Drop Off?


  by - Radio Host - Wednesday, September 9, 2015 9:16 AM
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Drop Off?
When you lose players from a defense that were veterans of over 6,000 snaps, there will be a drop off. When you lose 11 guys who were on an NFL roster two weeks ago, there is going to be a drop off. The question is how much of a drop off?

Saturday was not the indicator for how this defense will play all season. No one will mistake this Wofford team as an offensive powerhouse. However, we did get a chance to see this defense for the first time, and there were some encouraging signs.

There were 20 players who played at least 15 snaps Saturday. There were 24 different players who registered tackles. The Tigers had ten tackles for losses by nine different players.

It all started up front where Clemson had to replace Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
Defensive End (2010 - 2014)
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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, Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Defensive Tackle (2011 - 2014)
#50 6-0, 290
Conyers, GA

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, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Defensive Tackle (2011 - 2014)
#99 6-1, 295
Central, SC

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, Josh WatsonJosh Watson
Defensive Tackle (2010 - 2014)
#91 6-4, 290
Wilmington, DE

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Defensive End (2011 - 2014)
#93 6-5, 275
Columbus, GA

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and Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
Defensive End (2010 - 2014)
#9 6-3, 275
Jacksonville, FL

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. Scot Pagano had seven tackles in his 31 plays and was very disruptive. Christian WilkinsChristian Wilkins
Fr. Defensive Tackle
#42 6-5, 299
Longmeadow, MA

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made his debut with 24 plays and had six tackles including a tackle for a loss. Jabril RobinsonJabril Robinson
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-3, 276
Leland, NC

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had a very productive first game with eight tackles in his 19 plays. Roderick ByersRoderick Byers
RS Sr. Tight End
#40 6-3, 281
Rock Hill, SC

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and Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS Jr. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 296
Mooresboro, NC

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were solid and combined for seven tackles. Albert HugginsAlbert Huggins
Fr. Defensive Line
#67 6-3, 286
Orangeburg, SC

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saw his first action and had a tackle on one of his 12 plays.

At defensive end, Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
Jr. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 272
Central, SC

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was dominating with six tackles including 1.5 for losses on only 27 plays. Kevin DoddKevin Dodd
RS Jr. Defensive End
#98 6-5, 268
Taylors, SC

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, Austin BryantAustin Bryant
Fr. Defensive End
#91 6-4, 268
Pavo, GA

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and Richard YearginRichard Yeargin
RS Fr. Defensive End
#49 6-4, 254
Lauderdale Lakes, FL

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looked solid as well.

The linebackers played disciplined football as BJ Goodson and Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
Jr. Outside Linebacker
#10 6-0, 241
Anderson, SC

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combined for 21 tackles.

The safeties were very aggressive against the run with TJ Green and Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
Jr. Safety
#1 6-4, 224
Fort Myers, FL

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combining for 25 tackles including three behind the line of scrimmage.

The Tigers played a pretty clean game in terms of tackling and had few missed assignments. A couple of trick plays were the only real success the Terriers had all day.

I really liked Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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attacking game plan Saturday. The Tigers got upfield, and the penetration caused Wofford trouble from the opening series. Clemson did allow a couple of longer passes as a result, but I liked the aggressiveness.

So hopefully Saturday was a preview of things to come. This was a complete defensive domination. The Tigers played a bunch of people including a ton of freshmen, and there was little drop off when the newcomers took the field. The tackling was solid as well.

I was very encouraged by the speed and athleticism we saw on defense Saturday. I was also impressed with the depth.

Wofford was not a test, and the offenses will get much better starting this week with Appalachian State. However, the drop off from the nation's number one defense might not be as big as some expected due to solid recruiting, evaluations and player development on that side of the football.

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Defensive Tackle (2008 - 2011)
#98 6-2, 310
Thomasville, GA

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# 0, 0
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Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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Safety (2011 - 2014)
#27 5-11, 215
St. George, SC

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Tight End (1972 - 1975)
#85 6-5, 250
Seneca, SC

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