|Venables: Defense "felt in control" in Saturday's win|
|by David Hood - Senior Writer - Saturday, November 17, 2012 10:58 PM||
CLEMSON – Clemson defensive coordinator Brent VenablesBrent Venables
Defensive Coordinator / Linebackers
View Full Profile raised more than a few eyebrows outside of Clemson’s locker room Saturday evening when he said he felt like his defense was “in control” for much of Clemson’s 62-48 victory over N.C. State.
In case you missed it, the Pack’s Mike Glennon threw for 493 yards and the Wolfpack had 597 yards of total offense against Venables’ defense. The Pack also managed to score four different times on drives that lasted exactly one play.
However, Venables said he felt like his defense would do what they needed to do in order to get a win.
“You actually felt in control. I don’t know how that is - we put ourselves in tough position,” Venables said after the game. ”We gave up almost 300 yards of kick returns and that’s a bunch of defensive guys over there, so that’s disappointing. But we created some problems and we have to play better, a lot better this coming week, but we made a bunch of big plays and gave ourselves a chance. There were periods in that game where we were in a groove and dominated. They've got a terrific quarterback but we kind of contributed to some of those things."
Venables looked at the stat sheet, shook his hand, and tried to make sense of what he witnessed out of his defense.
“Well, believe it or not I'm proud of our guys and the way they fought tonight. I'm looking at this paper and it's hard to justify what I'm saying,” Venables said. “But I watched what I watched. I saw some bad football. We gave up some big plays, two busted coverages that led to two touchdowns for them, but there was so much good football within that game.
“I'm a bottom line guy, and we're not going to get into the habit of shootouts and hoping the offense gets a first down. But our guys showed great toughness and effort. They made some huge stops and turnovers. We had huge fourth down stops and a blocked field goal and those are like turnovers. The turnovers that we caused did turn into points. We had four sacks. Vic BeasleyVic Beasley
RS So. Defensive End
#3 6-3, 225
View Full Profile had three of them. “
Of particular concern was Clemson’s pass defense – the safeties and corners all had issues during the game – and the fact that the Tigers gave up 105 receiving yards to senior tight end Mario Carter.
“We had bodies around their tight end,” Venables said. “Our backer has to stay inside. Period. We can't let him get inside. We need to use our bodies better. We let their tight end use his big body. We need to use leverage and disrupt more. We'll get challenged with their [South Carolina’s] tight ends this week. They've got a couple of big monsters that take up space. We busted coverage there in empty formation. There were three in a row there. The post player has to be at the post. That's basic fundamental football. You give guys one job, they have to do their job."
Venables said he didn’t consider Saturday’s effort to be a step back for a defense that had shown improvement against lesser opponents in recent weeks.
"Nah, nah. I've got perspective. I can't give the opponent credit for some things when we're not where we're supposed to be,” he said. “We didn't get beat. We let guys run past us. There's no excuse for that. I'm hopeful that guys will learn from it. But again, you can't give up 80-yard passes and expect to play good defense. We'll have to be in a better position this week. We'll have to correct it."
The Tigers did hold the Pack to 104 yards on the ground – on 35 rushes.
"Believe it or not, we took away some of the success they had running in the second half,” Venables said. “Some of what they had, a lot of what they had was in pass calls. I thought our guys played with good position and did a pretty good job with that all night."
Next week, the Tigers will face a South Carolina team that has won three in a row in the series. The Tigers will also be chasing 11 wins and a possible BCS bowl berth and Venables said that games like the one next week are the ones that teams look forward to.
"There is a lot at stake. It's what you work hard for. You look forward to it. You have to empty the tank as far as your preparation,” he said. “You hope you're playing your best at the end and I think we are. It's tough to win 10 games and we have done that. I know our guys are excited about winning a 10th game and we'll enjoy it for the next few hours. We've got to go put all of our focus into a one-game season next week. It's obvious they've had their way with us the last few years. Our guys recognize that. We're looking forward to going out and competing against them."
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