Get Your Orange Bowl Gear Here!
"Our guys never flinched"


  by - Staff Writer - Saturday, January 4, 2014 11:48 AM
    |

Clemson sacked Braxton Miller five times (Photo by Robert Mayer / USA Today)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL –During Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile
’ final press conference before the Orange Bowl, he took exception to the word “shootout” used by many media outlets in describing the game, but in many ways Friday night’s showdown with Ohio State turned out to be just that.

However, Venables felt like his defense never lost control.

The Tigers defense gave up 427 total yards and limited the Buckeyes vaunted rushing attack to just 193 yards in Clemson’s 40-35 victory in the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium Friday night.

It wasn’t the combination of Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller that killed the Tigers, however. It was big plays – 11 that went for 15 yards or more.

Clemson’s second year defensive coordinator said that despite giving up the wheel routes for touchdowns and the long passes, he and his group never felt like the game was going to come down to the last play.

“The wheel route, they snuck it out on us,” Venables said after Clemson’s win. “Really, I liked how we were playing. When we gave up big plays, they were chunk yards. But believe it or not, we still felt we were in control. Whatever that means as a play-caller and as a unit, you do have some games where you are like, 'Man, I just hope to get the last stop' and it was kind of that way but also not because I felt our guys had owned them up front. We were leveraging the football very well. Now we missed a tackle on a fourth and short, but they've got great players.”

Venables unit was put in several tough situations after a safety, an interception and untimely penalties, but he said they responded the only way they know how – with fight.

"You can't coach that. You try to foster that tough mindedness and the whatever-it-takes, Venables said. “We do that a lot. Our guys just have the willingness to go out and do it, the attitude and toughness that it takes. They played great together and it showed tonight. The sideline was awesome all night. Our guys never flinched. They stuck together and believed they would win and they did."

And, when the Tigers needed the big plays to seal the game, it was the defense that stepped up with a fumble recovery and a pair of interceptions in three of Ohio State’s last for drives, and Venables said that he couldn’t be happier to win the Orange Bowl on defense.

"You want to win no matter what, but it was fun to watch those guys,” Venables said. “As you draw it up - so to speak - and then watch those guys go out and execute it and make it right, to see that in back to back series there late was special. They have a lot of pride. We feel like we've been a solid unit all year and have gotten better. At the right time we made plays at the end of the game. I'm just so happy for those guys. It's a good team, a very experienced team we just beat. We belong. We've earned that right. We're still working, too. We're pretty good, too.”


Rate this Story:
32 votes
Send Feedback to Nikki Steele: Email | Comment
    |
  •  
    Final Spring Game Thoughts - 5 days ago
    The Chad Kelly benching incident caused most to overlook a lot of the good things we saw during the Spring Game especially on the defensive side of the ball. Full Story »
  •  
    Venables pleased with the effort of the defense Saturday - 6 days ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables admitted Saturday that he liked some of the things he saw out of his defense Saturday, but also said he thinks a summer of work and film study can make the group even better. Full Story »
  •  
    Smith and Venables: a match made in heaven - 1 week ago
    It was the relationship that Chad Smith forged with Venables during a high school camp, the similarities between their personalities and the value Clemson places on family that led the Sterling (VA) Dominion outside linebacker to commit to Clemson Thursday afternoon. Full Story »
  •  
    Venables rips defense after lackluster Wednesday practice - 2 weeks ago
    Defensive coordinator Brent Venables was irate following Wednesday's practice, a practice that he felt was subpar for his veteran unit. What did he have to say about the practice? What else was on his mind? Full Story »
  •  
    Friday was all about the defense - 2 weeks ago
    News and notes following Friday's practice and interview session with Brent Venables. What does he say about the defensive line? What does he say about Ben Boulware and the other young players? Full Story »

Post your comments

Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Facebook
Signup for Alerts: