Barrett. The corner-backs are vulnerable when playing man coverage and the safeties have to drop down to help the rush defense.
The question is, can they contain JT and force the Buckeyes to throw the football. Ohio State must get Curtis Samuel involved to win the battle, he needs around 15-18 touches running the ball or catching a pass in stride. The up tempo Ohio State likes to play will make it tough for Clemson to line up with Curtis Samuel. Ohio State must take advantage of checking off in coverage to confuse the Clemson defense, just like Pitt did in their only loss of the season. Clemson’s front four is capable of winning the battle in the trenches but can they stop Ohio State’s backfield?
Well fought game on both sides of the ball, with the good guys coming out on top by 10!
Check out Lindsay’s notes for this topic