ScarletAndGrayReport - Fulton Analysis: Dynamic Foursome
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Fulton Analysis: Dynamic Foursome

How Clemson mixes the inside run game to Travis Etienne with RPOs and outside shots to Tee Higgins and Justyn Ross -- and how the Clemson offense against the Ohio State defense matches strength against strength. 

The Clemson defense has performed at a high level this year largely without a currently slated high-end NFL draft pick outside of hybrid apex Isaiah Simmons. That is not the case on the opposite side of the football. Instead, the Tigers’ offense possesses four top-end skill players – quarterback Trevor Lawrence, running back Travis Etienne, and outside wide receivers Justyn Ross and Tee Higgins – that render the Clemson offense an ever-present threat to generate explosive plays.

Clemson still operates essentially the same spread-to-run scheme that Chad Morris implemented as the Tigers’ offensive coordinator in 2011. The core of the scheme is inside zone from 11-personnel (3 wide receivers, 1 tight end, and 1 running back), with the tight end aligned as a Y-off to the same side as the running back.

But the Tigers also frequently feature counter trey from a variety of backfield looks and actions (in addition to lesser amounts of outside zone, duo, and toss read). Both inside zone and counter trey maximize Etienne’s strengths as a downhill runner and his ability to generate yards after contact.

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