CLEMSON FOOTBALL

Goodwin knows Tigers have plenty to clean up after sloppy win

Goodwin knows Tigers have plenty to clean up after sloppy win


by - Senior Writer -

CLEMSON – Wes Goodwin was happy with the fact that Clemson won Saturday’s game against Furman, and he was pleased with the fact that his defense gave up just 12 points. Other than that? He knows there is a lot of work to do.

Furman gained 384 yards, Furman passed for 256 yards, averaged 8.5 yards per completion, 3.7 yards per carry, 5.2 yards per play, and went 10-of-18 on third down to post 19 first downs. The Paladins also controlled the ball and the clock with close to 35 minutes of time of possession.

Goodwin, the Tigers’ first-year defensive coordinator, faced the media after the game and said that the Tigers had to prepare for both Furman head coach Clay Hendrix’s offense and the offense of new offensive coordinator Justin Roper, who came to Furman from Holy Cross.

“(We) tip our hats to them,” Goodwin said. “We didn’t really necessarily know what kind of offense we were gonna get from them, whether Coach (Clay) Hendrix had his influence or they were bringing the Holy Cross system in. So, just get a feel for in-game and make your adjustments based on that. But, I thought our guys were really in tune to what we adjusted to and they handled all of that really well.”

The Paladins took a page out of the Georgia Tech playbook and ran several screens that gained big yards. On each of those occasions, Clemson defenders raced upfield with abandon and failed to recognize the play.

"When you have an aggressive mindset, screens are how people slow you down. Some of those calls, we just got upfield too far and couldn't get back in time,” Goodwin said. “If you're rushing the passer and you are coming free, as a defender you have to kind of put on the brakes. There's a reason why you're coming free. Just got to get better. It's a feel thing. You can tie it into the calls too, but then you limit yourself by taking a guy out of the rush or pressure package."

The Paladins also had success throwing to the sidelines when Clemson sat in zone.

"One time they caught us in man coverage and we were real loose on the corner route,” Goodwin said. “Another time was Cover 2. We just have to do a better job of mixing our coverage against those sets as well and not be so tendency-oriented. Some coverage leverages in playing man, some of the slant routes we could have played better. The boot route on the first drive. Obviously the screen game. Those three come to mind. The touchdown pass, we have to be better in coverage obviously."

Goodwin said he thought the tackling was improved over what he saw against Georgia Tech.

"Just looking back in past years, we're really similar to where we have been in years past,” Goodwin said. “You only get so many live days against our offense in camp. It's no different in baseball when pitching against a machine every day and then go out and see live pitching. I thought that improved today."

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