The good, bad and ugly

CLEMSON - A look back at what went right, wrong and everything in between from Clemson's 40-24 win over Florida State.

THE GOOD
Spiller Time- What more can be said about C.J.? His 312 yards of total offense was impressive but so were his blocking skills. Time and time again the best player in college football picked up the blitz or threw the lead block for other players. NFL scouts pay as much attention to those kinds of things as they do raw speed so you know they love what they see out of No. 28. I don't know of anyone that questioned his heart but if they did, they can't now. It was obvious Spiller was a long way from being 100 percent but he still managed to gut out yet another Clemson record setting performance.

Tempo - For the most part I felt like the Tigers did a good job of controlling the tempo of the game. The coaching staff was in tune to the rhythm of the offense and did a good job in consistently getting plays in with time to spare. I especially liked the two minute drill style drives they put together in the second half. The FSU defense was winded and Billy Napier and company saw it.

X-factor - After almost leaving the team earlier this season, Xavier Dye is beginning to live up to the expectations we all had for him before the year began. He's getting more and more plays and has regained the trust of the staff and Kyle Parker. The FSU secondary was quick but Dye still managed to create separation for himself.

Bubbles - the play Rob Spence had turned into a four letter word is now being used sparingly but effectively. The bubble screen can be a very effective play and Billy Napier knows when to use it and how not to abuse it.

Death Valley - While it was disappointing to see so many empty seats, the fans that were in attendance more than made up for those that stayed home. Death Valley was loud from beginning to end. Memorial Stadium was more orange than normal and it had that special something that I felt had been missing.

Music - Whoever the stadium DJ is should get a raise. I realize that the traditionalists still prefer nothing but band music but you have to admit that the sound system in Death Valley has turned into a huge asset. "We Will Rock You" reminded me of the "Hells Bells" moment in the Miami game a few years back.

Swagger- Championship teams know they are good and they let you know that they know they are good. The Tigers are starting to get that swagger about them. Look no further than DeAndre McDaniel's interception and hit on Christian Ponder. I'm sure No. 2 loved the pick but he seemed like he enjoyed the contact with the FSU signal caller just as much. The fact that more people are talking about the contact than they are the interception is really all you need to know.

Christmas- Do you have a person on your list that already has everything and you are just not sure what to get them for Christmas? May I suggest an overhead camera like the one flying above Frank Howard Field? Come on, what man in attendance didn't think about how cool it would be to be behind the controls of that thing for a few minutes. Technology is a wonderful thing.

THE BAD
Attendance- I thought you just said the crowd was a good thing? I did but it's still hard to believe that it wasn't a sellout. Let's not forget about the FSU crowd though. Eight years ago FSU would have brought close to 10,000 fans with them. If it wouldn't have been for the band, you would have never known they were there. Who would have thought TCU would bring three times as many fans to Death Valley as FSU would?

Match maker - FSU did a good job of getting the matchups they wanted a times. They continually found a way to force our linebackers into one-on-one coverage with more speedy offensive players. Given the versatility of some of our defensive players I found myself wondering if maybe we couldn't have made some personnel adjustments to get more speed on the field. Confused- Kyle Parker had a lot of great plays in the game. He also seemed confused at times. I'm no defensive expert but I didn't see a lot of complexity in the FSU secondary. Cover two and zone have been a part of football for a long time.

Toss it out - The toss sweep is not now nor has it ever been effective against a defense that has speed on the corners. We saw that play go for a loss yet again Saturday night.

Shake up - I know the Tigers are still looking for their best five offensive lineman but the movement of personnel is hurting the familiarity this unit was starting to have with each other. I thought that we would have identified the best five linemen by now.

Got away with one- I would bet my left arm that the coaching staff has never, under any circumstances, encouraged a player to lateral the ball to another player after an interception. It worked out for the Tigers this time but it could have easily been a scoop and a score the other way.

Snap - I'm trying to think of a reason why a long snapper should ever miss his target by more than about six inches but I'm drawing a blank. Snapping a ball that results in the holder having to field it off of the back of his head is never a good thing. Let's get that aim fixed this week.

THE UGLY
Wrap up - For the most part Clemson has been a pretty good tackling team. Not Saturday night. Time and time again we saw Clemson defenders missing tackles. I'm not sure how you fix that in a week when your team is extremely beat up but I sure hope they find a way.

One job- There is one position on a football team where you only have a single job. Kickers kick, that's it. I can see having an off night on kicks of 35 yards or longer. But extra points? I didn't know, until Saturday night, that it was humanly possible to have an off night with extra points. Fix it, fix it now. That is all.

Fire when ready- We need the cannon. We rely on the cannon. It tells us when to run down the hill and when we have scored. When you are standing on the hill, with a national audience watching, and 100 football players listening for your cue, you can't have a misfire. Nor can you fire the cannon on a made extra point when it's not made. You know what happens when you assume, right?

The impossible- I didn't know it was possible to have a ball spotted that close to the goal line and walk away with no points. Now I know. When Florida State was flagged for a penalty, the ball was already so close to the goal line that the officials didn't make much of an attempt to even try to move it half the distance. Still, Clemson managed to shoot themselves in the foot with penalties and turnovers in that situation and walked away with zero points on the drive. That just can't happen, ever.

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