Re: Defensive creativity
Our defense as a unit on average allowed only 20 points per game. Considering what we lost, that's not a huge drop off. They really got better as the season went along. I believe last season we allowed 17 ppg.
I think Ward would love to get more creative defensively, but we have to put our players in the best position and do what they're good at. Maybe early on in the season coaches threw too much at them, it wasn't until we simplified things that the defense began playing better as a unit. I'm not sure if Michigan State, FSU, Stanford are young on defense, but we were in some areas. I will say I heard all offseason how they would move Clowney around and it just plain did not happen. I wasn't happy to see that. Look, if he's getting double teamed/chipped/etc. Then how about shift the d-line over, let Clowney quickly run to the opposite side pre-snap? It just didn't make sense seeing Clowney chasing people down from behind all game long. Maybe the coaches realized that by letting the offense take him out of the play, it was actually giving them an advantage defensively with the plays they were calling because they knew what they were going to get.
As far as creativity? I'd like to see more of that on the offensive side of the ball. Seems like we kept a lot in the bag until the clemson game.