If our defense wasn't so dominant against GT then I really believe that the third quarter playcalling would have put the game in serious jeopardy. Note* that would be a good time for a sustained drive that drains the clock and establishes the run, thus giving your defense a chance to rest. You don't have to wait for the 4th Q. Runs for Harper and the predictable passing attack make me shutter as I feel the ghost of Spence lurking. It's just a matter of time before Napier is called the 'mad scientist'.
So why this insistence on balance? I have three possibilities. First the coaching staff is just plain dumb and stupid, either ignorant or prideful and won't philosophically shift their positions to either play to their strengths or attack weaknesses in the opposition. So BC is #4 in rush defense--logically you want to pass a bit more and run a lot of zone read and getting players in space (good to see some effective draw plays this past week). Maryland was stacking the box and had good LB play so I can see the argument for parity in scheme but GT had a horrible rush defense and we could have ran it down their throats all game. So are they stupid and incapable of making adjustments?
The second possibility is stemming from this and involves Dabo inserting himself into the identity of the offense. This is very likely and scary. Dabo was never an OC and saw a lot of Spence. He also wants to be a gadget man/river boat gambler type coach. So whenever I see a drive ending super reverse, flea flicking play it reinforces my perception that Dabo wants the pass and is injecting himself into the decisions. Perhaps a call for balance is the best Napier can do. Too many times this season we've seen a perfectly scripted opening drive that has a run first, mix in some play action second attitude that inexplicably turns into an empty backfield pass happy disaster. Dabo the motivator is also Dabo the play-calling meddler. Slow developing reverses near the red zone--not a good idea...
The third reason is a commitment to player development and recruiting. So even if its in our best interest right now to run the ball to win games, perhaps the staff is trying to stay with the big picture. I don't agree at all but just trying to think like the staff. We have a ton of big time WR talent that is knocking on the door with Bryant, Peake and potentially Sammy Watkins(#1 receiver in the state of Florida) which could be the most pure receiving talent to ever be at Clemson with Hopkins and McNeal, not to mention Dwayne Allen at TE (or possibly Jay Rome with the demise of Georgia!!). So to keep attracting the talent and to build for the future they want to continue passing.
Here is your bonus thought and probably the most intriguing. The staff is committed to balance because of Kyle Parker. KP comes back to play football with the assurance that the staff will do everything they can to make him a legit NFL prospect. That includes passing stats and a certain commitment to the passing game despite the inexperienced receivers. Out of respect and a kind of obligation to Kyle they keep passing the ball more than one normally would.
Now I'm not saying any formal agreement went down but there has to be some unspoken understanding. CJ comes back--he gets the carries, KP comes back and he needs the opportunities. I would do the same thing if I was the coach to reward the player and the loyalty, just in the form of more play-action out of the I or screens and dump offs--not four wide, empty back sets.
Here is another fun nugget I was thinking about. Lets say KP doesn't return and goes to the Rockies. Now you have Tajh Boyd and really bad WR's. The coaching staff would be forced to at least be a 60/40 run to pass offense. With the emphasis on the run would our record be different? I'm thinking it would be the exact same record with more of a chance to beat NC. I guess thats the sorry state of our first half of the season. Anyway, I'm still ecstatic we have KP back(of course-any chatter about a Tajh controversy is silly) and I trust him to be the difference against NC State and hopefully Fla St.