Nation's Best D?


  by - Radio Host - 2014-10-28 08:40:51.0
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Nation's Best D?
A few weeks ago a color analyst for ESPN called Clemson's defense the best in the country.  At the time I knew the Tigers were good, but were they the best?

The stats are trending in favor of supporting a strong argument.  Clemson has played extremely well on the defensive end, especially the last three weeks.

Currently the Tigers are 11th in the country in scoring defense allowing 18.3 points per game.  Ole Miss leads the nation with a 10.5 mark.

Clemson is third in the nation in total defense allowing 268.6 yards per game.  Louisville leads the country allowing only 243 yards per game.

The Tigers are 11th in the country in rushing defense allowing 101 yards per game.  Louisville gives up only 61 yards rushing per game.

Clemson is seventh in the nation in passing yards allowed with 167 yards per game.  San Jose State gives up only 89 yards a game through the air.

The Tigers lead the nation in tackles for loss with 9.8 per game and are fifth in the country in sacks with 3.75 per game.  Utah leads the country in sacks with 5.0 per contest.

Clemson is first in the country in third down defense allowing opponents to convert only 23 percent of their third downs.

The Tigers are sixth in the nation in first down defense allowing only 109 first downs.  Florida leads the country with 98.

Clemson is the only team in the nation in the top 11 in each of these major defensive categories.

There are several reasons why the Tigers are so good defensively this season including talent, experience and coaching.

Clemson has recruited extremely well and the Tigers have several future NFL defenders this season.  Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS Sr. Defensive End
#3 6-2, 236
Adairsville, GA

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, Corey CrawfordCorey Crawford
Sr. Defensive End
#93 6-5, 276
Columbus, GA

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, Shaq LawsonShaq Lawson
So. Defensive End
#90 6-3, 269
Central, SC

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, Grady JarrettGrady Jarrett
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#50 6-1, 290
Conyers, GA

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, D.J. ReaderD.J. Reader
Jr. Defensive Tackle
#48 6-2, 322
Greensboro, NC

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, Stephone AnthonyStephone Anthony
Sr. Linebacker
#42 6-2, 244
Polkton, NC

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, Tony StewardTony Steward
Sr. Linebacker
#7 6-1, 236
Hastings, FL

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, MacKensie AlexanderMacKensie Alexander
RS Fr. Cornerback
#2 5-11, 190
Immokalee, FL

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and Jayron KearseJayron Kearse
So. Safety
#20 6-4, 215
Fort Myers, FL

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could all have shots at long NFL careers.

This is also an experienced unit.  Beasley, Crawford, Jarrett, DeShawn WilliamsDeShawn Williams
Sr. Defensive Tackle
#99 6-1, 292
Central, SC

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, Josh WatsonJosh Watson
RS Sr. Defensive Tackle
#91 6-4, 292
Wilmington, DE

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, Anthony, Steward, Robert SmithRobert Smith
Sr. Safety
#27 5-11, 211
St. George, SC

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, Garry PetersGarry Peters
RS Sr. Cornerback
#26 6-0, 194
Conyers, GA

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, Martin JenkinsMartin Jenkins
RS Sr. Cornerback
#14 5-9, 185
Roswell, GA

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and Robert Smith are all seniors and have played in big games the last four seasons.

Finally it is coaching.  Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Def. Coordinator / Linebackers
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has to be considered one of the nation's finest defensive coordinators.  His schemes each week have been excellent and this defense appears to be prepared every week.

No coach in the country has developed more talent through the years at defensive tackle than Dan BrooksDan Brooks
Assoc. Head Coach / Def. Tackles
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Marion HobbyMarion Hobby
Co-Defensive Coordinator / Defensive Ends
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is an excellent defensive ends coach who has his unit playing at a high level and Mike ReedMike Reed
Assist. Coach / Defensive Backs
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has the defensive backs playing as well as any secondary in recent seasons.

The question I get asked often is about the 2015 offense.  The Tigers will miss Jarrett, Williams and Watson at defensive tackle but Reader, Carlos WatkinsCarlos Watkins
RS So. Defensive Tackle
#94 6-3, 294
Mooresboro, NC

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and Scott PaganoScott Pagano
RS Fr. Defensive Tackle
#56 6-4, 292
Honolulu, HI

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won't be a tremendous drop off.  Anthony and Steward will be missed but Ben BoulwareBen Boulware
So. Outside Linebacker
#10 5-11, 235
Anderson, SC

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, BJ Goodson and Kellen JonesKellen Jones
RS Jr. Linebacker
#52 6-1, 233
Houston, TX

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should be OK at linebacker.  Peters, Jenkins and Smith will be missed in the secondary but Kearse, Alexander, Green and Cordrea Tankersly will be just fine in an excellent secondary.

Next year's defense won't be as dominating as this one but I think they will be more than up to the task of keeping up with this year's standards.


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

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, Alvin Sammons, Georgine McAlhaney, Glen Davis, Mike Price, Clay Childers, Aaron Knight, Danielle Johnston and family, Nicholas Abrams, Lana Kuykendall, Gary, Gary G., William Huggins, Jim Bennett, Chantz Fowler, Ethel McElveen, Michele Gurganus, William Gentry, Lewis Usher and Tanya Sanders,  Shon Cooper, Nick Collins, Amanda Peake, Danny Hammond, Chip Turner, Nick Collins, Allen Steen, the Sturkey family, the Lance family, Nick Chrisley's family, Allison Williams, Lt. Kyle Walker, Summer and Joel Johnson, Nicole O'Donnell, James O. Johnson, Joy Pruett and family, Bill Schmidt, Jack Bailey, Gardner Family, Charles Turner, Kathy Bartholomew, Ray Sanders, David and Robin Blocker, J.R. Ray, Kenneth Kowe, Lauren Sielicki, Jenna Phipps, Mark Lawrence, Harlan Sullins, Peter Laboy, Kat and Carlisle Jones, Elizabeth Galloway and family, Anita McDonald, Willard Harryman, Liz Surratt, Molly Senn, Jackie Shearer, Richard Sellers, Tim Drisdelle, Edward Easterling, Dawson Bourne, Susan and Mike Brown, Julie Goodman Marshall, Willard and Dorothy Harryman, Justin Jernigan, Jack  Cunningham,  Mia Daughtery, Tee Senn, Bob Garrett, Skylar, Joseph Thomas, Mrs. Nelis, Jeanne Thompson, Sean Rowell, George Parker, Levon KirklandLevon Kirkland
Linebacker
# 0, 0
,

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and family, Catherine Sewell, Randy Davenport, Patrick DeStefanoPatrick DeStefano
Offensive Line (2012 - 2013)
#71 6-5, 275
Spartanburg, SC

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, David Vaughn, Keith Dalton, B.T., Bill Hilbig, Rita Elrod Hammond and family, Jim McKeller, Tony Alewine, Sharon Storck, Dick Baird, Richard Bagnal, Tavaris BarnesTavaris Barnes
RS Sr. Defensive End
#9 6-4, 273
Jacksonville, FL

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and family, Dustin and Brittany Peurifoy, Jan Allan, Josh Cox, Tommy "Red" Harper, Gregg and Sylvia Lewis, Travis Hamrick, Kaki Harmon, Brandy Stephens, Jammie McKellar and babies, Karen Edwards, Jackson Lindsey, Cathy Hutson Gregg, Kristin Heckman, Jennifer Johnson, Jay Johnson, Lyndsie Johnson, Emily Davis, Hayes Davis, Judy Towe, Johnny Towe, Ken Brown, Elaine Brown, Rhonda Thompson, Tim Davis, Jacob Greinke, Jack Finley, Richard and Clara Crawford, Zach and Griffin Johnson, Deshaun WatsonDeshaun Watson
Fr. Quarterback
#4 6-3, 204
Gainesville, GA

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, Cole StoudtCole Stoudt
Sr. Quarterback
#18 6-4, 231
Dublin, OH

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, Israel, Frankie Allen, Bobby Allen, the Horton family, the Wessinger family and our great country and the men and women in uniform that protect and serve it every day, plus their families


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