Swinney: "Best secondary since I've been at Clemson in 13 years"


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Swinney thinks his first-team defense will be solid again this season

Clemson head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
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talked to ESPN's Ivan Maisel recently about the improvement the last few years in his team's defensive talent.

"We have got 16 players off of last year's team that are in NFL camps, and 11 of those guys are off the defensive side," Swinney said about his defense. "They weren't all starters, and that just speaks to the depth we had last year. We led the nation in 11 defensive categories. I think our front four - those first four- very talented. All NFL guys and have played a lot. The first 12 or 13 guys we roll out there on defense, you aren't going to notice much difference in where we left off.

Swinney knows that one of the keys to the season will be getting experience for his defensive backups and relying on his talented defensive backfield.

"The difference in our team is - we still have good depth, but we are very inexperienced," Swinney said. "Last year we were deep with experience. This year we are talented with inexperience. We have to catch a break or two and keep those first four guys healthy. But the strength of our defense this year will be our secondary. This will be the best secondary since I've been at Clemson in 13 years."

Clemson Top 25 Rankings in NCAA Stats (2014)

Total Defense 1st 260.8
Pass Efficiency Defense 1st 98.3
Fewest First Downs Allowed 1st 14.2
Tackles for Loss/Game 1st 10.08
Tackles for Loss Yardage 1st 553
Sack Yardage 1st 356
Third Down Defense 1st .274
Fewest Yards/Pass Attempt 1st 5.3
Fewest Yards/Play Allowed 1st 4.03
Fewest Plays 10+ Yards Allowed 1st 126
Score defense vs. FBS Win Rec 1st 18.6
Pass Yards Allowed/Game 2nd 157.4
Pass Plays 10+ allowed 2nd 72
Scoring Defense 3rd 16.7
Yards/Rush Allowed 3rd 2.97
Rush Defense 5th 103.4
Completion % 5th 50.0
Sacks/Game 6th 3.46
Defensive Touchdowns 14th 4
Redzone Defense 13th .741
Fewest Penalties/Game 5th 4.0
Fewest Penalty Yards/Game 7th 34.6
Net Punting 22nd 39.6
Completion Percentage Offense 14th 64.7

Dabo Swinney

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